Why Penn State Loves MATLAB and Simulink

MATLAB and Simulink are pretty important programs for many EcoCAR 2 teams. It’s nearly impossible to write model-based design code without such programs – and thanks to one generous sponsor, the Penn State Advanced Vehicle Team (AVT) won’t ever have to experience this.

The PSU AVT has competed in Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTC) like EcoCAR 2 since 1988. This three-year North American competition challenges students to re-engineer a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu to reduce its environmental impact while maintaining consumer acceptability.

PSU AVT engineers graduate with unparalleled, hands-on automotive experience, but getting there would be nearly impossible without the help of one company: MathWorks.

In 1984, Jack Little and Cleve Moler recognized the need among engineers and scientists for more powerful and productive computation environments. To address this need, they co-founded MathWorks and created MATLAB and Simulink, two leading pieces model-based design and simulation software, respectively.

Brad Hieb, principle application engineer, said MathWorks contributes to EcoCAR 2 because it allows the company to invest in the future of students.

“We support the next generation of scientists and engineers,” Hieb said. “They’re going to be productive on the job right at day one.”

According to PSU AVT team leader Chris Golecki, access to MATLAB and Simulink is one of the reasons PSU AVT has found success throughout the competition.

“Without these programs, we’d have to use some other programming language to write our code,” Golecki said. “For us, Simulink is the keystone to our algorithm bridge.”

To learn more about the team’s collaboration with MathWorks, watch the video below!