Torvec and RIT Sign Agreement to Create Advanced Automotive Technology Lab

College of Engineering to house new lab focused on increasing automotive manufacturing industry potential




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Rochester Institute of Technology and Torvec Inc., a Rochester-based automotive technology company, signed a memo of understanding to create SEAL, the Safety and Efficiency in Automobiles Laboratory, on the RIT campus. The new lab will focus on developing advanced automotive and related energy technologies while opening up new employment opportunities in the manufacture and production of high-tech automotive equipment.

“Torvec has the potential to revolutionize the automotive industry, and we look forward to partnering with Torvec to help make that happen,” says RIT President Bill Destler.

Torvec employees will work with faculty and students from RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering to develop programs for emissions reduction and fuel-efficiency improvements of current and next generation automobiles. Torvec will also establish cooperative education and employment opportunities for RIT students in the fields of advanced automotive and energy technologies.

“RIT brings the expertise, facilities and equipment to deliver state-of-the-art results for all of the programs envisioned for SEAL,” says James Gleasman, Torvec chief executive officer. The company, established in 1996, has more than 300 worldwide patents and inventions such as the IsoTorque differential, the infinitely variable transmission, CV joint, hydraulic pump/motor and full terrain vehicle technology.

“SEAL will initially build upon our existing resources with dynamometry and hardware-in-the-loop control systems,” says Edward Hensel, department head of mechanical engineering at RIT, “but our vision includes the collaborative development of advanced automotive and related energy technologies with a view towards enhancing manufacturing and mass production of new products.” Torvec and RIT will share access to technology, personnel, and facilities and will partner on joint research and development projects for the global automotive and energy sectors.

“SEAL will explore the synergies that can be created by the mutual cooperation of RIT and Torvec toward the ongoing refinement of advanced automotive and related energy technologies,” says Andrew Gleasman, technology manager at Torvec. Through the relationship, the organizations will engage global automotive and energy companies to enhance the programs developed through SEAL.

“This new agreement builds upon a long standing relationship between RIT and Torvec, who has provided financial and technical support to our Formula SAE student racing team, “ says Harvey Palmer, dean of RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. “In fact, Torvec hardware was a big contributor to our team’s recent first place championship in California.”

Torvec is a publically traded company that develops advanced automotive and related energy technologies that increase transportation safety, mobility, fuel efficiency and reduce pollutants. Torvec’s chief products and intellectual property include its Full Terrain Vehicle (FTV®), infinitely variable transmission, IsoTorque® differential, constant velocity joint, hydraulic pump and motor and hydrogen powered steam turbine.