Modern Powertrain System Controls


Upcoming dates coming soon!

Take this course when it’s offered next!

Course Overview

Powertrain systems have become enormously complex over the past few decades due to myriad market forces: emissions requirements, efficiency mandates, and the desire for a greater functional envelope. Once dominated by internal combustion engines, powertrain technologies now include electric machines, inverters, batteries, CVT and eCVT transmissions, and very often, in combination.

This growth in systems complexity has been accompanied and enabled by powerful digital embedded control systems. These systems may encompass hundreds of microcontrollers communicating with each other through multiple and varied serial communications busses such as CAN and Ethernet.

This course provides an overview of the design and development of these systems including hardware, software, and control theory. It discusses system-level functional and physical architectures at all levels of the powertrain system, control theory basics, system, subsystem, and component control and diagnostics design, including an overview of functional safety and cybersecurity issues. Finally, the course presents a brief review of typical powertrain controls development processes.

Who Should Attend?

  • Powertrain engineers and technicians
  • Engineering managers
  • Project managers
  • Senior engineering leaders


Bob Lawrie

Bob Lawrie is freelance engineer.  He has over 30 years of experience designing and developing electronic control systems.  He initially joined Chrysler Corporation working on internal combustion engine control including a season with Lamborghini Formula 1 race engines.  He was an early adopter of vehicle simulation and model-based controls for hybrid vehicle powertrain design and control.  After leaving Chrysler, he worked with multiple start-ups and OEMs furthering his experience in automated code generation, distributed control systems, electric motor control and battery management. Bob has a BS in Mechanical engineering from Lehigh University.

Erick Oberstar

Dr. Oberstar is a Program Director with InterPro and has over 27 years of engineering and entrepreneurial experiences. At InterPro he manages programs for and teaches in the areas of AI/ML, Electrification, and Mechatronics. He has deep experience in embedded real time control systems, signal and image processing, robotics, automation, medical devices. He managed the UW-Madison Mechatronics Laboratory for 22 years where he taught courses in mechatronics, manufacturing automation, automatic controls, and discrete time controls.

He has previous technical roles as a Scientist in the dept. of Medical Physics at UW, consultant for St. Jude Medical, and electrical engineer for Orbital Technologies Corporation, and Automation Components. In addition, he has numerous entrepreneurial experiences working on blood flow quantification,bnight vision, bacterial detection, robotics, automation, and general product development. 

Dr. Oberstar has a Ph.D in Biomedical Engr., and MS in Electrical and Computer Engr. (WEMPEC) from U.W. – Madison, and a BS Electrical Engr. from U.W. – Platteville. He has over 30 publications with over 400 citations & 3 patents. Dr. Oberstar is a WI Professional Engineer, Harvey Spangler Award for Technology Enhanced Education winner & judge, as well as SPIE & IEEE member.

Blake Suhre

Blake Suhre is Program Director, Power Engineering in Interdisciplinary Professional Programs (InterPro) at UW-Madison. He has over 30 years of experience in many aspects of vehicle and powertrain systems, engine systems, and controls development. He was involved in the initial development of model-based controls for internal combustion engines and has experience applying these techniques to all varieties of combustion system in use today. He was co-founder of the MotoTron Corporation and has held a variety of leadership roles in engine systems development and R&D. Suhre holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Upcoming dates coming soon!

Take this course when it’s offered next!

Program Director

Blake Suhre

Contact Us

Create a custom learning experience

We can deliver this course as an on-site learning experience tailored to your organization’s specific training needs.