Hiring new engineers in the auto industry is always something of a gamble. Just because someone coming out of school has a 4.0 GPA, it doesn't mean that they are well suited to the day-to-day problem solving and innovation required of a modern engineer. In the past, a lot of new engineers were recruited through co-operative education programs or internships where companies got see students work first hand. However, cost cutting efforts in recent years have caused these programs to be curtailed.
(Editor's note: to read the rest of Derrick's NextFest coverage, click here)
Ohio State wasn't the only school exhibiting an impressive alternative-powered car at NextFest. The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) from Virginia Tech brought along their Challenge X-winning Equinox.
This week students at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT) unveiled their entry for the upcoming Challenge X contest sponsored by General Motors and the Department of Energy. The Chevrolet Equinox donated by contest co-sponsor General Motors is powered by a biodiesel hybrid engine. According to the RHIT team, the SUV should reach 35 miles-per-gallon.