Pavel Vasilev may have an answer for America drivers concerned about the rising cost of gasoline.

Vasilev received a second-place award in the 2011 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE, Region 1 Student Paper Competition. His 20-page paper, The Driver’s Efficiency Analyzer, describes his design for and development of a device that helps a driver achieve efficient gas consumption.

Balancing MPG and MPH

“The device is a software application that you have on your computer that hooks up to the control unit on your vehicle over a specific standard,” said Vasilev. “It reads instantaneously fuel consumption and vehicle speed and compares the two readings to ideal reference data” reflecting the optimal relationship between miles per gallon and miles per hour.

The competition encourages excellent communication skills among engineering students. Each competitor had to deliver an 8-minute presentation followed by four-minutes answering questions from a five-judge panel and audience members.

“It’s very satisfying for us to have one of our students place in a regional competition, given our program size,” said Lisa Shatz, chair of the University's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

A passion for cars and engineering

Vasilev, who is a native of Bulgaria, is the son of a professor of electrical engineering He will enter the electrical engineering master’s degree program at Cornell University with the goal of becoming an electrical engineer in the automotive industry.

“Electrical engineering and cars have been a passion of mine since I was a young boy,” he said. “I want to continue doing something I love to do.”

Vasilev, president of the IEEE chapter at Suffolk, worked on his paper during the course of two semesters. The electrical engineering major credits his advisers, Suffolk professors Craig Christensen and Chathan Cooke, for preparing him for the competition against students representing colleges and universities throughout New England.

“The recognition is important not only for me and my paper, but for the entire Engineering Department,” said Vasilev. “The people who work there deserve credit for the way they teach and encourage their students.”