Volvo Group North America was recently honored by The Pennsylvania State University as its Corporate Partner of the Year for its consistency of partner activities and impact across the university. Penn State President Eric J. Barron recently presented the award during a celebration at the university.
The Volvo Group has supported philanthropy, recruitment and research at the university, including at the Larson Transportation Institute, the Energy Institute and the Departments of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering and Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering since 2010, when Volvo named Penn State its first Academic Partner in the United States. Volvo renewed its Academic Partner Program agreement with Penn State in April 2016, extending the three-year program, which offers students co-op, internship and mentoring opportunities and provides talent recruitment and research benefits to the Volvo Group.
“It is truly an honor for Volvo Group North America to be recognized by Penn State as its Corporate Partner of the Year for 2016,” says Hope Rush, Volvo Director of Talent Strategy. “The research and recruiting collaboration that has been fostered between Volvo and Penn State has been very enriching and rewarding for our organization, as well as the students and faculty of Penn State. There is a strong sense of camaraderie and genuine desire to truly make a difference for society. I look forward to continuing the partnership and to see it grow even stronger.”
The partnership enables the Volvo Group to benefit from Penn State’s research capabilities in the areas of diesel combustion and efficiency, alternative fuels, intelligent transportation systems and vehicle driver safety systems. Some recent examples of success include:
- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SuperTruck program, in which Volvo and Penn State partnered together and met all of the DOE program goals, delivering a 70% fuel economy improvement.
- Penn State collaborating with several Swedish universities in delivering a robotic project for refuse collection.
- Penn State’s BEST Center delivering battery system solutions that significantly extend battery pack life by up to 100%.
- A kick off of the “Innovation Gateway,” designed to connect Penn State researchers to the technical challenges and needs of the industry. It will match Volvo technology challenges with the expertise and innovation of Penn State researchers.
- Volvo’s robust recruiting presence at Penn State has likewise allowed benefits to flow both ways. Several co-op and intern students have been placed at nearby Volvo Group facilities, where they have provided real solutions to Volvo Group business challenges, while preparing themselves for rewarding careers.
“The comprehensive partnership that Volvo has forged with Penn State will help to keep both organizations on the leading edge of innovation across multiple fields,” Barron says. “I look forward to seeing this partnership continue to grow in the years to come.”