And the Winner is…

By Jennifer Bradford

EcoCAR 3 is America’s premier collegiate automotive engineering competition. The competition runs in a four-year cycle and challenges 16 teams to take a stock Camaro, generously provided by General Motors, and turn them into “the ultimate energy-efficient, high performance vehicle”.


Along with the US Department of Energy and General Motors, Siemens is proud to sponsor EcoCAR 3 and thrilled with the innovative ways that the teams used our software to their best advantage. From designing custom gearboxes to simulating the routing of coolent hoses to the massive data management tasks required to manage a rotating team of student engineers through a massive vehicle overhaul and a four-year chunk of time – these students made incredible use of NX, Simcenter, Teamcenter and Mentor software!

41281921005_943f30730f_z.jpgThis year the Ohio State University won its fourth consecutive EcoCAR 3 Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition. “Our team philosophy focused on building students instead of building a car,” said NSF Outstanding Faculty Award winner and Ohio State University team faculty advisor, Dr. Shawn Midlam-Mohler. “By prioritizing student potential and team culture, we were able to not only be competitive in each of the major areas, but ultimately win overall.” West Virginia University and the University of Alabama took second and third place in the competition, respectively.

This year’s competition began at the GM Desert Proving Grounds in Yuma, AZ, where all 16 teams went over their systems with a fine-toothed comb and made last-minute adjustments. They faced the first hurdle of safety and technical inspections during long days in the garage. Check out these highlights!

nightdrive.jpg The next event was a 90-mile night drive from Yuma to Pomona. The cool desert night provides an ideal testing environment for the Emissions and Energy Consumption portion of the competition, evaluating energy consumption, tailpipe emissions, greenhouse gas emissions and petroleum energy use. According to Patrick Walsh, Event Captain for the E&EC event, “there are more scorpions and coyotes out and about in the desert at night,” he joked. “But the biggest challenge for students is really to build a reliable vehicle propulsion system that can not only finish the long test but also improve upon the baseline vehicle in all scored categories.”

Once at the Auto Club Speedway in Pomona, teams spent several days competing in the Consumer Appeal, Acceleration and Autocross events with an audience of stakeholders, sponsors and other invited guests. Virginia Tech took first place in the Autocross and accepted their first place trophy from none other than Al Oppenheiser, Camaro Chief Engineer at General Motors. 

Congratulations to all fo the teams that participated in EcoCAR 3!

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at