Bosch and National Institute of Technology Calicut Collaborate on EV Course to Prepare Students for Industry
Address the shortage of automotive engineers with system engineering skills
Jointly create a new undergraduate course in model-based system engineering as part of a collaboration between academia and industry
- Months of on-the-job training eliminated
- Enrollment increased by 250%
- 90%+ positive feedback received
“The collaboration between NIT Calicut, MathWorks, and Bosch narrowed the gap between academia and industry, producing an electric vehicle system engineering course that has been both well received by our students and highly useful for them as well.”Dr. Kumaravel Sundaramoorthy, NIT Calicut
As automotive manufacturers work to keep pace with the growing worldwide demand for electric vehicles (EVs), they have turned to Tier 1 suppliers for EV platforms with multiple pre-integrated components. Design and implementation of these platforms requires engineers proficient in system engineering, and many Tier 1 suppliers have found such engineers to be in short supply.
To help meet the need for engineering graduates with requisite system engineering skills, National Institute of Technology Calicut (NIT Calicut) faculty worked with engineers from Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions India Private Limited (RBEI) and MathWorks to create a new final-year undergraduate course, Electric Vehicle System Engineering. The course covers EV fundamentals (such as regenerative braking, inverter topologies, and pulse-width modulation techniques), energy storage systems, electric drive train systems, and modeling and simulation of EV systems. Top students earn internships at RBEI, where they work on real-world EV projects.
“When RBEI started developing EV system engineering solutions, it was a complete paradigm shift. We realized that engineer training had to happen earlier, in college, and it had to have a strong emphasis on simulation,” says Pradeep Kumar Keloth, head of engineering - EV components and systems at RBEI. “That’s why without MathWorks tools and support, the course would be incomplete. The moment students get into hands-on simulation with Simulink®, their experience moves from merely theoretical to practical.”
RBEI saw that many new engineers required up to a year of training to develop the design, analysis, control, calibration, and system engineering skills needed in its electrification center of excellence and elsewhere in its EV programs. Recognizing that this shortage of skilled engineers was due in part to a lack of university courses dedicated to model-based system engineering and multidomain systems, RBEI and NIT Calicut wanted to make such a course available to the school’s undergraduate engineering students.
In creating the course from scratch, RBEI engineers and NIT Calicut faculty had to develop a syllabus and course plan that met several key objectives. It had to attract interest from students to meet the initial class-size goal of at least 15 students. In addition, it needed to have a strong emphasis on modeling and simulation in the context of EV system engineering. Finally, it had to win approval from the university’s senate committee before it could be added to the curriculum.
RBEI and NIT Calicut worked together with MathWorks to develop the Electric Vehicle System Engineering syllabus, create course content, and teach the course.
The course’s first module provides an introduction to EV technology, with the power electronics content taught primarily by NIT Calicut faculty. The second module on batteries and battery management systems is taught by NIT Calicut faculty and RBEI engineers. Content on induction motors and other elements of the drive train is covered in module three by faculty.
The final module, on modeling and simulation, is led by MathWorks engineers. In this module, students use Simulink and Simscape™ to model EV components including electric drive systems, high-voltage batteries, motors, DC-DC converters, and the vehicle chassis.
Students run analyses and simulations in Simulink to size the components, and then run further simulations of a system-level model to evaluate vehicle control strategies by analyzing performance, range, and power consumption over a series of drive cycles.
Based on their performance in the course, about 30 NIT Calicut students have continued their training on real-world projects as interns at RBEI.
- Months of on-the-job training eliminated. “When students from the system engineering course join Bosch, we find that we can put them straight into system engineering and simulation activities, which they perform at a high level,” says Keloth. “In the past, it took up to an additional year of training for incoming engineers to reach that level.”
- Enrollment increased by 250%. “We expected to have 15–20 students the first time we taught the course, but more than 40 enrolled,” says Prasanth Pathiyil, technical expert, electric vehicles, at RBEI. “The next semester enrollment was up to 104, which reflects how well the course has been received by the students.”
- 90%+ positive feedback received. “Course evaluations have been overwhelmingly positive. More than 90% reported being happy with the course and its content,” says Dr. Kumaravel Sundaramoorthy, assistant professor at NIT Calicut. “MathWorks engineers played a big part in this because every interaction with them—from the course planning meetings to the lectures they delivered—went smoothly.”
NIT Calicut provides campus-wide access and RBEI provides enterprise access to MATLAB and Simulink. Users have access to a common configuration of products, at the latest release level, for use anywhere.