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As part of Indiana University’s Sustainability “Themester,” the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology EcoCAR team brought their vehicle to Bloomington and put it on display. IU’s Themester is an initiative to engage the collective knowledge and creativity of the faculty and involve undergraduate students in the exploration of ideas that span all disciplines but relate back to one theme. The Fall 2010 theme at IU was Sustainability: Thriving on a Small Planet, so the EcoCAR competition was a fantastic tie-in.

IU was so impressed with RHIT’s EcoCAR that they featured the vehicle in the Themester’s closing ceremonies! Watch the video below to learn more:

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Recently, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology hosted its annual Dad’s Day; an event for fathers to visit campus and see what their kids are working on at school.

This year, the Rose-Hulman EcoCAR team set up a presentation at the event that featured their vehicle. The team interacted with students and their parents for the afternoon and handed out promotional brochures and pens. Even though the event was intended mainly for the parents, the EcoCAR team also used Dad’s Day as an opportunity to recruit new members to the team and raise awareness of the EcoCAR competition.

Click here to watch a video of the RHIT team proudly displaying their EcoCAR!

Near the end of 2010, members of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology EcoCAR team gave a presentation at the 2010 Greening Your Fleet Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Organized by the Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition, the objective of the conference was to make current fleet professionals aware of available options for integrating an environmentally-friendly component into their fleet operations.

More than fifty individuals attended the day-and-a-half conference that featured speakers from distinctive environmentally-conscious companies from across the country. Some of the topics discussed were hybrid transportation, different types of alternative fuels, carbon footprints and other subjects concerning sustainable mobility. Rose-Hulman’s presentation highlighted hybrid and electric vehicle technology and its uses in commercial fleets. In addition to the presentation, the second day of the conference included a one-hour break for ‘Ride and Drives’ in the vehicles being displayed at the symposium, including the Rose-Hulman EcoCAR.

Team leader, Chad Conway, professor and faculty advisor, Zac Chambers, and outreach coordinator, Jennifer Spector, were present on behalf of the Rose-Hulman EcoCAR team.

Watch the video below to see the Rose-Hulman EcoCAR team’s presentation at the 2010 Greening Your Fleet Conference!

Rose-Hulman EcoCAR Team Tells Companies How to Green Their Fleets

On November 10th, members of the Rose-Hulman EcoCAR team took their car for a ride on the streets of Terre Haute, Indiana to test out their new City Drive Cycle.

A City Drive Cycle is a route that can easily be repeated and has various low-speed driving scenarios built into it. These factors allow the team to get accurate standardized data that can be compared from run to run to measure improvements in fuel consumption and other drive characteristics as the RHIT team optimizes their vehicle.

After a successful twenty-minute drive around Terre Haute, the team and the car made a safe return back to the garage. Once the car was parked, the team downloaded the data and began analyzing the vehicle’s characteristics to look for ways to optimize the drive systems.

Watch the video below to see a City Drive Cycle, RHIT style!

This week’s Team Spotlight Video highlights the Rose Hulman EcoCAR team!

Watch the video below to hear about how RHIT drives their Pre Post Trans Parallel Hybrid vehicle almost every day and about some of the latest modifications they’re making based on the invaluable feedback they continue to receive from industry professionals.

Rose-Hulman Faculty Advisor Marc Herniter sums up the EcoCAR experience quite well when he asserts, “If you want to be part of the future and change the world, this is the project you want to be in.”


School may be out for summer, but that didn’t stop two universities from welcoming political figures to their respective campuses this month to discuss the EcoCAR Challenge and their shared interest in clean vehicle technology.

Last week, U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) paid a visit to the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and met with the EcoCAR team to learn about innovations in hybrid vehicle technology.

U.S. Senator Richard Lugar gets an update on Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s EcoCAR hybrid vehicle development project from faculty advisors Marc Herniter (left) and Zac Chambers.

During the visit, EcoCAR co-faculty advisors, Zac Chambers, associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Marc Herniter, professor of electrical and computer engineering, presented an update on the Rose-Hulman team’s hybrid vehicle, which received technology and appearance awards in the Year Two Finals in May.

Last week, the Mississippi State University EcoCAR team got a chance to catch up with longtime supporter Congressman Gregg Harper (R-MS) at an MSU Alumni Extravaganza. Rep. Harper and his family have shown great interest in the EcoCAR Challenge. At the event, Rep. Harper checked out the team’s vehicle, asked questions and expressed how proud he is of the MSU team. He even mentioned that he’d like to see the car in Washington, D.C. at the end of Year Three.

U.S. Congressman Gregg Harper with MSU outreach coordinator Lee Pratt.

The MSU team also had the privilege to spend the day with a local political figure, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. For the governor’s recent campus visit, the MSU EcoCAR team displayed their current vehicle as well as MSU’s champion Challenge X vehicle. Governor Barbour asked questions and expressed an interest in the EcoCAR’s plug-in technology and congratulated the team for placing first in the Year Two Finals.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour with MSU EcoCAR team members

When leaders like Senator Lugar, Congressman Harper and Governor Barbour make campus visits and attend EcoCAR events, they are acknowledging the efforts of the hardworking EcoCAR teams and showing their support. We hope that public figures and opinion leaders continue to learn more about EcoCAR and use their notoriety to boost public awareness of advanced vehicle technology.

Read more about Gov. Barbour’s visit to MSU and Sen. Lugar’s visit to Rose-Hulman.

In late February, the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology hosted a gala to celebrate a decade of innovation at Rose-Hulman.  The event raised more than $1 million for the institution.  Several student organizations were featured, including the Rose-Hulman EcoCAR team. 

Rose-Hulman team members posing with their EcoCAR at the Innovation Gala

The evening featured dinner, entertainment and inspiring stories of how Rose-Hulman has proved to be a progressive leader in innovation.  The highlight was Indiana’s Governor, Mitch Daniels, accepting Rose-Hulman’s inaugural “Excellence in Innovation” Award. 

“Using his business experience and creative approach to government, Governor Daniels has implemented a number of programs that have resulted in financial stability for Indiana. At a time when states across the country are struggling, Indiana is now one of the top states in the country in terms of business attractiveness,” said Matt Branam, Rose-Hulman president.

Rose-Hulman programs bring outstanding students and technology-based companies together. For students, that means the best engineering professional practice experience possible within an academic program. For businesses, it means prototypes, refining the design of existing products, and expanding current engineering capabilities.  Rose-Hulman’s real-life, project-based programs offer students professional practice experience and the forward-thinking necessary to set them apart from their peers in a competitive engineering market.

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