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SOJ students participate in EcoCar Challenge Finals this month

West Virginia University’s EcoCAR team

West Virginia University’s EcoCAR team is participating in the Year Two EcoCar Challenge Finals in Yuma, Ariz. and San Diego from May 17 to 27.

WVU students from the College of Engineering and the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism will compete against 15 North American universities for the Year Two title.

Over the past year, the WVU team has been re-engineering a General Motors-donated vehicle as part of EcoCAR, a three-year national competition sponsored by GM and the U.S. Department of Energy. The competition challenges university teams to make their vehicles more fuel efficient and reduce emissions while maintaining performance, reliability and consumer acceptability.

The WVU team has developed an eco-friendly vehicle that will be tested in more than a dozen technical events at this year’s finals. Competition events will take place at the General Motors Desert Proving Ground in Yuma and at several locations throughout San Diego.

The first leg of competition will take place May 18-23 in Yuma, where EcoCAR vehicles will be judged by a variety of standards including a safety and technical inspection, dynamic consumer acceptability, highway stability, braking, acceleration, autocross, and emissions and energy consumption testing.

“I believe our strong work ethic will lead to success in Yuma” said Brody Conklin, the WVU engineering team leader.

While primarily an engineering competition, the WVU EcoCAR team also includes five public relations students from the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism. Outreach team members have been organizing numerous presentations at area schools and media events to educate the community about renewable resources and its benefits to the environment.

“I believe all our efforts this past year will really impress the judges,” said Catherine Mihelic, a senior public relations student and team member. “We’ve exceeded all the outreach requirements of this competition and are proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

Both the engineering and outreach teams will be judged on their presentations during the second leg of the competition which is place May 23-27 in San Diego.

The Year Two Competition Finals will conclude with a ceremony at the San Diego House of Blues where awards totaling nearly $100,000 will be handed out, and the first, second and third place winners will be announced.

For more information on the WVU EcoCAR Team, please visit http://ecocar.wvu.edu.

Read this official press release and more on WVU Today.