Facilities Inspection Determines EcoCAR Team’s Future

BY: Leah Johnson

The month of February was very important for the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech; the fate of our team was in the hands of Steven Boyd, a Technology Development Manager for the U.S. Department of Energy. Boyd traveled to Virginia Tech to perform the facility inspection, an EcoCAR 3 competition deliverable that is worth nine percent of the total points the team can earn in Year 1. “We’re making sure all of the teams have the facilities and equipment they need to do well in the competition and to build a vehicle here on campus next year,” Boyd said.


Faculty Advisor Dr. Doug Nelson and team leader Lucas Shoults listen to Boyd as he goes through the facilities inspection checklist.


In order for HEVT to pass the inspection, the facility not only needs to have sufficient space, but it needs to be clean and organized as well. The competition also requires every team to maintain an up-to-date facilities binder. This binder includes documentation and information on every aspect of the lab including emergency contacts and response plans, as well as the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for a majority of the activities done in the lab. “The more seriously the team takes documenting everything completed in the lab, especially involving safety procedures, the easier this task will be on future team members,” said senior mechanical subteam member Brandon White who took the lead on the inspection.