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Sen. Richard Lugar Visits Campus to Meet President Branam, Learns About EcoCAR Vehicle

July 13, 2010

U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar came to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology recently to meet with President Matt Branam, get valuable feedback on key higher education issues and learn about the latest technology innovations in hybrid vehicles.

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Campus Welcome: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology President Matt Branam greets U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar during a recent visit to learn the latest campus developments and initiatives.

Lugar is the U.S. Senate's most senior Republican and longest serving U.S. Senator in Indiana history. He is the Republican leader of the Foreign Relations Committee and a member and former chairman of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. 
 
Lugar received an honorary degree from Rose-Hulman and has been a loyal advocate for the college and its educational mission, supporting several initiatives providing technology to small businesses, entrepreneurship and high-tech research.
 
Joining Lugar and Branam for the Rose-Hulman visit were Jack Ragle, former chair of the Rose-Hulman Board of Trustees; alumnus Thomas Reives, a former Fund for Hoosier Excellence scholarship recipient, who spent the day job-shadowing Lugar to learn more about public service; and members of Lugar's staff. Branam, Ragle and Reives also joined members of the Greater Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce at a luncheon with Lugar.
 

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Learning About Innovation: U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar (middle) gets an update on Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's EcoCAR hybrid vehicle development project from faculty advisors Marc Herniter (left) and Zac Chambers during a recent campus visit.

Before leaving campus, Lugar received an update on Rose-Hulman's award-winning EcoCAR hybrid sport utility vehicle, which is participating in the EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge, organized by the U.S. Department of Energy. The vehicle utilizes a biodiesel engine and electric motor, powered by state-of-the-art battery technology provided by Indiana-based EnerDel Inc. Rose-Hulman was one of only 16 North American colleges and universities selected to participate in this unique, three-year engineering design competition. The vehicle earned technology, outreach and appearance awards at the Year II competition finals late this spring in Yuma, Ariz., and San Diego, Calif.
 
Providing the project update to Lugar were EcoCAR Co-Faculty Advisors Zac Chambers, associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Marc Herniter, professor of electrical and computer engineering.