Celebrating 2 years of collaboration with EcoCAR 3

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Fitz-Thors visited the The University of Alabama's campus in Tuscaloosa for this fall’s "Coming in Clutch" sponsor social, which celebrated the UA EcoCAR 3 Team’s fourth competition year and its contributors who make the project possible.

EcoCAR 3 is an advanced vehicle technology competition that gives 16 collegiate teams four years to turn a Chevrolet Camaro into the ultimate energy efficient, high-performance vehicle. Fitz-Thors’ support of EcoCAR 3 reinforces its commitment to supporting higher education, expanding experiential learning programs and providing resources for the next generation of automotive leaders.

“The EcoCAR 3 students at UA represent the next generation of automotive professionals, who are the foundation of innovative transportation solutions in the US,” Arnar Thors explained. “Our company is proud to support these men and women who are taking charge as true leaders in communications and S.T.E.M. path careers.”

The sponsor social began the afternoon of Nov. 17 with a tour of the College of Communication and Information Sciences, followed by lunch and a project status update. Attendees then toured the EcoCAR 3 garage and had the chance to take their first ride in the team’s plug-in hybrid-electric Camaro. Fitz-Thors was able to see where its contributions were being put into effect, as well as ask questions about the team’s student-designed vehicle architecture and technical specifications.

EcoCAR 3 provides hands-on training and experience to Alabama students that is equivalent to three-to-five years of industry employment. Over the past three years, 94 percent of the team’s 69 graduates have found full-time employment, and 75 percent of team members secured a co-op or internship while on the team.

“EcoCAR has been an incredible learning experience during my undergraduate and graduate years at UA,” said Josh Stoddard, the engineering manager. “It’s opened so many doors for my future career, and I’m so thankful for the program and everyone who contributes to it.”

Not only is EcoCAR 3 helping Alabama seed the automotive industry with talented professionals, but it is also educating Alabama citizens about the importance of sustainable engineering and S.T.E.M. education. Through community outreach programs and social media platforms, UA EcoCAR 3 has educated over 9,000 Alabama citizens on sustainable practices that will maintain Alabama’s natural beauty for future generations. Multiple youth outreach programs, like UA’s summer diversity program and EcoScholars program for middle school students, have informed students about the importance and accessibility of S.T.E.M. education and careers.

“EcoCAR 3 not only educates our students and citizens, but it also impacts our students by creating a community of camaraderie and teaching that is irreplaceable during their time at The University of Alabama,” EcoCAR 3 faculty advisor, Dr. Paul Puzinauskas, said.

About Fitz-Thors Engineering, Inc. Our company specializes in design-build engineering projects and high-precision manufacturing services. Founded in 2007, we serve customers needing complex solutions and equipment, designed and custom-built for their specific business objective. Solutions range from small specialized tooling needs, to large-scale, full assembly and production line builds. Projects typically support or establish a manufacturing process and involve engineering design, concept simulation & prototyping, machining & fabrication, automation & programming, finishing with implementation, and installation.

When manufacturers need to ramp up or stay competitive in their markets, we design solutions to maximize efficiency and quality, while improving safety for employees. Additionally, if someone has an idea for a new product or technology, we can help design, prototype, and refine the concept into a finished product, ready to go to market. Our goal every day is to add value through engineering design and manufacturing expertise, with a focus on solving problems and bringing ideas to reality.

Made up of a broad and expanding range of industries, our clients share a need to maximize processes through superior efficiency. Our clients include companies in the automotive, food & beverage, pharmaceutical, steel manufacturing, medical technologies, and product development markets.

About UA EcoCAR 3 This isn’t just about a new car; this is about building capabilities that will evolve American engineering. EcoCAR 3 accelerates the development and demonstration of emerging automotive technologies and is mission critical in American competitiveness. EcoCAR 3 builds on a proud 28-year history of DOE Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions that exemplify the power of public and private partnerships in providing invaluable experience and training to promising, young minds ready to enter the job market. Comprised of highly skilled engineers, project managers and communicators, these students have four years to apply cutting-edge technologies and incorporate new innovative concepts in order to harness those ideas into the ultimate energy-efficient, high performance vehicle. To learn more about the UA EcoCAR 3 team, visit http://uaecocar3.weebly.com/