Victoria Shows Spirit, Sportsmanship, and Strength of Character to Win 4th Place

Each year at competition finals, the Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) organizers distribute two very special “organizer” awards – the Dr. Donald Streit Sportsmanship Award and the Ron Stence Spirit of the Challenge Award. The first honor goes to the team that unselfishly reaches out to assist and support the other teams and organizers, despite their own circumstances and challenges. The award is named for the late Dr. Donald Streit, who served as faculty advisor to the Pennsylvania State University FutureTruck team and whose dedication and sportsmanship live on through the AVTC students. The Spirit of the Challenge Award is named in memory of a longtime EcoCAR competition organizer and sponsor from Freescale Semiconductor, Mr. Ron Stence. Ron was a very dedicated and passionate advocate of the AVTC program whose persistence to overcome almost any challenge encompassed the true “spirit of the challenge.”

This year, the University of Victoria EcoCAR team, lead by students Jeremy Wise and Jeff Waldner, had the perseverance, sportsmanship, strength of character, and positive attitude characterized by both the Spirit of the Challenge and Sportsmanship Awards. This was evident in the unanimous decision by competition organizers that the team would receive both honors.

The University of Victoria team accepting an award at the EcoCAR Year Two Finals

Throughout the year, the University of Victoria fought endlessly through challenges and was successful in having a running vehicle. Leading up to competition, the team participated in weekly conference calls to help others use GM’s 2-Mode transmission and answer questions about their development and integration progress. They were heavily involved in the discussion boards, always answering any questions other teams might have in a timely manner, even while developing their own vehicle. The team was an integral part of 2-Mode integration and control strategy troubleshooting, and without their efforts, we can be sure that other teams would not be as far along as they were when they arrived at competition.

Even with all of their preparation, the team had some issues going into competition. With just a couple weeks before their vehicle shipped to Yuma, they suffered a broken input shaft and had to remove their powertrain for repair. During competition, they had another mechanical issue with their powertrain. Rather than give up, the team modified their control strategy to achieve significant vehicle functionality and were able to complete almost all of the dynamic events, ultimately finishing in 4th place overall. 

The University of Victoria EcoCAR in action!

Despite their own technical struggles, the University of Victoria team consistently went out of their way to share knowledge and experience with other 2-mode teams throughout Year Two. During competition, one team noted that they were unaware Victoria was even having mechanical issues because whenever they asked them questions, the team members were always positive and willing to help. They demonstrated wisdom and vision in recognizing that helping others reach their ultimate potential is as valuable as seeking their own immediate success. The University of Victoria is a model to other teams in their attitude, willingness to help others, and ability to never give up. We can’t wait to see what the team does in Year Three! Congratulations, UVic team!

Contributed by Nicole Lambiase, an engineering coordinator for Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition program.