Wayne State University chosen as Michigan's sole participant in EcoCAR 2

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DETROIT, April 21, 2011 — A team of Wayne State University students from the College of Engineering have been chosen to participate in EcoCAR 2: Plugging in to the Future, a one-of-a-kind program established by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors. This three-year collegiate engineering program will educate the next generation of automotive engineers, giving them the knowledge and skills needed to continue the evolution of automotive propulsion technology and energy efficiency.

Wayne State University’s team, led by Jerry Ku, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering and resident of Troy, Mich., will explore advanced vehicle solutions to minimize petroleum usage, energy consumption and reduce emissions through research collaboration with industry, as well as workforce preparation-oriented curriculum development. Ku serves as the director of Wayne State’s electric-drive vehicle engineering graduate program, in which many of EcoCAR 2’s participating students are enrolled.

The competition will challenge 16 North American universities to reduce the environmental impact of vehicles without compromising performance, safety or consumer acceptability. WSU was the only university in Michigan invited to participate in EcoCAR 2.

“Being in the heart of the automotive capital of the world, it makes sense for Wayne State University to participate in the EcoCAR 2 program,” said Ku. “Through EcoCAR 2, the university will be able to strengthen our newly established electric-drive vehicle engineering program, strengthen our industry collaborations, and provide invaluable learning opportunities for our students.”

Shaped by the greatest design changes in the history of the automotive industry, EcoCAR 2 requires students to explore a variety of powertrain architectures and follow a real-world engineering regimen modeled after GM’s Global Vehicle Development Process. EcoCAR 2 teams will use a Chevrolet Malibu donated by General Motors as the integration platform for their advanced vehicle design.

About Wayne State University

Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit http://www.research.wayne.edu.  

About EcoCAR 2
EcoCAR 2 is a three-year competition that builds on the 23-year history of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) advanced vehicle technology competitions by giving engineering students the chance to design and build advanced vehicles that demonstrate cutting-edge automotive technologies.

General Motors provides production vehicles, vehicle components, seed money, technical mentoring and operational support. The DOE and its research and development facility, Argonne National Laboratory, provide competition management, team evaluation, and technical and logistical support.

Through this important partnership, EcoCAR 2 aims to inspire and educate the next generation of automotive engineers and accelerate the development and demonstration of technologies that are of interest to the DOE and the automotive industry. For more information about the student engineering program, the participating schools or the competition sponsors, please visit http://www.EcoCAR2.org.

  • Contact: Julie O’Connor
  • Voice: (313) 577-8845
  • Email: julie.oconnor@wayne.edu
  • Fax: (313) 577-3626
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