Hybrid High Performance

Embry-Riddle takes eight first-place awards at national EcoCAR 3 competition

The Embry-Riddle EcoEagles’ Eco Super Sport (ESS) Chevrolet Camaro came in first place for Consumer Appeal, Craftsmanship, Autocross, Handling and Braking, and finished second-place overall at the year three EcoCAR 3 contest.

In all, the multidisciplinary student team at the Daytona Beach Campus earned eight first-place awards and $15,500 in prize money at the collegiate advanced vehicle technology competition held May 14-25.

The EcoCAR 3 challenge is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and General Motors (GM), and is managed by Argonne National Laboratory. Its goal: to cultivate the next generation of automotive engineers. University students from 16 schools are redesigning a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro into a high-performance hybrid-electric vehicle, while demonstrating technologies of interest to the DOE and the automotive industry.

“The EcoEagles team worked extremely hard all year and deserves the credit for the results,” says Patrick Currier, associate professor of mechanical engineering and faculty adviser for EcoCAR 3.

Contributing to the team’s competitive edge was an in-kind software grant with a commercial value of $36 million from Siemens PLM Software.

“This software allows our students to design the car in 3-D and analyze different parts to predict how the products will react to real-world forces like vibration and heat,” Currier says. “It’s an invaluable educational tool for our team.”

The EcoCAR program has become a career pathway for a number of Embry-Riddle graduates. GM hired six members of the EcoEagles this year and others have jobs and internships elsewhere as a result of EcoCAR, Currier adds.