As Winter Workshop ends and teams work away on their Blazers, the CSU Vehicle Innovation Team is more than ready to advance at year 2 final competition with the help of industry sponsor, NXP. NXP is one of many industry sponsors that kindly assists the EcoCAR teams with a multitude of resources, including being our gracious host at Winter Workshop in Austin, Texas. The Colorado State team utilizes a variety of NXP automotive technologies, some that can be seen and some that are hidden in our influx of advanced vehicle components.
The Colorado State EcoCAR Team uses NXP products in two ways.
The first being the usage and optimization of the Cohda radios, which allow communication to flow with other vehicles on the road. Cohda radios are vital for our Blazer vehicle autonomy ultimately because it provides the driver with safety messages as they are on the road, such as impact warnings with other vehicles.
The second way that the CSU Vehicle Innovation team uses NXP products is through infrastructure completed by the increment of V2X and systems safety. V2X is a critical element in regards to our vehicle’s safety and efficiency, and ultimately serves as an essential element in our Blazer vehicle technology.
The Colorado State Team utilizes NXP products through technology integrated into our Blazer. Their purpose solely relies on systems safety, and the detection of vehicle hazards while on the road. All NXP products used in our vehicle endeavors serve a fundamental purpose to our overall vehicle safety technology, and to ease the driver just a bit more than when driving a standard combustion-engine vehicle.
Throughout year 2, safety has been one of our top priorities as a team. That's why the CSU Vehicle Innovation Team envies NXP and their system safety features in their advanced automotive technological devices. Already have our students gained extensive knowledge on the subject of safety in vehicle autonomy, and NXP's sponsorship with the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge has paved the path for CSU's success in year 2 and beyond as our students move into their professional careers.
Working as a Student Ambassador for Colorado State University Powerhouse Energy Campus, Emily Taylor always had a passion for sustainable and renewable energy. While working at the Powerhouse, Emily was presented with an opportunity to work as the Communications Manager for Year 4 of the EcoCAR3 competition. Following her passions, she decided to join the team and was very happy to have joined in the end.
Being the Communications Manager, Emily learned about technical aspects from a liberal arts perspective, helping her gain a better understanding of energy technologies and how they work in the world. Emily made the claim that “my favorite part about the program was getting to work with a team of engineers. Working with people beyond my major gave me a sense of how different disciplines need to collaborate within a company.”
After graduating from Colorado State in 2018, Emily started working in Government Affairs for a renewable energy development company in Denver, Colorado. She claims “the communications program in EcoCAR3 was extremely helpful for me to gain direct experience in stakeholder outreach and learn about energy issues that Colorado faces.”
Not only did Emily gain extensive knowledge in the field of automotive technology and energy conservation, but she also got the opportunity to establish various interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships, including that of former Congressman Jared Polis, who is now the Governor of Colorado and representatives from the Colorado State’s Senator office.
Emily envied her experience within the EcoCAR program, from related experiences to what she was interested in for her long-term career goals to learning more about herself in an environment outside of her comfort zone. When asked what advice she would give someone on the CSU Vehicle Innovation Team, Emily mentions to “remember creating long term strategies, stakeholder relationships, collateral and more will be helpful for future years, especially for those new to the program.”
All of our alumni are vital to our program’s growing and learning process. We value each and every team member that enters the program and exits to a new opportunity where their EcoCAR knowledge is a valuable addition. We are all proud to be Colorado State Rams!
With Fall Workshop complete and the second year of the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge (EMC) in full swing, The Colorado State University Vehicle Innovation Team (CSU VIT) is readying up for success in the second year of the EMC. Along with the new year comes new team members, building up on our original 40-member team from Year 1 of the ECM from a variety of majors, locations and essential skills. CSU VIT is looking forward to the second year of the competition with the help of our fresh faces.
With a new team, new management roles have been taken on since the Summer of 2019. Let’s meet the managers behind Team CSU.
Aaron Rabinowitz is the Project Manager from Cleveland, Ohio. Aaron is currently studying a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, with research heavily focused on connected autonomous mobility. With experience in past EcoCAR competitions and FSAE, he is excited to continue incorporating his expertise as CSU VIT’s new Project Manager.
Benjamin McKenney is this year’s Engineering Manager from Aurora, Colorado. Ben is a first-year graduate student studying Mechanical Engineering, as well as an alumnus of the Powertrain Team for Year 1 of the EMC. Ben hopes to continue bringing in his experiences in order to help the team be successful in the years to come of the EMC.
Rachel Taylor is the Communications Manager from Larkspur, Colorado. She is a senior studying Communications and Sustainability, with experience in sustainable involvement at CSU. Rachel is ready to take on her senior year by bringing a brighter name to the Communications swim lane, as well as applying her skills to the team space to make CSU VIT’s name heard nationwide.
Derek Adelman is the Systems Safety Manager and PSI Lead from Grass Valley, California. Derek is a first-year graduate student studying Mechanical Engineering and an alumnus of both the Colorado State University Men’s Lacrosse Team, and the Controls Team for Year 1 of the EMC. He is looking forward to bringing in more of his knowledge in dynamics and controls systems to further prepare the team in the future.
With a new team and new management from a variety of backgrounds, the CSU VIT is looking forward to a successful second year of the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge.
Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day - The CSU Vehicle Innovation Team Teaches Young Girls about the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge
Recently, the CSU Vehicle Innovation Team had participated in Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, teaching young middle school girls the logistics behind the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, all the while learning how to build saltwater powered robots, and solar powered cars.
Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day is a devoted day specifically for younger, middle school girls. The event gives these girls the privilege to learn more about what engineering is like, what Colorado State University engineering students do, how our engineers are working towards bettering society, and essentially what they can do with engineering in the future. Our volunteers from the team had aided some young girls in building these saltwater powered robots, and solar powered cars for the majority of the day.
Teaching these young girls about the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge gives them a chance to see what our engineering students are doing with the Chevrolet Blazer, and what opportunities could be in store for them when they pick a university, or college in the long run. While teaching them the basics of what EcoCAR is like, our volunteers had also assisted in teaching them how engineering works by building their gadgets.
At the end of the day, the CSU EcoCAR team and the young girls that they were helping participated in a racing competition, similar to what the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge provokes. While teaching these girls the logistics of the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, they also had the opportunity to get some hands on experience with what a competition would look like while racing their solar powered cars.
The saltwater powered robots had also participated in a racing competition. The girls had set up all of their gadgets outside of the Water Scott Bioengineering building, and raced against each other head to head. The CSU Vehicle Innovation Team had also participated with the young girls in their racing competition, giving them technique critiques and how they could potentially make their gadgets stronger.
Encouraging these younger girls to partake in engineering is something that makes the STEM field that much more interesting, and stronger. Having the opportunity for the CSU Vehicle Innovation Team to volunteer at such a big event is the next large step into recruiting younger girls to STEM based careers, and more importantly, the Colorado State University EcoCAR Mobility Challenge in their future endeavors.
Looking Towards the Future: CSU CAVs Team Members Preparing for Honda R&D After Graduation
Since 1988, Colorado State University (CSU) has worked on and been involved with AVTC vehicle innovations. Only recently in the last 5 years, CSU joined the EcoCAR Challenge with the introduction of the EcoCAR3 Mobility Challenge last year. With a high success rate with the student population involved in the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, CSU decided to join in on another 4-year competition to further advance students and staff wishing to get involved with AVTC technologies.
Honda R&D Americas Inc. is a division of the Honda Motor Company that focuses on design and development of new automotive technologies. Two of the graduating seniors from the CAVs teams held internships there over the summer and were offered jobs after graduation, and the other graduate will be working as an intern for the first time with the company.
With their future jobs set in stone, these team members are more than excited to begin their new jobs. We had the opportunity to ask them a few questions about how their EcoCAR skills can be transferred over into the working world and most importantly, how the challenge itself has impacted them as individuals.
Student Joshua Urban had previously worked with Honda R&D at their engine research facility in Denver, Colorado. He will work as a transmission research engineer that focuses on the development of software calibrations and shift schedules for automobiles. Urban had stated that “EcoCAR has taught me the fundamentals of development a hybrid vehicle controller, including modeling and simulating different hybrid vehicle architecture.”
Student Bryce Barsnick will be an intern at Honda R&D for the first time over the Summer of 2019. He will be in the department that is focused on vehicle controls and testing. “The EcoCAR Mobility Challenge has given me an insight into how hybrid electric vehicles work and how much of an interesting design project they can be,” said Barsnick. “Working at Honda would also allow me to apply everything I have learned from EcoCAR Mobility Challenge into a real-world industry application and expand upon my current knowledge.”
Student Nikki Machado had also previously worked with Honda R&D. Similar to her prior work with the company, she will be working as a system and driveability engineer across integrations for vehicles, working in a CSMS group for Honda vehicles specifically. Machado had stated that “EcoCAR is an awesome platform to take risks and try new things,” and she “most appreciated the awesome resources like Anthony Heap, Marco Peyfuss, and Scott Fury who have dedicated lots of time into teaching us but also supported our ambitions and direction.”
With Year 1 of the EcoCAR Challenge wrapping up, graduating members Joshua Urban, Nikki Machado and Bryce Barsnick of the CSU Vehicle Innovation Team are excited for their future endeavors. Each of them have received an opportunity to work and intern at Honda R&D Americas Inc. They have EcoCAR to thank for preparing them for their opportunities once they finish their undergraduate years in the next short months.