In March, a group of approximately 30 Colorado State University (CSU) faculty, staff and CSU Vehicle Innovation Team (VIT) members gathered at CSU’s brand new Powerhouse Energy Campus to send a unique vehicle off to a unique place.
CSU’s H2EV – the only vehicle in the competition equipped with hydrogen fuel cell hybrid technology – was scheduled to travel to Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) for pre-competition emissions testing and demonstration. To wish the car well at this important event, the CSU VIT hosted a send-off event for the car where four key speakers gave student team members some words of encouragement and congratulated them on a job well done.
The speakers included Dr. David McLean, the Dean of Colorado State’s College of Engineering; Dr. Wade Troxell, Associate Dean of the College of Engineering and Fort Collins City Council member; Dr. Susan James, Department Head of Mechanical Engineering; and Bill Beggs, the team’s General Motors (GM) Mentor.
Dr. McLean began by emphasizing the importance of partnerships between the University and companies like GM, as well as the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). He called the DOE partnership an “example of a successful private/public partnership that’s truly achieving great things.”
“The EcoCAR 2 competition’s goal is to educate the next generation of automobile engineers and generate innovative ideas about green vehicle transportation in America,” said McLean.
Dr. Troxell directed his message at the students, calling them “the key elements” of this process and thanking them for their work. “You are true representatives of Fort Collins and the Colorado State University College of Engineering,” Dr. Troxell said. “I wish you the best of luck in your competition – I know you’ll do well.”
Dr. James followed this theme in her speech to the students. “I would say you’ve already won, because you’ve put the CSU Mechanical Engineering on the map in a way it never was before,” said Dr. James. “It’s all because of the great work you’ve done on this car, and because of how unique it is.”
General Motors Mentor Beggs stressed the importance of having CSU’s full support in this project, telling the students that “You guys should be proud that the University is really backing you up on this.” He also commended the engineers for having entered every event of the competition so far and said he has “the same expectations for [the team] this year.”
After the four speakers concluded, the team’s faculty advisor Dr. Thomas Bradley made some final statements about the project, the vehicle and the students.
“The vehicle that we have built can become the lowest greenhouse gas emissions vehicle in the competition. We designed this and you guys have implemented it,” he said. “This car can literally change the world.”
The message from the speakers was clear: the students made the most of this opportunity, and the car they created deserves this attention.