One goal of the Ideas Clinic is to integrate course concepts and practical engineering. In the Fuel Cell Car project, first-year Mechatronics students are asked to assemble, program, debug, and analyze a small vehicle powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

This two-month long project connects three separate courses: GENE 121 (Digital Computation, a programming course), MTE 100 (Introduction to Mechatronics Engineering), and CHE 102 (Chemistry for Engineers).

Fuel cell cars on courseOverview

The project involves teams of students preparing a small electric car - controlled with a microcontroller, driven by electric motors, and powered by hydrogen fuel cells - to compete in a friendly competition amongst their peers (awards included). This project serves as many students’ first introduction to a microcontroller, while also providing context for concepts learned in Chemistry.

Scooby-Doo team  

 

Papers Published

C.C.W. Hulls, C.D. Rennick, M.A. Robinson, W. Melek, S. Bedi, “Integrative Activities for First-Year Engineering Students – Fuel Cell Cars as a Linking Project Between Chemistry, Mechatronics Concepts and Programming (PDF)” in Proceedings of the 2014 Canadian Engineering Education Association Conference,Canmore, June 8-11, 2014

Fuel Cell Car Photos

Batmobile fuel cell car

Transformers fuel cell car

Barbie fuel cell car

Click here to see more photos!