EcoCAR 3 was an AVTC sponsored by the US DOE and General Motors that took place from 2014 to 2018. I
participated in years one, two, and three (2014-2017), first as a subteam leader (years one and
two), and later engineering manager and team leader (year three) of the Ohio State team.
EcoCAR 3 challenged 16 North American universities to re-engineer a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro into a
performance hybrid vehicle, reducing energy consumption and improving efficiency while maintaining
performance and consumer appeal.
The Ohio State team won all four years of the competition.
In Year One, the design year, I was the electrical subteam leader, consulting on the selection of the
hybrid vehicle architecture and components we intended to use. I was also responsible for designing
the low voltage and high voltage systems and the controller networks we expected to integrate into
the vehicle based on our selected architecture. I also spent the year training and preparing many
new electrical team members on all the skills they would need to integrate electrical systems into
the vehicle in Year Two.
Additionally, I was the leader of the Innovation team. Each team was required to do an
"innovation" project during the competition, with the intention of incentivizing taking on
a high-risk, high-reward project. Ohio State's project for the first two years was called DRIVE:
Recommendation for Increased Vehicle Efficiency. This was envisioned as a driver feedback system
that would precalculate the optimal route and energy-optimal speed over that route and provide
feedback to the driver to maintain that speed to optimize vehicle energy usage. It would also have
requested changes in the vehicle's hybrid operating mode, if applicable.
I also contributed heavily to the team's Trade Show presentation, which is intended to simulate a
booth and pitch at a trade show. I helped design and implement the audio/visual aspects of the
pitch, including the interactive presentation the team used. Ohio State won Best Trade Show
I gave Ohio State's Winter Workshop and Final Competition Innovation presentations in Year One,
which were both awarded First Place.
In Year Two, we took delivery of our Camaro and began integrating components and systems into it,
with the goal of acheiving a "50% buyoff" vehicle by the end of the competition year.
I was responsible for the design and integration of the [High Voltage Energy Storage System], which
was a major focus of the year. I also led the integration of the high and low voltage systems,
including adding fuse boxes, relays, controllers, inverters, and many other components. Concerns
here included wire sizing, routing, mounting, strain relief, abrasion protection, and
electromagnetic interference. I also led the construction and validation of the Controller Area
Networks (CAN) that the team added into the vehicle, as well as integration into the existing CAN
networks of the vehicle.
In Year Three, I became the Team Leader, responsible for coordinating the activities of the various
subteams to get the vehicle to as refined a state as possible. Our team was about 50 members this year. The most difficult task was balancing the need to test the vehicle to refine and test the control system with the need to do some serious overhauls of certain parts of the vehicle.