The EcoCAR 3 Year Two Fall Workshop in Natick, MA, has officially come to an end.
Over the course of the five day workshop, teams participated in multi-track training featuring competition sponsors at MathWorks Headquarters in Natick, MA. Teams received an update on Year Two competition rules, upcoming deliverables and EcoCAR 3 events for the coming year. The teams also had the opportunity to receive valuable and extensive training in donated software and components from MathWorks, dSPACE, Freescale, Siemens, and more!
Virginia Tech Communication Manager, Sara Lepley shared the communications session that was most helpful. She said, “Media pitching. You learn how to draft materials to give to media in classes, but you aren’t able to learn how to establish relationships or actually reach out to media with substantial stories. We sometimes have a great story idea but aren’t sure how to address it. It is awesome to talk to professionals in the field of communication here at the Fall Workshop and learn the importance of industry standard media pitching and what has worked and what hasn’t.”
West Virginia University graduate student, Chelsea Betts, added “I believe that the session that will be most helpful for our communication team is the social media track by Alexis Yoskovich of Weber Shandwick, which covered social media analytics. It was nice to hear Alexis explain the different types of analytics and resources when it comes to evaluating and engaging our audiences.”
During the workshops, teams were able to connect one-on-one with EcoCAR 3 sponsors, competing teams, and competition organizers.
“The sessions I find the most useful are the one-on-one sessions with sponsors where we get to discuss our designs that we apply to vehicle and get an industry perspective on assembling our systems. In addition, MathWorks and Simulink training have been really beneficial to new students on our team allowing them to understand how to use the software and interact with our models for our modeling and simulation track,” said Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Engineering Manager Tom Gorgia.
“What I like most about the Workshop setting is the fact that we get to communicate with other teams and get to figure out how other schools manage their team and build successful programs,” said WVU Engineering Manager Justin Brumley. “What’s fascinating is that it’s always interesting to see how many different ways there are to do one single thing. Our school mentors are Virginia Tech and we have built a strong relationship with them, even friendships. Any time we have a problem they are always there to help us out.”
Some of the teams were even able to set aside an evening filled with competitive go-karting.
“EcoCAR is almost like a college sporting event,” added Gorgia. “Everyone is here to have a good time, compete, and learn something new. We all want to see each other succeed. For example, ERAU and Penn State established a go-karting tradition at each workshop. The winners are even awarded a trophy, which is a torque converter with the team name and date written on stator blade.”
The organizers of EcoCAR 3 would like to thank all of the students and sponsors for attending the Year Two Fall Workshop. Thank you to MathWorks for hosting such a successful and informative event! We look forward to seeing everyone at the Winter Workshop in 2016.