This spring Johan Larsson finished his last degree at Luleå University of Technology, and today he works at LTU with Jakob Hultkvist in a sharp business venture. Even Hultkvist has studied at the university and finished his exam in 2009 as an engineer on automotive systems. The two, plus a third ex. student and LTU-employed, are currently testing a car for handicapped on behalf of the company Freno in Piteå
- It is of cause interesting to be able to use the knowledge and experience in practice. It gives a different overall perspective and understanding compared to just work on the theoretical level, says Jakob Hultkvist project employee at Luleå University of Technology
What LTU is doing on behalf of the Pite company Freno this time concerns disability and driver's comfort in a car that the company has built for the transport of wheelchair users with disabilities. The car is of interest to the automotive company Wolksvagen but the company wants better data before choosing which suppliers it will work with. Therefore Freno hired LTU to test the car compared to other competing models. The tests are conducted by the LTU-scientists.
- We measure the acceleration at several points in the car when we drive over various kinds of roadblocks and cobbled streets and by the results, we can compare between different car models, said Johan Larsson, research engineer in the Department of Computer Aided Design at LTU.
The testkit consists of two accelerometers, off wich one is located in the car's rear compartment where the wheelchair use to stand, and one in the front seat near the driver.
- We are running both, with and without load, and the load corresponds to a heavy wheelchair and measures at the two points, says Jakob Hultkvist assessing the results of the measurements can be ready in a few weeks.
The three former LTU students are still working at LTU. James Hultkvist now project employee, has in addition to his degree in 2009 as an engineer on automotive systems, also worked during some period at Arctic Falls test facilities in Älvsbyn. The following year, Johan Larsson recieved same kind of degree, and this spring he finished as a student at the university with even a degree in mechanical engineering. He now works as a research engineer. Even Johan Odelius researcher and former student at the LTU is part of the team. Their current work is done within LTU centre of exellence CASTT (Center for Automotive System Technologies and Testing) whose other research conducted in close cooperation with the county's automotive testing industry.