Embry-Riddle Student Interns at Argonne National Laboratory for the Summer

Leslie (front row, 3rd from right) with the ERAU team at the 2012 EcoCAR Competiiton

While many students headed to the beach this summer, Ken Leslie, Team Leader and Electrical Lead of the EcoEagles of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, was making his way to Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago, Illinois.

Ken spent his summer as a research aide for Dr. Henning Lohse-Busch and Dr. Eric Rask, where he investigated the traditional use of a linear relationship with high voltage hybrid vehicle battery packs and developed a non-linear solver for Li-polymer and Li-Ion chemistries.  This project not only required skill in MATLAB, but also Excel, in order to properly create a useable base-line model and human interface.

“During Year One of EcoCAR 2, the teams were trained with advanced design and simulation techniques,” he said. “Due to this, a key critical thinking mindset has been engrained that not only allows the students who participate to view new problems with a level head, but also enables us to focus on the proper scientific steps to achieve a measureable end goal.”

While working for Argonne this summer, Ken also learned valuable lessons in safety training in the advanced technology vehicle field.

“Even with the vast research I did during Year One with Embry-Riddle, I only knew a subset of the knowledge that is displayed and used in the Argonne facility daily,” he said.

The 2012-2013 school year marks Ken’s second and final year of his Electrical Engineering master’s program.  He is expecting a demanding year, but can’t wait to jump back into EcoCAR 2 and make his team’s vehicle architecture design a reality. Ken is also happy to announce that he recently accepted a job offer from General Motors. Congratulations Ken!