You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘University of Wisconsin’ tag.

It was sweet victory last night for two EcoCAR teams. But we’re not talking green vehicles. Texas Tech and University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) students won first place at F1 Racing Boston, a speed-filled team outing to mark the halfway point of the Fall Workshop.


Gavin Clark, Team Leader for UOIT takes his F1 Racing trophy


One thing was evident at the end of the night: don’t mess with Texas Tech. Team member Kevin Kappes won first place on Track One at F1 Racing. With a best lap time of 16.33 seconds, Kevin beat out seven other students during the final race, including two outreach coordinators. Wisconsin’s outreach coordinator Andrea Sotirin put up some tough competition though, leading throughout most of the race and finishing third overall.

Gavin Clark of UOIT raced to the top on Track Two with a best lap time of 20.67 seconds and average speed of 40.7mph. He faced some tough competitors and finished only 1.9 seconds ahead of the second place winner. But perhaps the sweetest victory was from General Motors sponsor Ed Argalas who won first place during the sponsor/organizer race. Ed beat out more than 35 sponsors to get the fastest time in the sponsor finals of 20.8 seconds.

Drivers and support teams for the American Le Mans Racing Series visited Madison, Wisconsin on August 18 to promote “green racing” and show their support for the University of Wisconsin EcoCAR team’s research in alternative fuels and technologies that enhance fuel economy.

Several of the American Le Mans race cars and the UW EcoCAR were displayed at the State Capitol, where the team helped inform hundreds of event attendees about emerging hybrid technology and how to minimize tailpipe emissions and fuel consumption without sacrificing performance.

The UW Hybrid Team’s converted SUV appears at the Wisconsin State Capital to promote green vehicle technology as part of the American Le Mans Series promotion

Following the joint promotion at the State Capitol, the University of Wisconsin Hybrid Team traveled to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on August 22 to see the American Le Mans Series cars in action.

Several classes of race cars swept through the road course at over 150mph, showing that alternative fuels are effective in even the most challenging of automotive applications.

Paul Drayson and co-driver Jonny Cocker of Drayson Racing won the Michelin Green X Challenge and the overall American Le Mans Series race at Road America, driving the E85-fueled Lola-Judd to secure Drayson Racing’s first ever overall triumph.

Drayson’s victory was also the first overall race win for cellulosic E85 ethanol fuel in the 116-race history of the American Le Mans Series, demonstrating the progress being made in alternative fuel performance.

In the GT category, Falken Porsche was the winner of the Michelin Green X Challenge.  The victory means that in the first seven races of 2010, five different teams and six different cars have won GT awards, with 10 out of the overall 12 competitors using E85.

UW Hybrid Team members Matt Michalak, Andrea Sotirin and Adam Richards attend the American Le Mans Series race at Road America

Congratulations to all the American Le Mans Series winners. The University of Wisconsin EcoCAR team was proud to be part of this year’s important event and looks forward to future collaborations!

Yesterday marked the biggest outreach event that the UW Hybrid Team had ever experienced! The American Le Mans Series, the world’s leading sports car series focused on being a global trendsetter in “green” racing, visited the University of Wisconsin, Madison at the Capitol square. The event was presented by Tequila Patrón and was designed to promote the technologies and alternative fuels necessary to enable competitive motorsports to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions in race vehicles. These exciting technologies are being researched by universities across the country and then put to the test in grueling race competitions by the American Le Mans Series manufacturers and teams. Examples of these next-generation race cars, including Drayson Racing’s Lola B09/60 Judd and the Green Earth Team Gunnar’s ORECA-FLM 09 prototype, were on display.

The presentation was open to the public and included the following invited guests: Governor Jim Doyle, Representative Steve Kestell and Senator Joseph Leibham. The event also featured Series drivers, Gunnar Jeannette, Joey Hand and Rahal Letterman. Last but certainly not least, UW’s EcoCAR team leader, Stacey Ley, and advisor, Glenn Bower, both presented about the EcoCAR competition and advanced vehicle technologies.

What a great experience, congratulations UW!

Oh, we’re half-way there.

Living on a prayer.

The team is now half-way through year two finals competition. With only two full days left at the GM Proving Grounds, the team is anxiously waiting to pass safety inspection and driving the eMOO before heading to San Diego for presentations.

The morning was spent fixing leaks in the fuel system by using parts from a spare stock vehicle at the grounds. After lunch, the controls team got to work trying to communicate with the front motor controller to get the eMOO drive-able. However, the team quickly learned that they’re not in Wisconsin anymore.

Right before shipment, the team replaced the air-cooled motor with a liquid-cooled one to better prepare the eMOO for the Arizona heat. With the craziness of final exams and all-nighters in the shop, the controls hadn’t been tested yet. The controls team worked until the pits closed at 10 p.m. trying to figure out its communication problem. After a long day, the team decided the component must be faulty and will re-install its original air-cooled motor controller first thing in the morning. The eMOO’s wheels should be spinning in no-time!

In the afternoon, the Outreach Coordinators spent time at Rancho Viejo Elementary School talking to 4th, 5th and 6th graders about engineering, hybrid vehicles, energy and the EcoCAR competition. The students were very interested in the future of hybrid vehicles and many want to become engineers when they grow up! The presentation concluded with Wisconsin’s 4th grade class lined up to get photographed EcoCAR t-shirts.

Wisconsin outreach coordinators line up for a class photo with Rancho Viejo Elementary School 4th graders

The University of Wisconsin (UW) Hybrid Vehicle Team collaborated with the Milwaukee Chapter of The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) for two events in the last month to promote diversity in the engineering field.

SHPE was founded in Los Angeles, California, in 1974 by a group of engineers employed by the city of Los Angeles. Their objective was to form a national organization of professional engineers to serve as role models in the Hispanic community.The concept of networking was the key basis for the organization. SHPE quickly established two student chapters to begin the network that would grow to encompass the nation as well as reach countries outside the United States. Today, SHPE enjoys a strong but independent network of professional and student chapters throughout the nation.

The first event that the team participated in was a Saturday Enrichment series for Hispanic middle school students to introduce them to different areas of engineering. The day began in the classroom to introduce hybrid technology and the different types of engineering. Many of the students knew a lot about the environment and the importance of hybrid vehicles and were already well on their way to becoming an engineer!

The UW team then took the group on a shop tour. The students got a first hand look at the EcoCAR and were very impressed by the size of the new battery that had just arrived!

Checking out the UW EcoCAR!

The following week, a group of 30 Hispanic high school students from Milwaukee made the trip to the UW campus for a fun-filled day of engineering. The students were very enthusiastic and asked a lot of questions about the university and hybrid technology. The majority of the students were high school juniors, so their engineering futures are directly ahead of them.

The UW Hybrid Team in collaboration with SHPE is happy to be providing engineering opportunities to Hispanic students of all ages, exposing them to role models and aspirations and creating future engineers in the process!

In late February, Snap-on Tools representatives traveled from headquarters in Kenosha, Wisconsin to the University of Wisconsin for a personal shop tour. The Snap-on reps were excited to be on campus and eagerly looked under the hood of the EcoCAR to learn about the team’s design.

“Snap-on is delighted to be working with the EcoCar Challenge this year,” said Snap-on Innovation Works representative Dan Ramirez. “We deeply value the opportunity to support and work with the bright minds that will be shaping the cars of the future in what has been called one of the most exciting times for the automotive industry.”

Year Two of the EcoCAR competition focuses on vehicle integration, so the Wisconsin team is extremely thankful for the Snap-on tool set they received earlier in the academic year. It has been put to great use in the team’s Green Garage!

The second semester is well under way and has been very successful for the University of Wisconsin EcoCAR team. The team welcomed new members and got to work on their vehicle right away. Mechanical team member, Drew Kosmoski, led the re-packaging of a Delphi DU174 motor. Now that the motor meets the team’s needs, the next step will be installing a new output shaft.

Watch the process of recycling the motor below!

What is it like to build a “green” car from scratch? How far can an EcoCAR drive on a tank of gas? Where does an A123Systems battery go in an electric car? What decision did one EcoCAR team poll the entire campus about? These questions and many more will be answered on Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 3 p.m. ET right here on the Inside the Green Garage blog during a live Web chat with the North Carolina State University and University of Wisconsin EcoCAR teams.

The Web chat will be hosted here and also on GM’s Fastlane blog. No registration is required; just come to the site and ask the engineering teams your questions! Please spread the word and we’ll see you back here next week.

The University of Wisconsin team returned to Madison today after five days in snowy Daytona Beach, Florida with new skills to prepare them for the final EcoCAR judging in May.

Last Wednesday, the team visited the Embry-Riddle EcoEagle Green Garage to use National Instruments’ Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) technology to develop a vehicle simulation model. National Instruments representatives were on hand to work with the teams and answer last minute questions.

An EcoCAR vehicle on display at the Speedway!

The workshop kicked off on Thursday and the Wisconsin team presented its outreach events and communication plan for Year Two as well as its Web site for judging. Later that afternoon, the team drove into the infield of the Daytona International Speedway to watch a demonstration on how the vehicles’ emissions output will be measured and judged in the final competition in May. A tool will be used that attaches to a car’s exhaust pipe and measures the emissions leaving the vehicle, including NOx, CO2 and hydrocarbons. In the demo, GM engineers showed the teams what needs to be left in the stock vehicle so that the emissions equipment can be installed safely and properly.

On Thursday evening, the EcoCAR organizers hosted a Sponsor Social for the universities with a special presentation from Doug Fehan of Corvette Racing. He spoke about the American Le Mans Series and how he has focused on teamwork through his successful race management career.

“It was really interesting to listen to an enthusiastic speaker,” said Drew Kosmoski, a mechanical engineering student on the Wisconsin EcoCAR team. “He has been very successful and inspires our team to work hard toward our goals this spring.”

Friday, team leader, Adam Richards, and graduate research assistant, Chris Meyer, presented the team’s Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) model to the judges. Adam and Chris showed the judging panel that faults could be found within the electrical system and how the vehicle would respond through the controls strategy. By using HIL, it simplifies the controls work because debugging can be done before anything is installed in the vehicle. 

In the afternoon, the teams learned what will be tested and what constitutes a good score in the AVL drive quality event in May. To determine drive quality, sensors will be hooked up to the vehicle that measures pedal pressure and vehicle response. A good score would have a very predictable linear response with pedal position creating a smooth ride.

The Wisconsin team getting the details on the upcoming AVL drive quality event

Saturday, the final day of the workshop, the Wisconsin team split up into two tracks–outreach and technical. The outreach sessions covered social media and utilizing the Clean Cities Coalition. The technical track talked about spring inspections, competition rules and logistics. The teams had the opportunity to interact with GM and Argonne National Laboratory representatives and ask questions.

The day concluded with team photos, a tour of the Daytona International Speedway museum, a barbeque dinner and a speech from faculty advisor, Glenn Bower, on lessons learned in Year Two.

The University of Wisconsin EcoCAR team is now developing the spring semester’s plan and outlining deadlines in detail, so that they can be best prepared for May.

The University of Wisconsin hybrid team worked around the clock at the Kelly Moss Motorsports shop to give its vehicle a new paint job. Through the process, the team learned that the key to a successful paint job is the preparation. 
In the first week, the team completed the tear-down process. This involved careful disassembly and storage of drive train parts. The team made sure to label everything and document the process, so that the critical parts could be easily reassembled. Everything on the vehicle’s exterior that was not going to be painted was removed too. Kelly Moss Motorsports’ shop manager, Gary Kuehn, gave the team a tutorial on wet sanding a vehicle, which is critical to insure proper paint adhesion. Wet sanding is a bit messy, but results in a smooth flat finish that will readily accept automotive primer and paint.
In week two, the team completed the masking and cleaning part of the project. They even worked over Thanksgiving break to make sure the dust from the wet sanding process was cleaned off the vehicle and to tape off and mask the windows and trim. 
The finished product came out great!

Green Garage Site

About EcoCAR

Follow Us on Twitter

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.


Calendar of Posts

May 2020