Elmer Santos

My day job is being an engineering group manager at General Motors for advanced vehicle development. One of my past assignments was working on components for the battery on the Volt (GM’s hybrid electric car).

My most memorable caffeine was in Hawaii. I’d taken a long bike ride with a friend and we ended the trip at a restaurant where, unbeknownst to us, the power was out. We walked into the dim room, lit with candles and just thought it was part of the atmosphere! We were still able to get a cup of coffee and it was the first time I’d had Kona coffee, which is grown on the island.

My current caffeine of choice is plain, black coffee. I started really drinking coffee at my first job after college and it was convenient to have it black. It always reminds me of a friend and mentor who showed me the ropes at GM—he bought me a black coffee one of my first days on the job and I learned to like it that way.

My favorite place for caffeine is typically at work. That’s where I drink most of my coffee!

The person I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with is Pope Francis. I tried to see him when he was in Philadelphia this year. I drove to Pennsylvania, took a bus arranged by a friend’s church, stood in a long line outside the area where he was appearing and…never got in! We ended up seeing the Pope on a big screen TV through the window of a bar! Although I would have preferred to make it inside, the vibe was really positive and it ended up being a fun day.

World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine: Road quality! I live in the Detroit area and the roads are just terrible—a combination of truck traffic and money issues. It’s become “someone else’s” problem for everyone.