The Volvo Group has chosen Penn State as its first academic preferred partnership in North America to explore and resolve some of the serious issues in commercial transportation markets around the world.
"We are very excited that our Academic Partner Program now covers Sweden, France and the U.S.A.," said Jan-Eric Sundgren, head, public affairs and environmental issues, Volvo Group. "This program shows our commitment to form a long-term strategic partnership that will strengthen the competitiveness of both the Volvo Group and our academic partners. Penn State already had ongoing activities in several areas such as student co-operative assignments, advanced engineering studies, biofuel research and vehicle system testing."
The Volvo Group companies include Volvo Trucks, Volvo Buses, Volvo Construction Equipment, Renault Trucks, Nissan Diesel and Mack Trucks. In Pennsylvania, Mack has its Engineering Development and Research Center in Allentown, Remanufacturing Center in Middletown, Assembly Operations in Macungie and the Mack Museum in Allentown. The Volvo Preferred Academic Partner Program aims to build trust and facilitate cooperation between the Volvo Group and selected academic partners.
"When I was asked to recommend the first Volvo U.S. Preferred Academic Partner, Penn State was an easy choice," said Anthony Greszler, vice president, government and industry relations, Volvo Group. "Through Mack Trucks, Volvo Group has had a long relationship with Penn State. We have a large number of Penn State alumni within Volvo Group in engineering and management. We have had numerous projects with Penn State in areas of combustion research and vehicle technology, and we continue to pursue new opportunities, especially in the areas of alternative fuels, waste heat energy recovery, hybrid vehicle design optimization, vehicle dynamics, intelligent transport systems, energy storage systems and safety."
Penn State and Volvo Group will cooperate in the areas of diesel combustion and efficiency, alternative fuels, intelligent transportation systems and vehicle and driver safety systems. Penn State's Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute's test track for heavy duty testing and the University's expertise in engine and combustion research will figure in the partnership. The new emissions chassis test facility, capable of testing heavy-duty vehicles and power trains, will also play a part.
"This is a wonderful development for the faculty and students at Penn State," said Andre Boehman, professor of fuel science and material science and engineering, Penn State. "This first of its kind agreement between Volvo Group and a U.S. university will provide extensive opportunities for collaboration in research and development and valuable educational experiences for our students. My own areas of research interest overlap significantly with these broad areas of cooperation, and I am very excited about working with Volvo Group on advanced diesel combustion and alternative fuels. Our goals will be to help Volvo Group develop new engine and vehicle technologies to improve efficiency and reduce emissions, while training the next generation of automotive engineers."
Volvo Group plans to hold a signing ceremony and seminar/workshop to celebrate the partnership during the February 2010 Renewable Energy Technology Conference & Exhibition in Washington, D.C.