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CCS, ArvinMeritor Partner On Efficient Truck Design

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For the second consecutive year, ArvinMeritor has entered into a heavy-duty truck design partnership program with one of the nation’s leading art-design universities, College for Creative Studies in Detroit.

This year’s semester-long program — involving 15 senior-level students — focused more on impending government regulations to slash fuel consumption and emissions by 10 to 20 percent. Navistar International’s truck designers also consulted on the project.

“The new government regulations will change the way companies make trucks,” said Mark West, professor and aassistnat chair of MFA transportation design at CCS. “As professionals in the field, we know that it is important that students stay abreast of any new laws. Designers must look at the entire picture when designing a vehicle not just the aesthetics. We are confident that our CCS students are well prepared in this regard.”

West noted that the students’ designs addressed fuel efficiency, sustainability and recycling, and aerodynamic issues. The students also closely considered the vehicle’s life expectancy, hybrid powertrains, integrated solar panels, highway safety, driver comfort and safety, and serviceability.

The multi-phase design program included extensive research, on-site visits with suppliers, and this year, some students were selected to receive scholarships. This year’s first place scholarship winner was Kelly Stieler, followed by second place winner Stephen Rapaski and third place winner Robert Liddell.

Students also developed digital models and physical scale exterior models of their concepts with valuable input from ArvinMeritor, along with engineering designers at Navistar International Corp. The student models that will be built to scale and displayed at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky. in mid March are from Stephen Rapaski, Devon Palmer and Austin Fodell.

The collaboration between CCS and ArvinMeritor was established in 1998 with the “Visions of the Future” automotive design competition. The company continues to support educational institutions and programs worldwide with more than 50 percent of its contributions budget.

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