MathWorks, GM, and U.S. DOE to Kick Off First Year of Challenge X

8/19/2004 - The MathWorks announced it will host an intensive four-day training program to give engineering students state-of-the art modeling and simulation tools that will enable them to participate in Challenge X, a groundbreaking student engineering competition sponsored by General Motors Corporation (GM) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The program will be held August 19–22, 2004 at The MathWorks headquarters in Natick, Mass. Students representing 17 university teams will be trained to use MATLAB® and Simulink® technical computing software provided by The MathWorks for use in the first year of the Challenge X competition. These software tools are used by engineers at every major automotive manufacturer and supplier in the world to improve the design and understanding of complex, integrated engine, chassis, safety, and driver systems.

“Challenge X follows the same approach to vehicle design and development as our GM Global Vehicle Development Process,” said Mark Johnson, co-GM leader of the Challenge X program. “The MathWorks training in MATLAB and Simulink is an excellent venue for students to get familiar with the software programs they will need in the first year of the competition and in designing fuel-efficient vehicles of tomorrow. At the conclusion of the competition, these students will be well-prepared for careers in the automotive field.”

Challenge X is a three-year competition that will provide the student engineering teams an opportunity to re-engineer a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox, a compact SUV that already provides competitive fuel economy with three basic goals: reduce energy consumption, decrease emissions, and maintain the performance and utility features of the vehicle.

During this inaugural Challenge X training program, students will be introduced to the concept of Model-Based Design while learning to use MATLAB and Simulink. The MathWorks is donating its complete, industry-leading software tools to the student teams to create, simulate, and analyze models for vehicle design and subsystem control. In addition, The MathWorks will provide technical support and mentoring to student teams throughout the three-year competition. The models each team develops must be tested, proven and approved before students can proceed to the next phase of the competition, in which each team receives a Chevrolet Equinox with which to implement their design plans.

While at The MathWorks, students will also hear from pundits in the automotive and energy industries, including Tom and Ray Magliozzi, the hosts of National Public Radio’s (NPR) Car Talk program, and Joshua Tickell, a renowned speaker on alternative fuels for diesel engines.

“Our aim with Challenge X is to provide a valuable learning experience that mirrors the real-world development process of automotive control systems and subsystems, and we are happy to mentor the students as they use MATLAB and Simulink in their competition projects,” said Jack Little, president and CEO, The MathWorks. “The MathWorks is committed to furthering Model-Based Design, and we are proud to play a role in supporting hands-on engineering education for automobile design.”

The university teams for the 2004–2007 Challenge X competition are:

About The MathWorks
The MathWorks is the world's leading developer of technical computing software for engineers and scientists in industry, government, and education. With an extensive product set based on MATLAB and Simulink, The MathWorks provides software and services to solve challenging problems and accelerate innovation in automotive, aerospace, communications, financial services, biotechnology, electronics, instrumentation, process, and other industries.

The MathWorks was founded in 1984 and employs more than 1,000 people worldwide, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts. For additional information, visit

MATLAB, Simulink, Stateflow, Handle Graphics, and Real-Time Workshop are registered trademarks, and TargetBox is a trademark of The MathWorks, Inc. Other product or brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

About Challenge X
The Challenge X program was established by DOE and GM to challenge university teams to explore vehicle solutions that will minimize energy consumption and reduce emissions. Year one will focus on modeling, simulation, and testing of the powertrain and vehicle subsystems. In years two and three, students will integrate their advanced powertrain and subsystems into the Chevrolet Equinox. Competitions are held at the end of each academic year to showcase the teams’ learning and vehicle development.

Previous Page | News by Category | News Search

If you found this page useful, bookmark and share it on: