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Embry-Riddle Engineers Take on Challenge: Reduce Ecological Impact of Cars

Daytona Beach, Fla. , May 22, 2008

A team of faculty and student engineers from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the EcoEagles, has been selected to participate in EcoCar: The Next Challenge, a three-year competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors, Natural Resources Canada, and other sponsors.

One of only 17 U.S. and Canadian teams selected for the prestigious competition, the Embry-Riddle engineers will have the opportunity to create innovative solutions to reduce the impact of automobiles on the environment and on energy dependence.

The EcoCar Challenge seeks to advance the level of vehicle technology capable of reducing petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, while demonstrating the real-world performance of a range of technology options.

The Embry-Riddle team will use GM’s global development process to integrate cutting-edge hybrid system technology into a 2009 Saturn Vue provided by GM.

Many of the students and faculty on the EcoEagles team benefit from their experience as the two-year reigning national champions of the SAE Formula Hybrid international competition.

The hands-on multidisciplinary project is advised by faculty from the departments of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer and software engineering, aeronautical engineering, and engineering physics: William Barott, Ray Mankbadi, Jack McKisson, Massood Towhidnejad, and Darris White.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 70 baccalaureate, master's and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and, and find expert videos at