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Curiosity sparks interest in automotive engineering

Leo BauerBauer, on a recent trip to Niagara Falls“I’ve always loved learning how things work,” said graduate student Leo Bauer when asked why he chose to study engineering. “I initially chose mechanical engineering because I didn’t have a specific idea of what I wanted to do and it seemed like the more general option with the most specializations available. I later figured out that I really liked working with cars!”

Bauer is a graduate research associate at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) and is involved in the ARPA-E NEXTCAR project. Bauer, along with his fellow project team members, use connected vehicle technologies to improve the vehicle fuel economy of a mild hybrid vehicle by using look ahead information. “We are using simulation tools to optimize the power train operation of the vehicle if we assume full knowledge of a given route,” said Bauer.

“Leo has been instrumental to the NEXTCAR program in helping to build a powertrain simulator for predicting vehicle performance before hardware was available,” said Greg Busch, research scientist at CAR and ARPA-E NEXTCAR team member.

“I really enjoy applying some of the concepts that I’m learning in class to this research,” said Bauer. “And since the project is in partnership with Delphi, one of our industry partners, it’s a great opportunity to interact with their engineers.”

Prior to attending Ohio State, Bauer received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. While there he had the opportunity to intern at OSG, an engineering manufacturing company where he gained valuable experience in general engineering support work.

More recently, Bauer spent a summer in Rochester, NY where he interned with Delphi in their engine control unit calibration group, primarily working on tasks related to the ARPA-E NEXTCAR project.

With plans to graduate in May, 2018, Bauer hopes to land a position in the automotive industry.

Outside of the classroom and CAR, you’ll likely find Bauer at the movies, hiking, traveling or watching his favorite sports teams, the Buckeyes and FC Nantes, his hometown French soccer team.

By Colleen Herr, CAR marketing and communications specialist