Old Meets New

Written by: Grace Yeh 

During the EcoCAR EV Challenge, The Ohio State University will be collaborating with Wilberforce University to form a dynamic, diverse, and impressive team. Old will meet new, and there is always going to be a lot to learn.

The EcoCAR EV Challenge introduces partnerships between a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) and a veteran AVTC university. Wilberforce University is partnering with veteran university, Ohio State University. Over the years, The Ohio State University has developed a dedicated and strong community for ATVCs that emphasizes learning and winning. Participating in the Natural Gas Vehicle Challenge, FutureCar Challenge, FutureTruck, ChallengeX, EcoCAR, EcoCAR 2, EcoCAR 3, and EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, OSU AVTC has seen a lot of success by having six consecutive 1st place Ohio State winning 1st  place overall in the final year of EcoCAR 2, in all four years of EcoCAR 3 and the first year of the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge.

As a Top 10 public research university and home to the Center for Automotive Research, OSU ATVC is set up for success. The Center for Automotive Research’s mission statement is “The mission of the Center for Automotive Research is to provide world-class education for the next generation of automotive industry leaders, through on-campus learning and continuous professional development; serve as a catalyst for innovation in automotive technology through collaborative, interdisciplinary research; and support economic development, regionally and nationally.” By working within CAR, students are able to advance technology and be successful in the EcoCAR EV Challenge.

By pairing with Wilberforce University, this brings a breath of fresh air to OSU ATVC. WU plans to offer a new Automotive Engineering concentration program at the university with the mission to provide students with hands-on experience to prepare for professional automotive careers. They will leverage the funding provided by DOE to establish a new computer laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) simulators. The lab will enable WU students to construct a digital twin of the OSU team’s own HIL simulator so the WU students can participate in modeling and simulation work relevant to the EV Challenge. With this new lab and the new Automotive Engineering program, WU students will be better equipped for jobs in the automotive industry. The partnership with OSU will also create opportunities for WU students to apply/attend the Automotive Engineering graduate program at OSU and participate in summer engagement opportunities at OSU’s Center for Automotive Research to continue their work with controls development and hardware in the loop (HIL) testing.

This collaboration with Wilberforce brings a new group of people that are diverse and broadens our outreach. What’s unique about this pairing is that Wilberforce is located approximately an hour away from OSU, which requires clear communication to successfully get work done. It requires OSU ATVC not only to maintain that history of success, but to teach a new group of students their knowledge and help them advance the automotive industry.

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