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Cal State L.A. revs up for EcoCAR 3, the newest Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition

April 28, 2014

California State University, Los Angeles is one of only 16 North American universities selected to participate in the EcoCAR 3: Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition. Cal State L.A. is also the only university representing Los Angeles and California in the competition.

“Participating in this highly selective competition gives our students the opportunity to learn real-world technology and engineering skills, the ability to work as a team, and to commit themselves to building a more sustainable environment for Los Angeles,” said Dean Emily Allen of the University’s College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology.

EcoCAR 3 is challenging each team to redesign and re-engineer a Chevy Camaro in an effort to reduce the energy consumption and greenhouse emissions of the vehicle, while maintaining consumer acceptability, performance, utility and safety. At the end of the fourth year, the student-built vehicles will participate in an over-the-road event, raising the stakes for vehicle readiness, dependability and safety.

“Being selected into the EcoCAR 3 competition is a huge win for Cal State L.A. students and all of those who support the team,” said Professor David Blekhman, the team’s lead faculty adviser. “The experience gained through competition transforms students into future engineering leaders who will help renovate the auto industry for generations to come. Many Cal State L.A. alumni, who participated in EcoCAR competitions, have secured jobs in clean tech and automotive sectors.”

The new EcoCAR 3 collegiate engineering competition seeks to develop the next generation of automotive engineers with unparalleled experience designing, promoting, and building leading-edge automotive technologies. The goal is also to minimize the environmental impact of personal transportation and illustrate pathways to sustainable transportation with various levels of vehicle electrifications, such as Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs).

The four-year competition is managed by Argonne National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy in partnership with the U.S. domestic automotive industry.

EcoCAR 3 follows the EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future collegiate engineering competition, in which Cal State L.A. has had tremendous success. The team took 2nd place overall in EcoCAR 2 Year Two, and was recognized with the Green Leadership Award by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. This June, the team will be facing the final EcoCAR 2 challenge in Milford, MI, and Washington, DC.

“In addition to the multidisciplinary engineering students who closely follow automotive industry vehicle development practices, we look forward to working with non-engineering majors to provide communication and program management support as we begin working on EcoCAR 3,” said Blekhman. “Starting with just 10 students three years ago, our team has now grown to 70-member strong.”

For a recap of the EcoCAR 3 announcement:

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Working for California since 1947: California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 230,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include a NASA-funded center for space research and a forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.