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COE, CBA and CCI Team Selected to Compete in EcoCAR3 Challenge

EcoCAR2 with Dean Wirth and Sarah ZimmermanThe University of Tennessee has been selected to compete with 15 other universities in the highly prestigious EcoCAR3 Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC), continuing a tradition of extended participation in all but one competition series in the twenty-six year history of AVTCs. UT’s EcoCAR3 team is led by faculty and students from the College of Engineering with collaboration from the College of Business Administration and the College of Communication and Information. The multi-disciplinary teams collaborate to deliver the final product.  Engineering majors will design and build an innovative advanced vehicle that will reduce costs and make a hybrid or electric vehicle more accessible and more likely to be adopted by the general public. The vehicle must demonstrate improved fuel efficiency and emissions reduction while maintaining performance, safety and consumer appeal. Business majors will provide risk and cost management functions along with project management and development skills.  CCI public relations majors will provide media relations, social media deliverables and external outreach.

“The interdisciplinary collaboration among EcoCAR3 team members will provide our students with a remarkable opportunity to engage with engineering and business students in a real world competitive setting,” said PR Associate Professor Lisa Fall, faculty advisor for the communication portion of EcoCAR3.  The EcoCAR3 project spans four years and is slated for its final competition in 2018. 

EcoCAR3 is the eleventh Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition.  The program is sponsored by the US Department of Energy and General Motors.  More than 93 educational institutions have participated over the program’s history.  The goal of the program is to stimulate the development of advanced propulsion and alternative fuel technologies.  It also provides hands-on training for the next generation of automotive engineers and those supporting the engineering process.

As a veteran team, UT’s EcoCAR3 group will serve as mentors for first-time competitors at Georgia Tech. “The EcoCAR3 challenge provides our public relations students with a great opportunity to work with engineering and business students as part of an important national competition,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “The experience our students gain will teach them invaluable lessons that will have a major impact on their future careers.”

Look for more news in the future about the UT interdisciplinary EcoCAR projects including UT’s EcoCAR2 team, which is currently in Milford, Michigan and Washington, DC competing in the finals of the EcoCAR2 3-year challenge.