U.S. Department Of Energy, General Motors, Students Engineer Fantastic Finish to EcoCAR 2

By Dora Smith

Ohio State University at the 'finish line' for the Year Three competition
Students who participated in EcoCAR 2 reached the checkered flag in the competition on L’Enfant Plaza in Washington D.C. outside the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) headquarters earlier this month.

EcoCAR is a unique real-world multi-year collegiate engineering competition. EcoCAR 2 challenged 15 North American universities to reduce the environmental impact of a Chevrolet Malibu without compromising performance, safety and consumer acceptability. That required students to develop strengths in hybrid technologies, engineering and manufacturing, as well as business and communication.

The official Year Three Competition photo!

For the final competition, students spent one week at the GM Milford Proving Grounds, where their vehicles underwent testing in areas such as emissions and energy consumption, safety and performance. Then they went to Washington D.C. to present final presentations in mechanical, electrical, controls, business and communications.

“For the past three years all 15 EcoCAR 2 teams have worked tirelessly to design the next generation of clean vehicles and we have seen exceptional outcomes,” said Ken Morris, vice president, global product integrity, General Motors. “Ohio State stood out amongst the competition and truly did an outstanding job. All of the teams have helped advance innovative vehicle technology and improve the automotive industry and we thank them for their hard work, dedication and enthusiasm for this program.”
full press announcement (PDF)

While there were many awards giving to these dedicated student engineers, business leaders and communicators, the overall winners were:

  1. The Ohio State University

  2. University of Washington

  3. Penn State University

  4. Purdue University

  5. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

  6. Virginia Tech

I was fortunate enough to attend and judge the final outreach communications presentations in D.C., which gave me a chance to see and hear more from these inspiring students.

Check out what’s under the hood of Embry-Riddle’s EcoEagles vehicle.

ecocar, software for student engineers ecocar, software for students

The team received awards for most improved team, best vehicle design review presentation as well as most creative promotion of EcoCAR.

I asked Tom Gorgia of Embry-Riddle to share more on what the team did in year three of the competition. Learn how the team applied Embry-Riddle’s aeronautical strengths to automotive design.

Mississippi State University was the top overall winner in year one of the competition. While they didn’t score as high this year, they did place third in communications and received an innovation award.
engineering student software cad software for students

Wesley Haney (fourth from left in the team photo above) tells us more about how the team uses software in each of the three years of the competition.

Wesley shared these pictures of their NX analysis results for their aluminum trailer hitch and carbon fiber support structure designed in year three.

ecocar software for students

ecocar software for students


The Ohio State was the top overall winner at the competition, including awards for lowest petroleum energy use, lowest criteria emissions, best static consumer acceptability, as well as first place in business and communications.
engineering software for students cad software for students
The team’s design reduced emissions in half compared to the base vehicle, reaching 50 miles per gallon gas equivalent using 315 watts-hour per mile. Beyond a great design with great results, this team took the EcoCAR message into their community to win first place in communications.

Communications manager Sarah Jadwin received the award for best outreach event presentation. She shares what her three-year EcoCAR experience has meant to hear:

Check out more of the students’ work and fun on the Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition Flickr feed. Learn more about EcoCAR 2 in these stories:

Siemens PLM Software sponsors the EcoCAR 2 real-world competition to encourage students to develop skills in PLM software. Join us as we continue to develop highly trained students in EcoCAR 3.

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