An Embry Riddle Student’s Perspective on EcoCAR

By Brian Harries of the Embry-Riddle EcoEagles Team

I originally joined the EcoCAR project as a Senior Design option for Mechanical Engineering, and got involved on the mechanical team where I gained valuable experience doing mechanical design. There’s really no substitute for hands on experience: the ability to do things such as design, fabricate, and refine designs was incredible.

Brian (left, kneeling) and the EcoEagles at GM's Milford Proving Ground

Eventually I got very involved in the Controls Team and became the Controls Team Lead. With this position, I was able to attend competitions at General Motors’ Yuma Proving Grounds and give technical presentations in San Diego. I was also given the opportunity to go to GM’s Milford Proving Grounds and work in the Hybrid Development garage for two weeks. There I was able to work with several other teams along with GM engineers to debug the control system for our vehicle’s two-mode transmission.

Through my involvement in the EcoCAR competition I had the opportunity to enhance my knowledge in this area and gain more expertise.  This experience became one of the main reasons that I decided to enroll in the masters program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. It has been a very exciting and rewarding time to be working with advanced technologies that are utilized in the automotive industry.