Engineering Future Fleet Vehicles – Student Powered Prototypes - 2nd Installment

For the past 10 months, Austin Mabry has been interning with UES alongside CEM personnel to create a prototype hydrogen fuel cell powered delivery van for UPS. While CEM personnel design the hydrogen fuel cell system of the vehicle and provides the tools and resources for the build-out, Austin (UES) is responsible for the battery storage, electric drive, and control integration portion of the vehicle. Austin initiated his role in the project by disassembling the van.  He then designed a cooling system loop for [engine??] components.  A highlight of Austin’s experience with this endeavor was in March, when he attended the Alternative Clean Technology (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, California to present the partially converted vehicle.  Austin was able to network with  hundreds of fellow attendees over the two days of ACT.  In Austin’s own words, he “was amazed at how much excitement there was around our prototype vehicle we had with UPS’s name on it.”

UPS expo

Austin Mabrey is a senior undergraduate student at the University of Texas’ Cockrell School of Engineering. He will be graduating this winter from the mechanical engineering program, here is how he became a part of the DOE UPS Medium Fuel Cell Truck project:

At the start of my fall 2016 semester, a fellow student told me about an internship possibility with a company called Unique Electric Solutions (UES) on a project at The Center for Electromechanics (CEM) building on the J.J. Pickle research campus. As an undergraduate at UT, and a born and raised Austinite, I had heard of as well as driven past the J.J. Pickle research campus countless times and always thought of it as this amazing top-secret research facility, and, as a result, was very excited about the potential opportunity to work there. I applied to the UES internship, had a couple of interviews, and received the position! Now, almost ten months later, I am still working on that project and completion is on schedule for the end of July! I can still remember my first day of work at CEM like it was yesterday; I was blown away by the large size of the machine shop and the mass array of completed projects that were scattered around the floor.  CEM, as many of you reading probably know, has developed many awesome and technologically advanced prototype devises for a whole host of clients, and working next to these projects and individuals who have built them has been very inspiring. Feeling the relevance in my course work beyond the classroom and grade received at the end of the semester has been crucial to my development as a student and my beginnings of transition to life as a working engineer!  Getting involved with this engineering project has given me a much greater appreciation and excitement for what I learn in school on a daily basis.