RHIT’s Super Happy Trip to China

Marc Herniter and Zac Chambers, the Rose-Hulman EcoCAR 2 Faculty Advisors, hopped a flight from Indianapolis with a final destination of Changchun, China.  Working through the RHIT Office of Global Programs and its director Dr. Luchen Li, Chambers and Herniter were invited to Jilin University to provide a four day, highly intense technical short course on Model-Based System Design.  The results were spectacular.

Professor Wu Jian served as the host and overall coordinator for the course which took place in the PACE lab in the college of automotive engineering.  Designed for a capacity of 36 students, the first day of lecture was standing-room-only with 85 students in attendance.  Fortunately, attendance decreased to 74 students for the remainder of the course and consisted of 17 undergraduates, 43 graduates, 7 post docs, and 7 faculty participating.  Response was initially so overwhelming that Prof. Wu had to create an application form to limit the attendance to 85.

Utilizing material from their Advanced MBSD class, Herniter and Chambers walked the class through the process of modeling a series electric vehicle.  Starting with simply blocks from various Simulink libraries including Simscape and Stateflow, the students created a complex model of system components utilizing experimental and manufacturer data and estimated fuel consumption for various drive cycles.

“This short course has hopefully both laid a foundation for MBSD at Jilin University and created a relationship which will enable Marc and I to return this summer to teach our two MBSD courses in their entirety.  We are grateful to Jilin University for the opportunity and to the MathWorks, Freescale, and Woodward MotoHawk for funding the lab at RHIT where these courses were developed,” stated Prof. Chambers.

Students were very interested in the EcoCAR 2 competition and asked many questions during an open forum on Friday evening.  Chambers and Herniter also had the opportunity to meet with the college’s Formula SAE team.  Stated Prof. Herniter, “EcoCAR 2 is internationally recognized as the premiere advanced vehicle technology competition – we are very proud to be a competition team!”