Close this search box.


Though the UC Davis EcoCAR team is new, it builds upon a long history. UC Davis competed in Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions between 1992 and 2008.  Two of the team’s faculty mentors are AVTC alumni and participated with UC Davis in the Future Truck competition.

What sets the UC Davis team apart is its diversity. The team consists of students and faculty members from a wide range of disciplines, bringing together various educational backgrounds and industry experiences. This diversity is a huge asset as it allows for a multitude of perspectives and skills to come into play, addressing the intricate challenges posed by the competition.

The team’s leadership consists of 5 motivated individuals who are a dynamic mix of graduate and undergraduate students. Their areas of expertise span from design to mechanical engineering, ensuring that the team approaches vehicle development comprehensively and keep innovation in mind.


The team aims to create the most innovative, sustainable and energy efficient vehicle, through promoting the education, recruitment and retention of a diverse and inclusive workforce that focuses on addressing equity in mobility issues. UCD’s vision for Year 2 of EcoCAR EV Challenge is to recruit and retain a group of motivated and involved students from a range of disciplines across our diverse campus.

The team aims to involve students not only from STEM majors, but also majors such as Design, Education, Communication, and Sociology to help create the most effective and inclusive plan to address inequity in mobility.


  • Place in the top half of the competition.
  • Have a reliable and running vehicle.
  • Support career development for all EcoCAR UC Davis students.

Team Members

Dr. Michael R. Hill

Faculty Advisor

LinkedIn Profile

Mike Hill is professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UC Davis.

Prof. Hill joined the faculty in 1996, working on fatigue and fracture assessment in metallic materials. His research has a special emphasis on residual stress with applications in materials and processes. Mike values opportunities for projects and industrial problem solving that feed ideas back to university research and teaching.

Christopher Nitta

Lead Connected and Automated Vehicle Systems Faculty Advisor

LinkedIn Profile

Christopher Nitta is an associate professor of teaching in the Computer Science Department. Prof. Nitta is interested in computer science education and improving energy efficiency of both computer architecture and transportation.

Abhigyan Majumdar

Propulsion, Controls & Modeling Lead

LinkedIn Profile

Abhigyan is a third-year mechanical engineering graduate student at the University of California Davis, specializing in system dynamics & controls. He is interested in combined physics and learning-based controller design applied to robotics, autonomous electric vehicles, Li-ion batteries, PEM fuel cells and water electrolyzers.

Abhigyan is currently working as the propulsion, controls and modeling lead of the UC Davis EcoCAR team.

Riddhi Puranik

Communications Manager

LinkedIn Profile

Riddhi is a third-year undergraduate student double majoring in communication and design. She is passionate about graphic design, digital marketing and social science research. She is interested in exploring the intersection of creativity and strategic thinking. 

Hrushikesh Mathi

System Design and Integration Lead

LinkedIn Profile

Hrushikesh is a first-year Masters student at UC Davis in mechanical and aerospace engineering domain thriving to develop the skill set acquired through a continuous learning process.

He is interested in designing and finite element analysis and is moulding his career towards that path

James Giller

Connected and Automated Vehicle Systems Lead

LinkedIn Profile

James is a Ph.D. student in transportation technology and policy with a background in the automotive industry.

Before coming to UC Davis, he worked as a software engineer on driving automation systems for Jaguar Land Rover. He is currently researching the electrification of ride hailing fleets in California under the Clean Miles Standard Regulation.

Ajay Suresh

Project Manager

LinkedIn Profile

Ajay is a second-year graduate student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department with a focus on information systems and data science. He has over three years of industry experience managing projects of various scales in the renewable energy industry.

GET InvolveD

For students looking to get involved with our EcoCAR team, there will always be an opportunity to participate. We currently hold weekly leadership and whole team meetings in Kemper Hall and each team lead organizes regular meeting sessions for their specific team. If you are interested in joining, please reach out through any of our social media links or at our email address (all provided below!).

Contact Information


1 Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616


Professor Mike Hill or Christopher Nitta at