Accuride Experts Helping College Kids Design a Better Wheel

Posted: Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Henderson Gleaner
Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Personnel from Accuride Corp's Henderson-based engineering department are challenging University of Evansville students this week to design a better wheel as part of the school's ongoing Innovation week.

Cross-disciplinary student teams of three to six students are competing in the Innovation Week Design Challenge. Teams are tasked with developing a conceptual design according to a challenge from the corporate sponsor, Evansville-based Accuride: to develop a lightweight aluminum wheel for the commercial vehicle industry that meets numerous technical requirements.

Throughout this week, students are working closely with UE faculty advisers, learning to use a 3-D printer, hearing from guest speakers, gaining insight from a midweek feedback session with Accuride and building a proof-of-concept model.

On Friday, student teams will give brief presentations and submit their proof-of-concept models to a panel of judges consisting of Accuride personnel and UE faculty and staff. The winning team will receive a $1,000 cash prize provided and presented by Accuride during a reception that evening.

“Accuride welcomed the opportunity to support the university’s Innovation Week Design Challenge for its ability to spark the imagination and team-based collaboration of the next generation of college students,” Craig Kessler, Accuride’s vice president of engineering, said in a statement. “The scholarship we will provide the winning team is another demonstration of the commitment Accuride has to the Evansville community and its respect for the quality of students attending the University of Evansville.”

The Innovation Week Design Challenge is supported by the Institute for Global Enterprise and the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network. The Institute for Global Enterprise is funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc.

“Given today’s intense interconnectedness, rapid pace of change, and growing complexity of global challenges, innovation is essential for progress and success for our future graduates and our civic, public, and private sectors,” according to Katie Ciccarelli, executive director of the Institute for Global Enterprise. “We hope that Innovation Week inspires our students and community members to make an impact by developing global and entrepreneurial mindsets.”

Accuride is a leading North American producer of wheel-end components for the global commercial trucks and trailers. Its Henderson plant produces steel rims and wheels for the industry.

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