UWAFT — the team to watch! By: Asad Bhatti, Project manager of UWAFT

The UWAFT team placed fifth overall in the EMC competition winning $8,000 in prize money.

The University of Waterloo Alternative Fuels Team (UWAFT) was in Atlanta Georgia participating in year one EMC competition earlier this month, competing against 11 other universities from the U.S. and Canada. This year, UWAFT placed fifth overall, won seven awards including “Team to Watch,” and hauled in $8,000 in prize money.

Pushing the frontier of the transition to sustainable fuels has been the cornerstone of UWAFT.

The student team consists of over 50 active undergraduate students. Engaging in research and development, of the cutting edge in automotive legwork.

The mission statement for the current four year-long competition EcoCar Mobility Challenge (EMC) that UWAFT is taking part in states, “Producing the next generation of engineers … who will be prepared to address the nation’s future energy and transportation challenges.”

This statement also defines UWAFT’s current focus in taking a GM donated 2019 Chevy Blazer RS and converting it to a fully capable Hybrid Electric Vehicle capable of SAE Level two Autonomous Driving.

UWAFT takes pride in its leadership and has produced success stories from its former alumni in the form of spin-off companies such as GeoTab (formerly FleetCarma formerly CrossChasm) and IntelliCulture, but also its presence is being recognized as a power house in producing student leaders having worked in companies like Tesla, General Motors, Toyota, Uber, GeoTab, Lyft and the list goes on.

Establishing its roots in 1996, the rich history of the UWAFT is noteworthy with over a 1,000 undergraduate students having been involved with the team in some form, derived from up to 14 different technical and non-technical disciplines.

Formerly the team has participated in seven Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition series, funded by U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors and the Argonne National Laboratory.

The student team has delved into development of technologies around ethanol in its early years to hydrogen fuel cells and now to fully capable hybrid vehicles.

Check us out at the SDC in E5 — we’re always looking to expand our team. All technical and non-technical disciplines are welcomed to join!


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