STARKVILLE, Miss.--For the fourth consecutive time, Mississippi State University has been invited to participate in the nation's premier automotive engineering challenge.
The U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors have named MSU as one of 16 teams for participation in the EcoCAR 3 collegiate engineering competition beginning this fall. The announcement was made Thursday evening in Washington, D.C., with student team member Stephen Hayden representing the university at the Longview Gallery ceremony.
The sophomore mechanical engineering major from Gallatin, Tenn., said, "The Mississippi State EcoCAR team is looking forward to continued research of advanced vehicle technologies through this competition. We're extremely excited to represent the university and compete against other top-level engineering schools across North America."
While the competition's end goal is to reduce environmental impact of the iconic Chevrolet Camaro, the main mission is to educate the next generation of automotive engineers by providing hands-on experience.
Mississippi State has a long, successful history in the Energy Department's Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTCs), with the university's student-led team under the faculty advisement of Marshall Molen, the computer and electrical engineering professor who has shepherded the group for all four of its AVTC appearances.
"We're thrilled that our students will again have the opportunity to demonstrate the strength of the engineering program that MSU affords them, as well as to showcase our students throughout the nation," said the Ergon Distinguished Professor.
Currently, MSU is completing its third AVTC, EcoCAR 2: Plugging into the Future, in which the university won first place overall in 2012 in this competition's first phase and set a record for single-year points scored with 952 out of 1,000.
From 2008 to 2011, Mississippi State competed in EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge, winning first place overall in that contest's second phase and establishing the highest fuel economy ever recorded at an AVTC event at 118 mpg. The university's first AVTC bid came in 2004 when students participated in Challenge X: Crossover to Sustainable Mobility, taking first place overall in that competition's third and fourth phases.
In EcoCAR 3, MSU's student team will design and integrate a vehicle powertrain that, when compared to a production gasoline vehicle, reduces petroleum energy consumption on the basis of a total fuel cycle analysis. The objective also is to lower well-to-wheel and greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce criteria tailpipe emissions.
Along with MSU engineering students, the team includes communications and business students to help mirror real-world models of cohesive, functional organizations.
Other institutions invited to participate in EcoCAR 3 are Arizona State University, California State University-Los Angeles, Colorado State University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Georgia Institute of Technology, McMaster University (Canada) and Ohio State University. Also extended the EcoCAR 3 invitation are Pennsylvania State University, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, University of Alabama, University of Washington, University of Waterloo (Canada), Virginia Tech, Wayne State University and West Virginia University.
Originally established by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors, the competition will be managed by Argonne National Laboratory and feature more than 12 government and industry sponsors, exemplifying public/private partnerships in providing training to promising students.
For more on EcoCAR 3, visit www.ecocar3.org.
For more information on Mississippi State University, visit www.msstate.edu.