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On the road again

Can the WVU Team beat their EcoCAR 3 second place finish in the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge?

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), General Motors, Mathworks and managed by Argonne National Laboratory, EcoCAR Mobility Challenge is a collegiate automotive engineering competition. EcoCAR Mobility Challenge tasks 12 universities across North America to redesign the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer into an energy-efficient hybrid. The Blazer will continue to provide the luxuries of an SUV, but have energy-efficient powertrains installed and designed by students. The goal is to optimize the driving performance and retain high safety and consumer standards while maintaining the promise of a “stylish utility vehicle”.

Teams will be challenged to reduce emissions and greenhouse gases through the introduction of energy efficient capabilities and to target a MaaS consumer. The competition will expand over the next four years (2018–2022), with teams competing annually to show how they have implemented their designs, energy-efficient technologies and carsharing capabilities. Along with the technical challenges, teams are tasked with hosting and attending youth outreach events that encourage students to pursue STEM-related fields. The WVU team includes students from the Statler College of Engineering, the College of Business and Economics and the Reed College of Media. The team enters its first year ready to improve upon its 2018 second place finish in EcoCAR 3.

The Challenge

  • Reduce Environmental Impact and Energy Consumption
  • Maintain Performance, Utility, and Safety
  • Improve Aerodynamics
  • Meet Energy and Environmental Goals
  • Establish Innovative CAV (Connected and Automated Vehicle) Technologies
  • Target to a MaaS (Mobility as a Service) Consumer

Background on Blazer

After over a decade, the Chevrolet Blazer is returning to the road. First produced in 1969, the Chevy Blazer has seen many models and influenced the creation of others, including the TrailBlazer and Tahoe. However, unlike the previous Blazer, this model is not based on a pickup truck platform. Serving as a counterpart to the GMC Acadia as a midsize SUV, it will be an option between the compact Equinox and the full-size Traverse. Featuring two-row seating, the Blazer will be a five-seat mid-size crossover SUV with options for a standard 2.5L 4-cylinder engine or an upgrade to 3.6L V6 engine and AWD.

Built for adventure and excitement the new Blazer is a testament to the original. The Blazer is a design-focused vehicle with three different appearance features: standard, Premier, and RS. The Blazer Premier features chrome accents, and leather-appointed and suede microfiber seating surfaces. Blazer RS has a black mesh grille, performance-inspired front air dam, black bowtie, and black leather-appointed seating surfaces with red detail. Considered to be a competitor of the Ford Edge, the Chevy Blazer’s design is meant to have a trendy sporty style inspired by the Chevy Camaro, with the capabilities and conveniences of an SUV.

West Virginia University is one of only 12 universities chosen to participate in the four-year EcoCAR Mobility Challenge which encompasses the work of over a 1000 students from across North America. These schools include Colorado State, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical, Georgia Tech, McMaster, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Alabama, Tennessee, Washington, Waterloo, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia University. WVU finished year four of the EcoCAR 3 competition in second place overall, behind the Ohio State University.

West Virginia University’s EcoCAR Mobility Challenge Team consists of more than 80 undergraduates, graduate, and Ph.D. students from the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, College of Business and Economics, and Reed College of Media.

Team Leadership (Y1 & Y2)

Year 1

Year one team photo

Team

  • Benton Morris - Project Manager
  • Joshua Strogen - Engineering Manager
  • Communications Manager - Haleigh Fields
  • Sophie Keele - System Safety Lead
  • Priyash Misra - CAVs Lead
  • Nikola Janevski - Co-CAVs Lead
  • Thomas Harris - CSMS Lead
  • Rose Weber - Co-CSMS Lead
  • Aaron Mull - Mechanical Lead

Faculty/Mentors

  • Dr. Andrew Nix - Faculty Advisor
  • Dr. Scott Wayne - Faculty Advisor
  • Dr. Vinod Kulathumani - Co-Faculty Advisor
  • William Cawthorne - GM Mentor
  • Walt Stuart – Mathworks Mentor

Year 2

Team leads and the advisors for EcoCar include (front row, from left) Joshua Strogen (engineering manager), Nikola Janevski (CAV co-lead), Haleigh Fields (communications manager), Curtis Stapleton (controls/modeling lead), Benton Morris (project manager);

Team

  • Benton Morris - Project Manager
  • Aaron Mull - Engineering Manager
  • Communications Manager - Haleigh Fields
  • Sophie Keele - System Safety Lead
  • Joshua Strogen - CAVs Lead
  • Nikola Janevski - Co-CAVs Lead
  • Thomas Harris - CSMS Lead
  • TBD - Co-CSMS Lead
  • TBD - Mechanical Lead

Faculty/Mentors

  • Dr. Andrew Nix - Faculty Advisor
  • Dr. Scott Wayne - Faculty Advisor
  • Dr. Brian Warner - Co-Faculty Advisor
  • William Cawthorne - GM Mentor
  • Walt Stuart – Mathworks Mentor

Part of the competition challenges teams to host and attend youth outreach events in order to educate students on STEM and STEM-related fields of study. Teams present information about the competition, provide educational activities and allow the kids to explore the newest vehicle.

For More Information

Visit us at the WVU EcoCAR Mobility Challenge Garage

345 Evansdale Drive, Morgantown, WV 26506

Follow us on social media

Instagram Logo @WVUEcoCARChallenge

Twitter logo @WVU_EcoCAR

Facebook logo West Virginia University EcoCAR

Email us

To discuss drives, youth outreach opportunities or questions, contact Haleigh Fields.

Methanol Marathon (1988-1990)

EcoCAR team for Methanol Marathon


Natural Gas Vehicle Challenge (1990-1993)

WVU's Natural Gas Vehicle Challenge truck

Photo by:  AVTC Series


HEV Challenge (1992-1995)

WVU's HEV Challenge vehicle

Photo by:  AVTC Series


FutureCar (1995-1999)

WVU's FutureCar

Photo by:  AVTC Series


FutureTruck (1999-2004)

The WVU EcoCAR team's FutureTruck


Challenge X (2004-2008)

WVU EcoCAR team with their Challenge X project


EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge (2008-2011)

WVU EcoCAR team with NeXt Challenge vehicle


EcoCAR 3 (2014-2018)

EcoCAR 3 on a raceway

  • Magna
  • CustomMousepad.com
  • Jennerstown Speedway
  • Summit Point Raceway

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