A mule, or car frame, is show with Diman students and instructors before being shipped to the University of Alabama
Photos of the visit and mule
FALL RIVER — Diman students have been working, long distance, with students at the University of Alabama to create an energy-efficient Camaro.
Tuesday, in the Diman restaurant, members of the Alabama team got together with members of Diman faculty to discuss how to grow and expand the partnership between the two.
A lot of it’s about the future.
“If there are going to be driverless cars, for instance — and there will — I don’t want this school to become functionally obsolescent,” said Tom Aubin, superintendent-director of Diman.
The car Diman is helping the University of Alabama to build is not driverless. The vehicle will a an electric hybrid.
In a competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors, 16 colleges will have to turn a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro into a hybrid, incorporating the Camaro’s classic design with energy-saving and emissions-reducing technologies.
Most recently, Diman shipped off the “mule,” which is the car’s frame, along with parts Diman fabricated for the car, including a battery box.
“We wanted to talk about expanding this relationship,” Aubin said.
“We could be getting to the point where we’re bringing people to Alabama and back and forth,” said Paul Puzinauskas, associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Alabama.
Several students came along with the Alabama team.
“Almost everything should be completed by the end of this semester,” said University of Alabama student Josh Stoddard.
That doesn’t mean there’s no more work for Diman to do. The project continues for one more year.
“I can see the students here doing some of the custom work,” said Puzinauskas.
One of the ideas kicked around at Tuesday’s round table was the thought of sending several Diman students to the Summer Engineering Camp at the University of Alabama.
“And I’d like to get our students up here to learn from you,” Puzinauskas said.