Quality Magazine

MathWorks Presents Modeling Award to Ohio State at EcoCAR Challenge

July 8, 2010

NATICK, MA - MathWorks announces that Ohio State University has won the MathWorks Crossover to Model-Based Design Award 2010. Ohio State was chosen out of 16 student teams from the United States and Canada for their excellence in using Model-Based Design tools, including MATLAB and Simulink, to build an advanced technology vehicle during the second year of the EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge competition. The award was presented during the Year 2 Finals in San Diego.

The Crossover to Model-Based Design Award recognizes EcoCAR teams that exhibit the most creative application of MathWorks software products to help achieve the competition’s overall objectives – to reduce the environmental impact of SUVs by improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions, while retaining the vehicle’s performance and consumer appeal. Teams are evaluated throughout the overall vehicle development process, from plant modeling, controls design and tuning to data analysis, visualization, and hardware implementation. Runners-up for this year’s award are Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute, IN) and Mississippi State University (Starkville, MS), who also placed first in the overall Year Two competition.

“Projects like EcoCAR take education to a completely new level. Students are challenged to explore and create solutions prompted by real needs that aren’t presented in the classroom. As a result, students not only learn how to use the tools better, but also how to optimize and be creative with engineering tools. These skills are invaluable in industry,” says Dr. Giorgio Rizzoni, director, Center for Automotive Research, Ohio State University.

To be eligible for the MathWorks Crossover to Model-Based Design Award, teams must be active participants in EcoCAR: The Next Challenge, a three-year competition organized by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors. Through the competition, teams of university engineering students re-engineer a GM Saturn Vue to improve its fuel economy and reduce emissions while retaining its consumer appeal. Winners of the MathWorks Crossover to Model-Based Design Award are selected on the basis of their team’s innovative use of modeling and simulation, as demonstrated through a presentation and Q&A session in San Diego, coinciding with the end of year two of the challenge.

“There’s certainly a difference between the classroom environment and the EcoCAR designs. We are designing for real implementation and something that really has to work. It’s a step above a design on paper and something we've actually created over the last two years,” says John Kruckenberg, hardware simulation and controls leader, Ohio State University.

“Our mission as a company is to give back to the communities in which we live and work, using our engineering and education expertise,” says Paul Smith, director, consulting services group, MathWorks. “EcoCAR is a convergence of both of these areas, where we can provide students with the most advanced tools on the market to be successful with their vision and design. We congratulate all of the teams from this year’s challenge for their hard work and dedication.”

MathWorks develops mathematical computing software. MATLAB, the language of technical computing, is a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualization, and numeric computation. Simulink is a graphical environment for simulation and Model-Based Design of multidomain dynamic and embedded systems. Engineers and scientists worldwide rely on these product families to accelerate the pace of discovery, innovation, and development in automotive, aerospace, electronics, financial services, biotech-pharmaceutical, and other industries. MathWorks products are also fundamental teaching and research tools in the world’s universities and learning institutions. Founded in 1984, MathWorks employs more than 2,100 people in 15 countries, with headquarters in Natick, MA.