Ohio State takes home third-year EcoCAR 3 win

Posted: May 26, 2017

The Ohio State University took home first place in the third year of EcoCAR 3, an Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and General Motors Co.

Ohio State EcoCAR is a student-run team out of the Center for Automotive Research, led by electrical and computer engineering student Andrew Huster. The team is made up of scholars in other Ohio State disciplines, such as Industrial Systems, Mechanical Engineering and Communications.

The team was recognized for its outstanding performance across all events of the competition, taking home 15 awards and over $20,000 in award money.

“I’m extremely proud of all the talented people on the team and the hard work they gave to the project,” Huster said. “It’s been an honor to be the team leader. And it’s great to finish up my EcoCAR experience with a win.”

Watch a video of the team accepting the award. Find more pictures of the team here as well.

“They’re the best prepared OSU team that I’ve brought to an EcoCAR competition.” Faculty Advisor, Dr. Shawn Midlam-Mohler, said. “They set the stage for a great competition by putting over 2000 miles on the car prior to coming, and gave so much of their time to the competition.”

"We need affordable, secure, domestic, and clean energy technologies to move people and goods across America. Developing innovative technologies that improve vehicle efficiency and enhance mobility will grow our economy and create jobs," said Acting Assistant Secretary for EERE, Daniel Simmons. "Students in the EcoCAR 3 program are our future technology leaders that will keep the American automotive industry moving forward."

EcoCAR 3 is a four-year collegiate engineering program that builds on the successful 26-year history of Department of Energy Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions by giving engineering students the chance to design and build advanced vehicles that demonstrate leading-edge automotive technologies.

In addition to the coveted trophy and bragging rights, the Buckeyes become this year's best and brightest students in automotive engineering as they unlock solutions to our nation's transportation and energy challenges. The team earned 853.7 out of 1000 overall points while also taking the top spot in multiple categories including, but not limited to Project Management, Vehicle Design Review and Emissions & Energy Consumption. 

EcoCAR 3 is the latest Energy Department Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) series and challenges 16 North American university teams to redesign a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro by incorporating cutting-edge advanced powertrains as well as emerging connected and automated vehicle technologies that are helping to re-invent the future of mobility. During development and demonstration, teams must also maintain the engineering mastery and expectations of this iconic American car. EcoCAR 3 teams have four years (2014-2018) to harness those ideas into the ultimate energy-efficient, high performance vehicle. 

The competition included a week of rigorous safety, technical, drive quality and emissions testing of the team Camaros at GM's Milford Proving Ground in Milford, Michigan. Next, teams had several days of presentations to show judges how they have developed as the next generation of engineers and business leaders who will be better prepared for the auto industry and related careers. Presentations took place in Washington, D.C., with students judged by industry and government officials. 

"EcoCAR3 is a great program that fosters future generations of automotive engineers and business people, encouraging them to become true innovators," said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. "This year's winners – and all the teams – are proof of that. It's a competition that GM is proud to support." 

This year, the teams gained hands-on experience by building and refining their advanced technology vehicles, and incorporated an industry-standard multi-year vehicle development process. Teams were able to achieve their goal of presenting a fully integrated vehicle capable of driving in both electric and conventional mode while sustaining a charge.

AVTCs have long provided a real-world training ground that transcends the traditional classroom for college students. Through EcoCAR 3, teams are able to demonstrate emerging automotive technologies to help strengthen American competitiveness. 

"Ohio State fully integrated their vehicle with impressive attention to details, and they managed to maintain the legacy of the Camaro while moving it into the future," said Kristen Wahl, director of the Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition at Argonne National Laboratory. "Innovative thinking and tireless devotion clearly contributed to the team's success." 

“It was awesome winning the Best Project Status Presentation and First-Place Project Management award,” Project Manager, recently graduated Nick Tomczak, said. “It’s been really great to have a team behind me who supported me and worked diligently to produce a reliable vehicle.”

Year Three might have just ended, but the team is already looking forward to Year Four, the final year of the competition. Brandon Bishop, a first-year Master’s student majoring in mechanical engineering, will be stepping up into the Team Leader/Engineering Manager role next year.

“I’m really glad to step into a higher leadership role and looking forward to continuing our tradition of excellence.” Bishop says. “Everyone is so great to work with and coming off a win, everyone is going to be really motivated to keep it going and will be working hard all year long.”

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Georgia Tech took second and third place respectively. The student teams have now developed and integrated their energy efficient powertrains to maximize performance while retaining the safety and high consumer standards of the Chevrolet Camaro. In the final year of competition, teams will focus on controls refinement and market engagement. 

Additional sponsors joining the DOE and GM include: MathWorks; National Science Foundation; California Air Resources Board; NXP; AVL Powertrain Engineering; Robert Bosch, LLC; ETAS; PACCAR; dSPACE, Inc.; Snap-on Tools; Siemens PLM Software; GKN Driveline; Transportation Research Center (TRC, Inc.); DENSO; Champlain Cable Corp.; Woodward; Proterra; Ricardo; Mentor Graphics; New Eagle; tesa tape; Vector CANtech, Inc.; Delphi Foundation; EcoMotors; Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.; A123 Systems; Flextronics; and Samsung SDI.

EcoCAR 3 industry sponsors have provided more than $6.1 million in hardware and cash donations, as well as $911 million in software to the 16 participating universities in the first three years. To learn more about the EcoCAR 3 program, please visit www.ecocar3.org

About EcoCAR 3
EcoCAR 3 is a four-year collegiate engineering program that builds on the successful 26-year history of Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTC) by giving engineering students the chance to design and build advanced vehicles that demonstrate leading-edge automotive technologies. General Motors provides each of the 16 competing teams with a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, as well as vehicle components, seed money, technical mentoring and operational support. The DOE and its research and development facility, Argonne National Laboratory, provide competition management, team evaluation and logistical support. Through this important public/private partnership, EcoCAR 3 provides invaluable experience and training to promising young minds entering the North American job market. 


Story via EcoCar 3 and Center for Automotive Research