Faculty Feature - Dr. Shawn Midlam-Mohler
Written by: Kirk Brauer & Grace Yeh
Dr. Shawn Midlam-Mohler, known to his students as Dr. Shawn, has been involved with Ohio State University’s Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (ATVC) for an impressive 20 years, 14 of which were as a faculty advisor. Since 2012, Dr. Midlam-Mohler has witnessed a lot of success as the director of OSU Motorsports. Leading OSU’s EcoCAR teams to an 11-year winning streak placing in the top three teams of every single competition since 2011 and winning first place all four years of EcoCAR 3, Dr. Midlam-Mohler has accomplished a good chunk since fulfilling the position and continues to act as the Lead Faculty Advisor for Ohio State University and Wilberforce University’s EcoCAR EV Challenge Team.
Dr. Midlam-Mohler first received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Wright State University in 1999. After finishing his undergraduate degree, he pursued a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Ohio State. It’s at this point that Dr. Midlam-Mohler got his start in AVTCs in 1999, working on the OSU FutureCar team. However, he began his heavy involvement in ATVCs during FutureTruck where he developed a state-of-the-art hybrid propulsion system. While he admittedly was not much of a “gear head” during his time with FutureTruck, he eventually grew his passion for technology under the hood of vehicles and decided to continue his career in the automotive space.
After receiving his master’s degree, Dr. Midlam-Mohler pursued a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, continuing his experience with AVTCs as a PhD student and advisor on Ohio State’s Challenge X team. In 2009, Dr. Midlam-Mohler became a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ohio State. As a professor, he continued his involvement with AVTCs as a Faculty Advisor for Challenge X, and later the first EcoCAR Challenge. In 2012, Dr. Midlam-Mohler became the Director of OSU Motorsports.
Since 2017, Dr. Midlam-Mohler has been the Director of the Ohio State University Simulation Innovation and Modeling Center. He is also a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, overseeing student research at Ohio State’s Center for Automotive Research (CAR). Dr. Midlam-Mohler’s research interests are in the areas of design, system modeling, applied controls, and systems engineering with a focus on advanced automotive systems. He currently has over one hundred patents and peer-reviewed publications. His teaching interests cover a range of courses covering design, simulation project management, and system engineering. In addition to his teaching and research, Dr. Midlam-Mohler has also served as an expert reviewer on government studies in the automotive sector, reviewing publications, and as a consultant to the automotive industry.
Overall, AVTCs give every student invaluable, hands-on experience in the automotive industry. Dr. Midlam-Mohler’s two-decade long experience with AVTCs shows that you can truly turn EcoCAR into a career, whether that be as an educator, or in the industry with one of the many EcoCAR sponsors. His dedication to EcoCAR is unparalleled and has been one of the driving forces behind the success of the Ohio State AVTC programs over the past fourteen years. If you’re just getting started in EcoCAR, or have been on a team for years, Dr. Midlam-Mohler’s story can serve as an inspiration to pursue your dreams in the automotive industry through EcoCAR.