Personal note from our former Mechanical Team Leader, Rahul Harish (2011-2012):

"EcoCAR is an unparalleled learning experience, but little is possible without the guidance and support of the faculty advisor. Dr. Ku has been the guiding light for an underdog team that has no previous experience with Advanced Vehicle Technologies Competitions. His "figure it out instead of looking for ready made answers" approach demonstrated that any task can be conquered if there’s the will to follow through. It was hard in the beginning, but Dr. Ku’s faith in the team and consistent support has taught us two things - perseverance and endurance. These aren’t things one learns in a classroom but rather by experience. These skills stay for life, and Dr. Ku has paved us the way to get there.

Wayne State suffered a big blow since the Fall of last year when the State of Michigan cut down on University funding. Dr. Ku’s foresight and position as the Director of the Electric Drive Vehicle Engineering program at WSU helped him convince the the College of Engineering to pursue in this priceless opportunity. He convinced them to invest in the three years program and in a team of fresh faces with no proven track record. It was a bold step, but Dr. Ku made that move and we now find ourselves entering the end of Year 1. The ride has been bumpy from the start. It wasn’t easy finding ourselves a garage space but with Dr. Ku’s tireless efforts and the organizers’ support we secured a space and prepared it in record time for the EcoCAR inspection (less than a month). When it came to the team and its members, it never felt like Dr. Ku was watching us through a magnifying glass, though the pressure on him as the faculty advisor is always high. He understands students' psychology and the harm that over-pressure can have on performance. He always "took the fall" with us when we didn’t perform well, but showered everyone with praise when things went right. Dr. Ku has been a father figure to the team and less of a boss, which makes the team feel like a family more than an obligation.

I was just another graduate student when I joined Wayne State. One year went by with me just taking classes, completing assignments and watching T.V. It was just before summer of 2011 when it was announced that we made it into EcoCAR 2 and I happened to take Dr. Ku’s class for the first time. It was known as one of the hardest courses one can take at WSU. I took it as a challenge and at the end, learned I was capable of much more than I thought I was. Dr. Ku’s classes make you realize that.

Isn’t that what life’s about? Discovering yourself when you step out of your comfort zone and once you make it through, know that you’re actually made for better things. So what I did was I took another course of his next semester in the Fall..."

Rahul Letter

Faculty Advisors

Dr. Jerry Ku -

Lead Faculty Advisor

Professor Ku is the Lead Faculty Advisor for the Wayne State EcoCAR 2 Team, and a veteran in hybrid studies. He currently serves as Director of Undergraduate Studies and associate professor in the WSU Mechanical Engineering Department, as well as director of both the Alternative Energy Technology Graduate Program, and director of the Electric-drive Vehicle Engineering Graduate Program at the WSU College of Engineering. Professor Ku has been honored with the WSU Engineering Outstanding Faculty Award, WSU Career Development Chair Award and the NASA/ASEE Summer Faculty Fellowship.

Dr. Jane Fitzgibbon -

Outreach Advisor

Jane Fitzgibbon is the Faculty Advisor for Outreach for the WSU EcoCAR 2 Team. She holds a PhD. in communication, with a focus on rhetoric in organizational crisis and change, and is currently a WSU lecturer and the Director of the Business Communication Course. Professor Fitzgibbon’s interests include ice skating, and she is a member of the National Communication Association and the National Communication Association. She says, “EcoCAR2 is a perfect opportunity to actively engage students to enhance their academic learning.”

Dr. Simon Ng -

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Simon Ng is the Interim Associate Dean for Research in the WSU College of Engineering. He has been honored with the Gershenson Distinguished Faculty Award
President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, WSU, Excellence in Teaching Award, College of Engineering, Outstanding Teaching Award, College of Engineering, Career Development Chair Award, ANR Faculty Research Award.

Dr. Le Yi Wang -

Faculty Advisor

Professor Le Wang teaches at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He has won many awards including: The Research Initiation Award of the National Science Foundation, The Faculty Internship Award of the National Science Foundation, The Outstanding Teaching Award, College of Engineering, Wayne State University. Dr. Wang is an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, International Journal of Control and Intelligent Systems and Journal of Control Theory and Applications and the Editor of the Journal of System Sciences and Complexity.

Dr. Dennis A. Corrigan -

Faculty Advisor

Research Professor Dennis A. Corrigan is an inventor on 19 issued U.S. patents. He has published 68 papers in technical journals and proceedings volumes as well as three edited books on batteries, hydrogen storage materials, and electrochromic devices and a book chapter on “Batteries for Electric and Hybrid Vehicles” in Linden’s Handbook of Batteries (2010).He is affiliated with the National Academies Committee to Review US DRIVE 2011-2012 and a Reviewer for DOE EERE Annual Merit Reviews 2011-2012. He was also serving as the Detroit Section Chairmen of The Electrochemical Society. He has given over 100 presentations including 40 invited presentations in different conferences and events.