Wayne State University will host the kickoff workshop for “EcoCar 2: Plugging Into The Future,” a one-of-a-kind engineering competition between teams representing 15 universities challenged to reduce the environmental impact of vehicles without compromising performance, safety or consumer acceptability.

The competition will take place Thursday, Sept. 8 through Saturday, Sept. 10 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Wayne State University’s Marvin I. Danto Engineering Development Center at 5050  Anthony Wayne Drive in Detroit.

This three-year collegiate engineering program, established by the United States Department of Energy and General Motors Inc., will educate the next generation of automotive engineers, giving them the knowledge and skills needed to continue the evolution of automotive propulsion technology and energy efficiency. GM provides production vehicles, vehicle components, seed money, technical mentoring and operational support. The DOE and its research and development facility, Argonne National Laboratory, provide competition management, team evaluation, and technical and logistical support.

Through the program, EcoCAR 2 teams will follow a real-world Vehicle Development Process  modeled after GM’s VDP. The teams will use 2013 Chevrolet Malibus as the integration platform for their advanced vehicle design.

At the kickoff workshop, the teams will use the state-of-the-art facilities of Wayne State’s Danto  Center to receive training in tools for model-based design, such as MathWorks MATLAB and Simulink, and software-in-the-loop (SIL) and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulation techniques. Aided by these design tools, as well as $25,000 in seed money, the teams will spend the next year developing their vehicle designs.

Wayne State is the only Michigan school participating in EcoCar 2.