The time has now arrived for the EcoCAR 3 Kickoff Workshop! Over the next two days, more than 150 students and sponsors will be in Novi, Michigan for the first official event of the EcoCAR 3 series. Students will take part in specific software training from MathWorks and Siemens, as well as project management training from EarthPM. Teams will also participate in sessions covering topics like the Year One Rules, Vehicle Development Process, and an overview of the Chevrolet Camaro from Al Oppenheiser, General Motors Chief Engineer for the Chevrolet Camaro.
Students and sponsors during the EcoCAR 3 Plenary Session
The EcoCAR 3 workshop will be held in conjunction with the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo and The Battery Show. When the EcoCAR 3 students are not in training sessions for the competition, they have the ability to network with Expo exhibitors and sponsors. In addition, the EcoCAR 3 Chevrolet Camaro as well as Wayne State’s EcoCAR 2 vehicle will be on display at the Expo. If you are attending, stop by Booth E361 to talk to students and organizers about the program.
The EcoCAR 3 Booth at the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo
We are excited to be in Novi over the next two days for the EcoCAR 3 Workshop! Check back on social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for daily updates and photos from the workshop and Expo.
During the Kickoff Workshop, EcoCAR 3 teams will get an overview of the competition, including the vehicle development process, multi-disciplinary swimlanes, event rules, and non-year specific rules. Teams will also take part in sponsor training, including MathWorks MATLAB and Simulink, Siemens NX, and project management training, as well as attend a Sponsor Social Network and Recruiting Event in Novi.
Registration for the Kickoff Workshop is now live so talk with your faculty advisor or project manager for more information!
Team Tennessee benefits greatly from its EcoCAR 2 sponsors. Without their support, the vehicle development process just would not happen. A vital tool in the team’s process is the software provided by MathWorks.
“We are able to make smart decisions and overcome design challenges based on feedback from MATLAB, Simulink and Stateflow,” said controls group leader, Michael Potts. “With the support of built-in reference material, discussion boards and a MathWorks mentor, Team Tennessee is set up to succeed in this Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC).”
This past Fall, team members were welcomed at the MathWorks headquarters in Natick, MA for the Year Three Fall Workshop for instruction and collaboration. Ryan Schimmel, a controls team member, said that the “Fall Workshop was not just a learning experience, but also powerful demonstration of the power of Simulink. The program like a logic breadboard – the possible applications are exciting.”
The opportunity to apply cutting edge software to this hands-on project prepares AVTC students for a professional engineering position upon graduation. “Because MATLAB and Simulink are steadily becoming industry standard for vehicle prototyping, employers instantly value the experience with MathWorks I gained through EcoCAR 2,” said controls team member Jake Hollingsworth.
Learn more about Team Tennessee’s collaboration with MathWorks in the video below!
MATLAB and Simulink are pretty important programs for many EcoCAR 2 teams. It’s nearly impossible to write model-based design code without such programs – and thanks to one generous sponsor, the Penn State Advanced Vehicle Team (AVT) won’t ever have to experience this.
PSU AVT engineers graduate with unparalleled, hands-on automotive experience, but getting there would be nearly impossible without the help of one company: MathWorks.
In 1984, Jack Little and Cleve Moler recognized the need among engineers and scientists for more powerful and productive computation environments. To address this need, they co-founded MathWorks and created MATLAB and Simulink, two leading pieces model-based design and simulation software, respectively.
Brad Hieb, principle application engineer, said MathWorks contributes to EcoCAR 2 because it allows the company to invest in the future of students.
“We support the next generation of scientists and engineers,” Hieb said. “They’re going to be productive on the job right at day one.”
According to PSU AVT team leader Chris Golecki, access to MATLAB and Simulink is one of the reasons PSU AVT has found success throughout the competition.
“Without these programs, we’d have to use some other programming language to write our code,” Golecki said. “For us, Simulink is the keystone to our algorithm bridge.”
To learn more about the team’s collaboration with MathWorks, watch the video below!
Advanced Technology Vehicle Competition (AVTC) alumnus Andy Garcia was part of The Ohio State University team during the first two years of the EcoCAR 2 competition. Andy was the Engine Team Leader and worked on the development and calibration of the software used on the engine.
Andy now works as an Engine Calibration Verification Engineer for General Motors in Milford, Michigan. He specifically works on verifying engine calibrations for the extended range electric vehicles, like the Chevrolet Volt and Cadillac ELR. Thanks to his involvement in EcoCAR, Andy was better prepared to move into the automotive industry.
Andy (left) pictured with Pete Maloney of MathWorks (center) and OSU’s Year Two Team Leader Katherine Bovee (right) at the Year Two Competition Finals
“EcoCAR allowed me to gain hands-on experience and leadership skills that I utilize daily in my job,” said Andy. “The knowledge and contacts I obtained during EcoCAR 2 did a lot to prepare me for this position.”
Last week, EcoCAR 2 students who attended the Fall Workshop were able to get hands-on training from competition-level sponsors MathWorks, dSPACE, and Freescale.
While the training sessions allowed teams to interact with the sponsors, they were also able to learn about the donated hardware and software. Mathworks hosted three days of MATLAB and Simulink training, which educated teams on how to develop control simulations for their plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
In addition, dSPACE provided training on their MicroAutoBox, which allows better controller functionality and testing data for teams, and Freescale provided training on their donated touch screens and software for teams who are designing personalized center stacks.
Learn more about how MathWorks, dSPACE, and Freescale software and hardware are helping EcoCAR 2 students become the future of the automobile industry:
A University of Waterloo connects with Siemens at the Fall Workshop
Faculty Advisor David Blekham (left) talks with Bosch at the Sponsor Social
The final Fall Workshop of the EcoCAR 2 series is officially underway at MathWorks’ headquarters in Natick, MA!
The workshop, which began Wednesday evening with student registration, features a variety of training sessions for EcoCAR 2 teams. These training sessions will help prepare teams for the Year Three deliverables and will provide teams the understanding and knowledge to refine their plug-in hybrid electric vehicles throughout Year Three.
Designing and building an advanced hybrid vehicle is no easy task; it takes multiple years and many skilled engineers to produce a consumer vehicle. The EcoCAR 2 team at Ohio State faces these challenges daily.
The team decided to use a 1.8L 4-cylinder high compression ratio engine that has been calibrated for E85 fuel. This specific type of fuel was chosen for its high octane rating, which can produce higher efficiencies leading to better overall fuel economy. Calibrating the engine to run on E85 fuel was a difficult task because it required the team to program a complete engine control algorithm from the ground up. But, with the work of many Ohio State students, including engine control systems lead Andy Garcia, the code was completed using Simulink from Mathworks. As a result of these ambitious efforts, the engine can achieve best-in-class efficiency for a spark ignition engine at 40 percent brake thermal efficiency.
In Year Three, Ohio State will try to improve on this already highly efficient engine. Some of the improvements include heated fuel injectors and active knock control. The heated fuel injectors will help improve the start-up of the vehicle in colder conditions by heating the fuel before reaching the combustion chamber. Also, the heated fuel injectors will assist in reducing tailpipe emissions. The active knock control will allow the engine to push the limits of spark advance, creating higher efficiencies.
There is a lot of work ahead to be completed, but the team is excited and ready for the challenge!
Lauren Tabolinksy, Student Competition Program Specialist at MathWorks, shares her thoughts and congratulations with the winners of the Year Two MathWorks Modeling Award:
This year, MathWorks sponsored a Modeling Award for the Year Two Competition. EcoCAR 2 teams were assessed on how well they applied Model-Based Design concepts using MathWorks tools, including the key areas of plant modeling, control design and tuning, data analysis, industrial grade model-based design development process elements and lessons learned.
Eleven EcoCAR 2 teams participated in the MathWorks Modeling Award this year, and in the end, the University of Victoria took home the top prize. They used online and offline parallel optimization of fuel economy at the vehicle level and MathWorks was very impressed with the enthusiasm and professionalism of the student presenters.