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Four-peat! Ohio State wins national EcoCAR 3 competition

Student engineer team named best in nation in contest to redesign a Chevy Camaro

EcoCAR 3 Year 4 Competition

The Ohio State University won first place in the final year of EcoCAR 3, an Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors Co. This is the fourth consecutive win for the Buckeyes.

EcoCAR 3 is a four-year collegiate automotive engineering competition that challenges 16 North American universities to redesign a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro to further reduce its environmental impact while maintaining the iconic Camaro performance and safety.

In addition to the coveted first-place trophy and bragging rights, the Buckeyes will also take home $33,000 to further support the university’s advanced vehicle technology program.

“This year the students excelled at both the pre-competition deliverable, the oral report, and the presentations,” said Ohio State team faculty adviser Shawn Midlam-Mohler. “Our students are able to build a great car, but they’re also able to communicate in both written and oral communication – the thought process, the design, the validation – all of that effort that goes into building a car.”

“But our overall team philosophy focused on building students instead of building a car.”

Ohio State’s team was in first place going into the competition and earned 895 out of 1,000 overall points.
EcoCar Team

“The biggest challenge for Year Four was really just creating a vehicle that was better than we had in Year Three and being able to get at this performance aspect of a hybrid-electric vehicle while also focusing very heavily on reducing emissions,” said Briana Antinoro, co-communications manager for the team. “We get very hands-on. We work with every component within the car.”

Ohio State’s crew won 18 awards, including the NSF Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Award, the NSF Outstanding Advisor Award (Midlam-Mohler) and the first place NSF Innovation Award.

Individual team members also earned awards, including electrical team lead Kerri Loyd, who received the General Motors Rookie in Engineering Award.

One feature that set apart the Buckeyes’ vehicle from their competitors is its electrically heated catalyst that reduced startup emissions by 85 percent.

“We actually had fuel economy that was 20 percent higher than our next competitor in that area,” said team lead and engineering manager Brandon Bishop.

West Virginia University and the University of Alabama took second and third place in the competition, respectively.

In addition to sweeping all four years of EcoCAR 3, in 2014 the Buckeyes also captured top honors in the final year of the EcoCAR 2: Plugging In To The Future competition.

“EcoCAR3 is a great program that fosters future generations of automotive engineers and business people, encouraging them to become true innovators,” said Ken Morris, General Motors vice president of Global Product Programs. “This year’s winners – and all the teams – are proof of that. It’s a competition that GM is proud to support.”

The Ohio State EcoCAR sponsors include Parker-Hannifin, Cooper Tires, Clean Fuels Ohio, Transportation Research Center, TE Connectivity, Johnson Controls, Parker, Tremec, Ford, Honda, 3dparts.com and Modern Driveline.

The EcoCAR 3 competition is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors. Additional sponsors include MathWorks; National Science Foundation; California Air Resources Board; NXP; AVL Powertrain Engineering; the Bosch Group; ETAS; PACCAR; dSpace, Inc.; Snap-on Tools; Siemens PLM Software; GKN Driveline; Transportation Research Center; HORIBA; DENSO; Champlain Cable; Woodward; Proterra; Ricardo; Mentor Automotive; New Eagle; Gage Products; Tesa Tape; Vector CANtech, Inc.; Delphi Foundation; EcoMotors; Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.; A123 Systems; Flextronics; and Samsung, SDI.