Friday, January 25, 2013

Hello from Austin, Texas!

Today begins Day 2 of Winter Workshop at Freescale Semiconductor in Austin, Texas. The EcoMakers are very grateful for the hospitality shown by Freescale and dSpace for this workshop! Yesterday, team members sat through several information sessions about the rest of Year 2. We also had presentations made by our GRAs Haotian and Adam, as well as our Communications Manager Josh. We were incredibly proud of how well they all did! Haotian said that he was well prepared to present, but was a little nervous right before. Once we got everything done, the team used our free night to go out to dinner tonight at B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub. The food was great, and we even got to cheer the Boilermakers on (even though they didn’t win, we were still very happy to be able to watch them while in Texas!) 

Today, we have two more presentations. Haotian and Yili will be presenting the team’s Software-in-the-loop demo, while Joe will be presenting the team’s Sponsorship pitch and Table Top Display. We wish these three the best of luck, but we know they will do a great job! We also have several meeting for various components on the car such as waivers and engine implementation. The team is using our time very wisely by including time to meet with our mentor about design details, as well as the other diesel engine teams and Magna motor teams. One of the great advantages of EcoCAR 2 is being able to work with other teams to solve problems and issues that we are all having. 

The team after dinner at Welcome Night!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The EcoCAR2 competition is Purdue University’s first time participating in an Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition. Although Purdue may be rookies to the competition, the EcoMakers have been working closely with General Motors to make sure they are following state-of-the-art in vehicle development. General Motors, a headline sponsor for the EcoCAR2 competition, has not only offered technical support and mentorship, but has also donated the 2013 Chevy Malibu and financial support to all the teams and the engine the EcoMakers will be using, as well as other various components.

Specifically, several people from GM have helped the EcoMakers with analysis and review waivers. Thanks to GM, Purdue has had access to help fit the electric motor and battery box into the 2013 Chevy Malibu. Whenever Purdue’s team runs into trouble, they are able to reach out to GM for help. For example, one specific issue the EcoMakers ran into was when the motor would not fit where it needed to go because of the 5 bar. GM has provided specifications and assistance to help us re-route the 5 bar.

General Motors has also provided the EcoMakers with a fantastic mentor who is very engaged with the team and provides assistance throughout the competition. Dale Klein has been extremely helpful answering questions and providing a personal connection between the EcoMakers and GM. The EcoMakers are extremely grateful for everything General Motors has provided them. The enthusiasm of all the GM employees regarding EcoCAR is encouraging to all of the students in the competition. Even Purdue alumni working for GM have been very encouraging throughout the project. We know we would not be able to take part in this amazing educational opportunity if it were not for the General Motors support. Check out our sponsorship video to get an even better idea of GM's role in helping the EcoMakers in year two of the EcoCAR 2 competition!