The WSU EcoCAR 2 Team

Choose_Team Advisors AVTC Alumni Officers Members

Personal note from our Chief Engineer, Kevin Snyder:

"For several years I have been looking for a graduate degree program that is multi-disciplinary with an emphasis on EV & HEV and minimal prerequisites.  A few years back, there were graduate programs in Automotive Engineering, but they only offered one class focused on EV & HEV. 

In 2010, all that changed.  Wayne State began offering a graduate degree program in Electric-drive Vehicle Engineering (EVE) and I attended the very first class held (2010 Fall semester). The EVE program got a huge boost from WSU earning a spot in the EcoCAR2 competition - the Department of Energy's Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) for students at universities, managed by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL).

EcoCAR2 is a student's best way to get hands-on experience and real world skills that automotive employers are looking for beyond the required classroom education.  Think of it as a job training program for future automotive engineers and also for established engineers looking to retool their skill set.  EcoCAR2 helps focus existing WSU classroom courses and labs on problem solving of automotive systems created through the required EcoCAR2 deliverables throughout the 3 years competition.  This rounds out a student's educational experience between theory in the classroom and hands-on in the lab/garage using common automotive industry standard tools. As an EcoCAR 2 team we now have exclusive access to:

  • A brand new Hardware in the Loop Test Lab setup donated by dSPACE. dSPACE is used by the major automotive companies.
  • A brand new Vehicle Garage in Engineering Technology for hybridizing the GM donated conventional vehicle (Chevrolet Malibu).
  • A brand new High Voltage Component Lab (Battery Pack, Battery Charger, Motor, Motor Controller, DC-DC Converter, wiring) within the Vehicle Garage.
  • Industry standard CAD software (Siemens UGNX 7.5) combined with the GM provided CAD files for the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu - a huge set of CAD files to  learn and modify for our hybridization project, it doesn't get any more real world relevant than this.
  • Industry standard Controls software (Mathworks MATLAB/Simulink with full toolbox) for vehicle controls development.
  • Industry standard CFD software (CD-Adapco STAR-CCM+) for vehicle aerodynamics and thermal systems analysis including battery design studio.
  • Industry standard Vehicle CAN hardware & software (Vector CANalyzer) used to capture data for diagnosing mechanical, electrical, and control issues.
  • Vehicle Fuel Economy modeling and simulation software (ANL Autonomie) in the Engineering Building Computer Lab 2360.
  • You get out of EcoCAR2 what you put in to it. I’ve found 12 published SAE papers that came out of the previous competition, EcoCAR.

    I’m arranging my Master’s Degree around my EcoCAR2 work, it is the highlight of my academic experience.  I recognize it is a rare and incredible opportunity to work on things that are beyond classroom lectures and tests, that is delivering real results that are test driven at competition, scored and ranked against the other teams, and finally to be able to work on a task in depth over several semesters, resulting in writing a research paper with the hope of getting it published.

    Aim Higher – Aim Hybrid!"

    Kevin_Letter