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Students gain research experience as CAR interns

If you stop by CAR this summer, you’ll likely to see some new faces - 13 high school and college interns are spending their summer here, gaining experience in automotive engineering.

Research scientist, Jeff Chrstos is working with four interns on developing a Driver-in-the-Loop (DiL) driving simulator.

 Rathore testing out the driving simulator Rathore testing out the driving simulator Aashit Rathore who is studying mechanical engineering at IIT Guwahati in India is working on the simulator’s steering torque feedback system. After assessing the current steering system, he updated it by creating a new CAN interface that allows the vehicle simulation computer to communicate with the steering system at high speed. He also tested the performance of the steering system’s dynamic response with real-time data received from the simulator. 

Phie Rodriguez who will be a senior at Columbus School for Girls this fall, is spending her summer creating virtual test track courses and driving tests to be used in the simulator.

Electrical engineering student, Nick Haber is creating a feedback system for the simulator seat belt and brake pedal systems. The seat belts will tighten or loosen slightly under a braking scenario to help the driver feel like they are actually decelerating or accelerating. The brake pedal will pulsate when the anti-lock braking system is activated in the simulator to mirror the feel of an actual brake pedal in a situation when the anti-lock brake is active.

Ruban Sekar, who pursuing his masters degree in mechanical engineering is working on a research project to assess the simulator’s utility for vehicle handing development.

 Interns working on a charging station prototype Interns working on a charging station prototypeMechanical engineering students Noah Davis and Kan Wang along with electrical and computer engineering student Ezekiel Rhamy are working on a prototype of a charging station capable of charging electric vehicles at 50kW without impacting the grid distribution network. The team will take old but still usable electrical vehicle batteries and use them as a storage bank alongside an electrical vehicle charger second life application.

Davis is creating grid plots and improving the overall look of the battery pack using 3D modeling. He says that one of the highlights of this experience is the “on the job experience.” “It has been a big step up in my knowledge of this technology and I'm excited for what’s to come,” said Davis.

Wang is conducting and analyzing characterization tests for the battery packs cooling system and determining heat transfer parameters from previous discharging and charging tests for the battery packs.

Rhamy set up the control network, allowing devices to work with other sensors and CAN communication for the old electric vehicle batteries. He made his own CAN databases and used previously existing databases to control the contacts of the vehicle batteries in order to supply power. The CAN network also implements sensors which help to monitor the overall temperature of the batteries.

David Wolfson, an incoming senior majoring in electrical engineering is working with senior design engineer, Prashanth Ramesh and Matilde D'Arpino on a project which involves designing a prototype for a high-performance, multifunctional battery pack for hybrid turbo electric regional aircrafts.

 “My role is analyzing data from testing different technologies of batteries and developing a model for the battery to allow us to see how a battery type will perform under given power requirements under the system constraints.” said Wolfson.

Dominek bending wood to create the frame for the Supermileage vehicleDominek bending wood to create the frame for the Supermileage vehicleEddie Dominek is spending his summer in the Motorsports garage before starting his sophomore year at Upper Arlington High School. Under the supervision of Matt Little, CAR’s senior instrument maker, Dominek has been working closely with the Supermileage team, bending wood for the body of their vehicle and designing the steering column mount.

“I learned how to bend wood by steaming it before drying it in an oven,” said Dominek. Once the wood is in place, a fabric will be stretched over it to cover the frame.”

Dominek was also able to observe carbon fiber sheets being laid out and formed and learned how to use SolidWorks to design the steering column mount for the car.

Cech is using Matlab to model an automotive fuel systemCech is using Matlab to model an automotive fuel systemMary Cech, who is majoring in materials science and engineering is working under the direction of research scientist Greg Busch to model an automotive fuel system.  She is using Matlab software to construct a thermodynamic model to determine how the gasoline in the fuel system will behave when subjected to different environmental and vehicle operating conditions with a focus on reducing environmental emissions.

“The goal is to verify my model by conducting experiments with real fuel system components,” said Cech. “Hopefully, the model will match the experimental results. This project allows me to explore modeling and gain experience with emissions and automotive systems. I am very excited to be doing this research at CAR.” 

 Volchko with the high speed wind tunnel Volchko with the high speed wind tunnel Andrew Volchko, who is studying aeronautical and astronautical engineering is working with Greg Busch to design a force-balance for a low-speed wind tunnel. Volchko is a part of the Ohio State Supermileage team, a team that is building a small single-seat vehicle designed for extremely high fuel economy.  He will use the force-balance to measure the aerodynamic drag on a model of the Supermileage vehicle to guide design decisions when the team builds a drag-reducing aerodynamic body for the vehicle for the next competition.

Becca Turner, who will be a senior at Upper Arlington High School is working with graduate research associate, Adithya Jayakumar on a project aimed at improving vehicle road load prediction accuracy to reduce variability arising from laboratory results, test track results and the relationship between test track and laboratory results across various different vehicle types. Turner is analyzing the experimental road surface data using Matlab to better understand road surface degradation.

Matt AppellMatt AppellElectrical and computer engineering student, Matt Appel is spending his summer with research scientist, Qadeer Ahmed working on a Functional Safety Aspect of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles. As an initial step, he worked on a Cloud Based Telematics Device. The device interacts with a car’s on-board diagnostics port and sends the data to the cloud using Amazon Web Services to be analyzed and then stored in a cloud based database. He is developing a MATLAB app to interface from any computer and log/analyze the data.










 “The internship program gave researchers like myself an opportunity to tap the new talent and an opportunity for students to explore the latest automotive trends,” said Ahmed. “My internee will continue with me for his MS thesis as a GRA. So it’s a win-win situation for both CAR and the student!”    


Written by Colleen Herr, CAR Marketing and Communications Specialist