A dozen Penn State engineering and communications students represented Penn State at the national collegiate EcoCAR competition in Los Angeles last week, winning six awards.
Penn State is one of 15 North American teams competing in EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future. The goal of the three-year contest is to reduce the environmental impact of a General Motors-donated 2013 Chevrolet Malibu by improving its fuel efficiency and reducing its emissions while retaining its performance and consumer appeal.
Students were judged on presentations including mechanical, electrical, controls, hardware-in-the- loop, outreach and business.
Outreach team members won second place for the competitions Overall Outreach Award. Members also received the EcoCAR 2 Best Website Award and Best Clean Cities Collaboration Award for work with Rick Price, the executive director of Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities. The team won third place in the competitions Best Electrical Presentation Award and Best Mechanical Presentation Award. In total, the team won $12,500 in prize money to be used in the next two years of the competition.
Gary Neal, the teams faculty adviser and department head at Penn States Applied Research Laboratory, won the National Science Foundation Outstanding Long-Term Faculty Award.