Written By: Morgan Gay, MSU Communications Manager
The EcoCAR Mobility Challenge Competition is supported by several industry sponsors that provide components, tools, software, and monetary donations to the 12 competition teams. The Mississippi State University (MSU) team is particularly thankful for the support we have received from PACCAR, a leadership level sponsor, in both past Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTCs) and during the current EcoCAR Mobility Challenge.
PACCAR is a heavy-duty (HD) original equipment manufacturer (OEM) that specializes in manufacturing heavy-duty diesel engines for Peterbilt and Kenworth semi-trucks. Their engine manufacturing facility in Columbus, Mississippi is located less than 20 miles from the Mississippi State University campus.
Matthew Comish, Project Manager for MSU’s EcoCAR Mobility Challenge team, notes that this has allowed the MSU EcoCAR team to have a close partnership with a competition sponsor.
“PACCAR’s sponsorship has been particularly important to our team. By sponsoring EcoCAR at a high level and supporting the team through employee time commitments and its local facilities, PACCAR has developed a unique relationship with MSU.”
Additionally, PACCAR has supported many of the previous AVTCs, and for Mississippi State specifically, one of the most beneficial donations has been the PACCAR Board Room located in the university’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS). This facility is a work site for all MSU EcoCAR team members. The PACCAR Board Room has also given the team a large, professional space to hold leadership meetings, Internal Advisory Board meetings, and to host a visit from the Department of Energy organizing team from Argonne National Laboratory in January of this year.
PACCAR has also made monetary and equipment contributions toward the Engine Laboratories at CAVS. These laboratories include a 4-wheel chassis dynamometer, which allows the MSU EcoCAR team to simulate the real-world operation of the competition vehicle, a 2019 Chevy Blazer for the Mobility Challenge, without taking it out onto public roads or renting time on a test track.
PACCAR also provides internship and full-time job opportunities for EcoCAR students. At this year’s Winter Workshop in Austin, Texas, EcoCAR team members were able to talk with representatives of Peterbilt, a PACCAR subsidiary, about future positions within the corporation.
Ryan O’Malley, the Connected and Autonomous Vehicle systems (CAVs) team lead for MSU, said he was thankful for the opportunity to network with employees from Peterbilt, and he appreciated their enthusiasm toward hiring EcoCAR students.
“When I met with Peterbilt representatives, they were excellent resources on employment opportunities within their corporation. They informed me of all possible positions I could get with my skill set,” O’Malley said.
The MSU team appreciates all support provided by PACCAR and all future opportunities to work with PACCAR.