It’s a challenge that has daunted Detroit for decades: how to build a high-performance car with low emissions, high mileage and a lot of consumer appeal.
A team of Penn State
students is at work on the problem as participants in EcoCAR 2
: Plugging In To the Future, a three-year, multi-collegiate competition sponsored by GM and the U.S. Department of Energy and organized by Argonne National Laboratory.
Gary Neal, the team's faculty advisor and department head at Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory, and 12 students competed recently in Los Angeles with teams from 14 other schools. They returned to Happy Valley with six trophies, a generous purse and anticipated delivery of a 2013 Chevy Malibu on which to tinker.
The Penn State team won second place for Overall Outreach Award. Members also received the EcoCAR 2 Best Website Award and Best Clean Cities Collaboration Award for its work with Rick Price, executive director of Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities
Neal won the National Science Foundation Outstanding Long-Term Faculty Award. Students on the team nominated Neal for his dedication to the team and for his focus on their education as future engineers. “I’m honored that they nominated me,” says Neal. “These guys have really come so far this year.”
The team also won third place in the competition's Best Electrical Presentation Award and Best Mechanical Presentation Award.
Throughout year one, students designed advanced propulsion technologies; during years two and three, the students will incorporate their components into the donated Chevy Malibu.
Source: Taylor Kidd, Penn State EcoCAR 2
Writer: Elise Vider