Posts Tagged by MSU

October Update | Year 2

 

In the past month, we’ve traveled to Boston, MA for Fall Workshop, Malmo, Sweden for an SAE International Conference, Korea for yet another industry conference, and traveled to Austin, TX for SXSW Eco for an EcoCAR 2 discussion panel. Additionally, we’ve visited with our Lieutenant Governor, Tate Reeves, our State Governor, Phil Bryant, and former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani as well as two of our of Congressmen’s staff. We’ve also spoken to close to 300 students across our state about EcoCAR 2 and how our team fits into the competition and the AVTC program overall.

So you may be asking yourself, ‘Isn’t there a car to be reengineered?’ or ‘Don’t y’all need to be bringing this Malibu into a working condition?’ The answer is yes, of course we do! But there are many other parts to EcoCAR and the AVTC program. Some or most of which is covered in the activities previously mentioned.

The truth is, beyond reengineering a vehicle to be environmentally better, but not compromising for the consumer, we have a duty as teams to take this opportunity we’ve been given and let others know about it – as much as we can. From industry to influencer, from consumer households to young students. Every person should know about the successes and benefits that the AVTC program brings to everyone involved. However, we understand how interested you might be in where we are in the engineering aspect and so far we’ve begun finished task of disassembly.

We’ve received our engine as well as our battery modules from A123 Systems, and we’re continuing to receive other components as well. Right now we’re focusing on making our battery pack structurally sound and safe before its in the vehicle, as well as testing our engine. That all we can say at this point on our progress, but stay tuned for more updates on the team.

Coast Bound for Spring Break | Gulf Coast Children’s Fair

When everyone was busy packing their bags and heading to the beach for Spring Break, the MSU EcoCAR team was planning an exciting event with the EPA where the Magic School Bus got cleaned up! The Gulf Coast Children’s Fair, held in Biloxi, MS, was a two-day environmental event organized by the Gulf Regional Planning Commission in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Mississippi Department for Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

The purpose of the event was to talk to local elementary students about pollution and the benefits of keeping the air clean. More than 800 third graders from all over the state attended the two-day fair and they learned about cars of the future and alternative energy forms that decrease pollution. Students shared their ideas and had very interesting questions that tested the teams knowledge, causing them think about certain concepts from a completely different perspective. On the last day, the event opened to the public where hundreds more of the locals brought their families and friends to learn about cleaning up the air. For more coverage, visit the local WLOX news station website.

It was a great learning experience for all in attendance as well as the MSU team. Overall, the Gulf Coast Children’s Fair was a remarkable example of how a big event can come together when a different organizations team up and work together – much like that of the AVTC programs over the years.

 

Working Together to Bridge the Gap

The gap between technical and non-technical ways of thinking is usually fairly substantial. The subject-matter and thought processes are so drastically different from one another that sometimes it doesn’t seem necessary to even try to bridge that gap.

The EcoCAR 2 program gives students and professionals (technical and non-technical) the ability to think in terms of both. This gives EcoCAR students the skills and mindset that many industries and organizations are  looking for. Organizational leaders  seek  individuals with the ability to proactively collaborate to fix  problems. EcoCAR 2 is the epitome of cross-discipline collaboration. Students; faculty; and professional sponsors come from different sides of industry and yet all work seamlessly together to achieve a sole purpose – creating vehicles that are more sustainable and consumer oriented for a society that is faced with an impending energy crisis. This concept of training students to think and work collaboratively is not only part of the solution to the automotive or energy markets, but it could also be part of the answer for larger scale societal issues.

Society and the world we live in is long overdue for an across the board “meeting of the minds” – something that the AVTC program has been putting into action for 23 years now.