Big Names on Campus

School may be out for summer, but that didn’t stop two universities from welcoming political figures to their respective campuses this month to discuss the EcoCAR Challenge and their shared interest in clean vehicle technology.

Last week, U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) paid a visit to the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and met with the EcoCAR team to learn about innovations in hybrid vehicle technology.

U.S. Senator Richard Lugar gets an update on Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s EcoCAR hybrid vehicle development project from faculty advisors Marc Herniter (left) and Zac Chambers.

During the visit, EcoCAR co-faculty advisors, Zac Chambers, associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Marc Herniter, professor of electrical and computer engineering, presented an update on the Rose-Hulman team’s hybrid vehicle, which received technology and appearance awards in the Year Two Finals in May.

Last week, the Mississippi State University EcoCAR team got a chance to catch up with longtime supporter Congressman Gregg Harper (R-MS) at an MSU Alumni Extravaganza. Rep. Harper and his family have shown great interest in the EcoCAR Challenge. At the event, Rep. Harper checked out the team’s vehicle, asked questions and expressed how proud he is of the MSU team. He even mentioned that he’d like to see the car in Washington, D.C. at the end of Year Three.

U.S. Congressman Gregg Harper with MSU outreach coordinator Lee Pratt.

The MSU team also had the privilege to spend the day with a local political figure, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. For the governor’s recent campus visit, the MSU EcoCAR team displayed their current vehicle as well as MSU’s champion Challenge X vehicle. Governor Barbour asked questions and expressed an interest in the EcoCAR’s plug-in technology and congratulated the team for placing first in the Year Two Finals.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour with MSU EcoCAR team members

When leaders like Senator Lugar, Congressman Harper and Governor Barbour make campus visits and attend EcoCAR events, they are acknowledging the efforts of the hardworking EcoCAR teams and showing their support. We hope that public figures and opinion leaders continue to learn more about EcoCAR and use their notoriety to boost public awareness of advanced vehicle technology.

Read more about Gov. Barbour’s visit to MSU and Sen. Lugar’s visit to Rose-Hulman.