Written By: Morgan Gay
As a headline sponsor for the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, MathWorks has made generous contributions of software, training, and personal time to the 12 competing teams, including Mississippi State University’s EcoCAR team.
MathWorks is the leading developer of mathematical computing software packages. Its core products are MATLAB® and Simulink®. MATLAB® is a programming tool used for algorithm development, data analysis and visualization, and computation. Simulink® is a block-diagram simulation tool for Model-Based Design of multi-domain engineering systems. According to Amine Taoudi, MSU’s Propulsion Controls and Modeling (PCM) sub-team lead, both of these software packages and the guidance provided by the team’s MathWorks mentor are crucial to the success of MSU’s EcoCAR team.
“The software and the training MathWorks provides us is very important. Their support allows us to reach the milestones set forth by the competition,” Amine said.
The PCM sub-team uses the software provided by MathWorks to simulate the dynamics of our competition vehicle, a 2019 Chevrolet Blazer, and to develop and test control codes before implementing them into the vehicle.
In addition to donating software, MathWorks has offered a significant amount of training for our team members throughout the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge competition. The company conducts several webinars to train students how to use the donated models and software. MathWorks also assigns each team a mentor who helps the team with a variety of issues regarding MathWorks software.
MSU’s MathWorks mentor, Walt Stuart, has been very beneficial to our team by helping us to manage our software, troubleshoot issues with our Simulink® model, and implement industry standard procedures to streamline the development of our models and control codes. When asked about his mentorship of the MSU team, he expressed his enjoyment for the competition and the students involved. “I enjoy being an EcoCAR mentor because it gives me a chance to help guide the next generation of engineers in applying engineering best practices and state of the art modeling & simulation,” said Stuart. “The students are incredibly hard-working, motivated and have a very bright future ahead. The EcoCAR competition is doing a fantastic job developing these students to become world changers as they begin their careers.”
For our Year Two Fall Workshop, MathWorks also provided our team with onsite training by hosting us at its headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts. During the workshop, our team leads were able to learn from industry professionals within their swim lanes. We were able to plan for this year’s deliverables and events, allowing us to begin a successful Year Two of the Mobility Challenge.
The MSU team has utilized its partnership with MathWorks throughout the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge. The company’s mission to advance STEM education and accelerate the pace of engineering and science has helped prepare many students to achieve success in their professional careers. The MSU EcoCAR team is grateful for the resources MathWorks provides for the competition, and we look forward to gaining more knowledge and experience with MathWorks software in the future. Our work would not be possible without these computational tools.