What I Learned While Taking the Model-Based Design for Vehicle Powertrain Course

Earlier this year, the Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) program launched a new Model-Based Design for Vehicle Powertrains course to help current AVTC teams and collegiate students learn about various model-based design plant models. We sat down with Argonne National Laboratory research aide student Jaime Galaz de Miguel to learn about his experience with the program so far!

Q: Please describe your initial level of knowledge of model based design before taking the Model-Based Design for Vehicle Powertrain course on NTER.

A: Although I had used MATLAB a lot while earning my engineering degree and during these six months at Argonne, my skills with Simulink were pretty basic. I had a couple of courses in which we used Simulink, but nothing as deep as what is done in the Model-Based Design course.

Q: How has the Model-Based Design for Vehicle Powertrains course helped you understand model-based design?

A: I am an Industrial Engineer, and my specialization was mainly in Energy Plants systems, so my background in model-based design was poor. This course has given me an approach to vehicles that I didn’t have before. I didn’t really realize how much work there is behind the design of a vehicle until I finished the course. I learned many things during the course, but I think the main lesson was that you can’t built a perfect model. You always have to deal with some limitations and accept a level of error. However, most of the times we don’t need a 100% accuracy in our model results, so it’s OK to work with some limited errors.

Q: How has the course helped you to model vehicle components?

A: So far I have not needed to design any vehicle component, but maybe in the future. But now I have learned the basics to be able to build those components on my own.

Q: How does this course compare to other training material about model-based design?

A: I have not attended any other model-based design course.

Q: How valuable do you think this course is?

A: For me it was really useful because I learned the process of how to design your own model. Of course I learned how to build a system to model an engine, but it also taught me the fundamentals of how any other model should be built.

Q: Would you recommend this course to someone who wants to learn about model-based design and how vehicle systems are modeled?

A: I already did to a friend, and he is really thankful. He needed to design some vehicle systems for one of his school projects, so this was the perfect course to learn how to build them!

Want to learn more? Watch this video that explains the Model-Based Design Curriculum Project (MBDCP) and how to access the modules!