Developing Modeling and Simulation Tools in Class to Prepare Engineering Students for the Automotive Industry 2014-01-1914
The Wayne State University EcoCAR2 team provided its members with Modeling and Simulation training course for the second summer of the competition. EcoCAR2 is a three-year Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) sponsored by General Motors and the Department of Energy. The course lasted three months and included 45 hours of formal lectures and class hands-on work and an estimated one hundred and fifty hours in home assignments that directly contributed to the team's deliverables. The course described here is unique. The design and class examples were extracted from an in-house complete vehicle simulation and control code to ensure hands-on, interactive training based on real-world problems. The course investigated the physics behind every major powertrain component of a hybrid electric vehicle and the different ways to model the components into a full vehicle simulation. Different engineering approaches were discussed to improve performance and fuel consumption while addressing the different tradeoffs. This paper describes the motivation for the training sessions, the process of the training and technical and educational results. Results and lessons learnt from the last course are provided and show the academic and real-world engineering wealth of knowledge and experience that such training gives engineering students at all levels. Finally, the 2013-Summer course was directed at replying to the EcoCAR3 Request for Proposal (RFP) and concentrated on a series hybrid electric vehicle. Results for the major tradeoffs in the proposal are given and discussed both technically and academically to establish the importance of such tools in engineering studies.