In a graduate-level course at Penn State, engineering students use hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) methodologies to study electric, hybrid-electric, and fuel cell vehicle technology.
"To our knowledge, this is the only course in the country focused on HIL for advanced vehicles," says Dr. Sean Brennan, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, who co-teaches the course with Dr. Joel Anstrom, director of the Graduate Automotive Technology Education (GATE) Program at Penn State.
Advanced Vehicle Hardware-in-the-Loop Methods is part of a comprehensive, Department of Energy funded, GATE curriculum. Working with advanced powertrain components in Penn State’s HIL network — which was developed with MathWorks software — students use Simulink® and Simulink Real-Time™ to complete the course labs.
"MathWorks tools enable us to integrate research and teaching," Dr. Brennan says. "Implicit in that is rapid turnaround — the tools enable my colleagues and me to set up lab hardware in minutes, while our students use them to quickly apply high-level concepts, visualize results, and control real hardware."