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The current Ohio State University and Wilberforce University EcoCAR team consists of 10 hardworking team leads and many team members who make up the five sub-teams in our organization. The team aims to not only excel in the competition but also to provide all of its members with hands-on experience that can be put to use both in the classroom and in the real world.

The Ohio State team has performed well in previous  EcoCAR competitions, placing first overall during Year 1 of EcoCAR Mobility Challenge. In the last year of that competition, the team also placed second overall and received awards in dSPACE Leadership in Validation and AAM workmanship.

Sustaining its momentum, the team is excited to partner with Wilberforce University and has  three priorities for EcoCAR EV Challenge: Achieving total job placement for both full-time and internships, increasing diversity and female involvement, and winning this year’s competition.

The team is also continuing to improve its community outreach by connecting with students of all ages and many different schools in the Columbus and Wilberforce area. Plus, it aims to increase its involvement with other organizations at The Ohio State University.


The Ohio State University and Wilberforce University EcoCAR team strives to provide students with the skills and experience necessary to push the envelope of vehicle and sustainable technology, embrace diversity and foster a competitive spirit in both the EcoCAR EV Challenge competition and in their future careers.

The team’s overall goal is to deliver a competition-ready vehicle each competition year, following the General Motors Vehicle Development Path that meets or exceeds the technical requirements provided by sponsors.


  • Increase diversity and the number of women on the EcoCAR team. Currently, the team is predominately made up of male students. Out of the ten team lead positions available, only two are held by women. Thus, as the team continues to recruit undergraduate students, it is focusing on empowering female STEM students to join male-dominated areas and challenge societal norms. It is also increasing diversity by prioritizing building relationships with different Ohio State organizations.
  • Achieve 100% job placement for full-time jobs and seasonal internships. One way the team is working to achieve this is by holding career-prep seminars, where it provides the opportunity for team members to get new headshots taken, have their resume reviewed and edited and receive help with navigating career-focused websites such as LinkedIn and Handshake. It has also been promoting and utilizing the career fairs held by EcoCAR.

Team Members

Dr. Shawn Midlam-Mohler

Lead Faculty Advisor - The Ohio State University

LinkedIn Profile

Shawn Midlam-Mohler is the director of the Ohio State University Simulation Innovation and Modeling Center and professor of practice in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department. His research interests are in the area of design, system modeling, applied controls and systems engineering. He has over 100 patents and peer-reviewed publications and his main research focus is in the area of advanced automotive systems with a focus on energy and emissions. His teaching interests range over courses covering design, simulation, project management, and system engineering.

Dr. Deok Hee Nam

Faculty Co-Advisor - Wilberforce University

Deok Hee Nam has taught computer science and computer engineering at Wilberforce University since 2003. He is currently the co-faculty advisor for the team.

Dr. Giorgio Rizzoni

Lead Connected Automated Vehicle Systems Faculty Advisor - The Ohio State University

LinkedIn Profile

Giorgio Rizzoni, the Ford Motor Company Chair in ElectroMechanical Systems, is a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and of electrical and computer engineering at The Ohio State University.

He received his B.S. (ECE) in 1980, his M.S. (ECE) in 1982, his Ph.D. (ECE) in 1986, all from the University of Michigan. Since 1999, he has been the director of the Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research, an interdisciplinary university research center in the OSU College of Engineering. His research activities are related to modeling, control and diagnosis of advanced propulsion systems, vehicle fault diagnosis and prognosis, electrified powertrains and energy storage systems, vehicle safety and intelligence, and sustainable mobility. He is currently leading an ARPA-E project in the NEXTCAR program.

Daxil Chhatralia

Project Manager - The Ohio State University

LinkedIn Profile

Daxil is a graduate mechanical engineering student with a passion for cars. He’s been on the PSI sub-team for four years. This year he is leading the SDI sub team.

In his free time, he likes to go on hikes and take landscape photographs. He also loves going on long distance drives.

Dominic Dallago

Propulsion, Controls & Modeling Co-Lead - The Ohio State University

LinkedIn Profile

Dominic is graduate mechanical engineering student from Arizona. He is new to the team and will be leading the PCM modeling and control efforts this competition.

In his free time, he loves to be in nature and to go hiking and fishing. His dream car is a slammed Chevy C-10 with huge subs.

Pranay Ketineni

Propulsion, Controls, & Modeling Co-Lead - The Ohio State University

LinkedIn Profile

Pranay is a graduate mechanical engineering student. He is interested in European cars and passionate about understanding machines. He’s been with the team as a controls member through EMC Y4 and will be leading the PCM team developing the controller this competition.

He loves to collect Hot Wheels and produce travel vlogs.

Patrick Rukundo

Propulsion, Controls and Modeling Lead - Wilberforce University

Patrick Rukundo is the software verification lead at Wilberforce University. This fall, he will be a entering his junior year of his electrical engineering degree.

One fun fact about Patrick is that picked up golf in the summer of 2020 and plays for the university team.

Grace Yeh

Communications Manager - The Ohio State University

LinkedIn Profile

Grace Yeh is graduating in May 2024 from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a specialization in marketing and a minor in professional writing. This will be her second year as communications manager for the OSU/WU EcoCAR team.

Born and raised in Emerson, New Jersey, she is a lover of books, rock climbing and writing.

Katherine Zepeda-Romero

Equity in Mobility Lead / DEI Manager - The Ohio State University

LinkedIn Profile 

Katherine Zepeda-Romero is the equity in mobility leader from Westerville, Ohio, deeply committed to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Having transitioned from three years in the aerospace field, she is now driven to gain industry insights from the automotive space.

Beyond her professional pursuits, she’s an active member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, where she’s empowering future engineers and leaders. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and maintains a healthy lifestyle through exercise.

Ian Campbell

System Design and Integration Lead - The Ohio State University

Ian graduated with a  bachelor's in mechanical engineering from The Ohio State in 2022 and will be receiving his master’s in mechanical engineering in 2024.

Born in New Albany, Ohio, he is a huge OSU sports fan and lover of classic American muscle cars.

Jacob Isaman

System Design and Integration Electrical Lead - The Ohio State University

LinkedIn Profile

Jacob is a passionate computer engineering student currently pursuing his undergraduate degree at The Ohio State University.

His fascination with engineering began at a young age when he would take apart and reassemble household appliances to understand how they worked. This curiosity has driven his academic pursuits and led him to pursue a career in the field of computer engineering.

Suhrit Chowduri

Connected and Automated Vehicles Lead - The Ohio State University

Suhrit Chowduri is the CAVs lead for OSU EcoCAR. He got really intrigued by the field of autonomous driving and electric vehicles when he was in his final year of undergrad and is very optimistic about the future of this space.

Apart from being the
CAVs team lead, he enjoys going on hikes and playing basketball.

Pooja Tambolkar

Connected and Automated Vehicles Lead - The Ohio State University

Pooja is a doctoral candidate specializing in mechanical engineering at The Ohio State University. Her current research is centered around connected and autonomous vehicle technologies. 

GET InvolveD

We are always looking to expand our team and encourage students to get involved in the EcoCAR program. We are in the process of hiring a communications manager. The rest of our team lead positions are filled. All our sub teams are available to join as a team member. Students can get involved by attending as many team meetings as they wish. These meetings are held at the Center for Automotive Research office, which is a very short drive from The Ohio State University campus. Team leads are available each meeting to pick up and drop off undergraduate students at the meetings. They are held each week on Tuesdays from 6-8pm, and on Sundays from 9am-2pm. Undergraduate team members are not required to attend every meeting, and what each student puts into EcoCAR is what they will receive from the program! All participation is volunteer-based, and we want members to learn as much as possible while attending meetings and events at their own pace.

Contact Information


OSU Center for Automotive Research (CAR): 930 Kinnear Rd, Columbus, OH 43201


 Grace Yeh at or