Arizona State’s Team Gets in Gear for the EcoCAR 3 Competition

Byline: Ashley Yost, Arizona State Communications Manager

Arizona State University (ASU) is a new contender in Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTCs) and has a strong team to take on the challenge of EcoCAR 3.

ASU is seen as the new American university and its motive is to advance the outlook and rigor of higher education. EcoCAR 3 gives ASU the ability to progress their multidisciplinary background by hosting a team comprised of graduate and undergraduate engineering, business, communication, graphic information technology, entrepreneurship, and journalism students. These students come from three different campuses and structure to form seven sub-teams: mechanical, electrical, controls, systems modeling & simulation, center stack, project management and communications.

Automotive Program History

ASU’s Automotive Program officially began in 2009 with instruction from James Contes and foundation from Dr. Scott Danielson. Dr. Scott Danielson, chair of the Mechanical Engineering Technology program at ASU’s Polytechnic campus, had been working with General Motors management through their Desert Proving Ground facilities located near the Polytechnic campus to start an Automotive Engineering program at ASU. From there, the program was handed off to James Contes to excel the program in the fall semester of 2009 as a Senior Lecturer. He was instructed to “teach the students what he did at the proving ground as a GM test and development engineer.” Classes soon developed and now the program is headed into a positive direction. The EcoCAR 3 competition is a key component that is assisting in further development and impact of the ASU Automotive Engineering program.


ASU’s expected outcomes at the end of the competition not only include winning but also better-developing the current Automotive Engineering program at ASU. By giving members of the team real world experiences throughout the EcoCAR 3 competition, each student will be given the tools necessary to advance into industry.

Check out ASU’s video for more details on team members and visit for more information.