Teams Recognized for Innovative Approach to Model-Based Design

NATICK, Mass. – July 24, 2012 – MathWorks today announced that teams from Ohio State University and University of Victoria have won the MathWorks Modeling Award as part of the EcoCAR 2 student competition. In addition, the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University team earned third place. The award recognizes the teams’ use of MATLAB and Simulink for Model-Based Design during the three-year competition to re-engineer a Chevrolet Malibu to improve its fuel economy and reduce emissions.

The team at Ohio State University employed Model-Based Design to build powertrain supervisory, engine and transmission controls from the ground up. They also designed an EcoSim simulator environment, which the team uses to perform trade-off studies, sophisticated optimizations and system validation automation.

“Where other groups might use existing controllers as black boxes to send override commands, the Ohio State team really pushed the design envelope. Their presenters could have easily been mistaken as seasoned veterans from the automotive industry,” said Paul Smith, director of consulting services at MathWorks and lead EcoCAR 2 mentor, MathWorks.

University of Victoria performed extensive custom physical modeling to develop fast running component models that can be integrated into HIL real-time simulations as part of their Model-Based Design workflow. “We are excited to see University of Victoria’s vehicle develop over the next two years. The team has done impressive research into both off-line and on-line control and drive cycle optimization to recognize actual and predicted driving patterns,” Smith noted.

Embry Riddle received recognition in third place for the team’s use of SimDriveline to develop fast and accurate system models that can be used for design tradeoff studies or real-time implementation. Their use of MATLAB and Simulink with Real-Time Workshop helped the team develop their vehicle fault detection, engine generator controls, and diesel emission controls.

To be eligible for the award, teams must be active participants in the 2012 EcoCAR 2 Challenge, a three-year competition organized by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors. During the first year, the teams use Model-Based Design, an approach in which a virtual model is at the center of system development, from initial design and simulation through to testing and implementation. Winners of MathWorks Modeling Award are selected on the basis of their team’s innovative use of modeling and simulation, as demonstrated through a presentation and Q&A session, coinciding with the end of Year One of the challenge. See how several EcoCAR 2 teams, including the winners of the MathWorks Modeling Award, are using Model-Based Design in this series of videos.

About EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future
EcoCAR 2: Plugging In to the Future is a three-year collegiate engineering program that builds on the successful 24-year history of Department of Energy advanced vehicle technology competitions by giving engineering students the chance to design and build advanced vehicles that demonstrate leading-edge, eco-friendly automotive technologies. General Motors provides each of the 15 competing teams with a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, as well as vehicle components, seed money, technical mentoring and operational support. The U.S. Department of Energy and its research and development facility, Argonne National Laboratory, provide competition management, team evaluation and logistical support. Through this important public/private partnership, EcoCAR 2 provides invaluable experience and training to promising young minds entering the North American job market. EcoCAR 2 follows the widely acclaimed competition series EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge.

About MathWorks
MathWorks is the leading developer of mathematical computing software. MATLAB, the language of technical computing, is a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualization, and numeric computation. Simulink is a graphical environment for simulation and Model-Based Design of multidomain dynamic and embedded systems. Engineers and scientists worldwide rely on these product families to accelerate the pace of discovery, innovation, and development in automotive, aerospace, electronics, financial services, biotech-pharmaceutical, and other industries. MathWorks products are also fundamental teaching and research tools in the world’s universities and learning institutions. Founded in 1984, MathWorks employs more than 2400 people in 15 countries, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. For additional information, visit

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