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Students design hybrid for automotive competition

Lindsey Leonard

The University of Alabama is one of 16 schools to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition, which is known as the leading competition for students who want work in the automotive industry. CW | Lindsey Leonard

Katherine Metcalf

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Brittany Galloway, a first-year graduate student studying advertising and public relations, is the communications manager of EcoCar 3. Students in the program have four years to build the car, and this year marks the inaugural year for the University’s participation in the competition.

“[The group is] elated to be a part of the competition, and we have every intention to build EcoCar 3 right here in Bama,” she said.

Paulius Puzinauskas, an engineering professor, is the faculty advisor for the EcoCar 3 project. He said this project provides a special opportunity for students who might like to pursue careers in the automotive industry.

“This is likely the most in-depth, research-oriented intercollegiate competition in North America,” Puzinauskas said.

General Motors, one of the competition’s main sponsors, will provide resources including analytical tools, electronics and software for students to use. Puzinauskas said the resources used to make the cars are valued in the tens of millions of dollars.

Kaylie Crosby, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, said the program is a great opportunity for college students to gain experience in automotive engineering and meet students from all over the country.

“The Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition series seeks to develop the next generation of automotive engineers,” Crosby said. “This competition fosters a very supportive environment … [where] students learn from each other’s successes and failures.”

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Students design hybrid for automotive competition