Students make an aerodynamic hybrid vehicle

More and more companies in Slovenia are collaborating with educational institutions. Young people acquire experience and knowledge, while companies get an opportunity to uncover promising staff.
Europe’s best green innovation developed in collaboration with students 
The Hidria company works with primary and secondary schools in every town in which it operates a business unit, as well as colleges that offer education at levels 6 and 7. 

Photo: Hidria
The numerous products that have arisen from these links with young people are proof of this active collaboration process. ‘Pupils and students have helped us to set up electric vehicle chargers as part of the "Zelena Keltika” project. They have also been active in electrical connections at the newly established Hidria digital classroom, which we donated this year to the Jurij Vega Gymnasium in Idrija. As part of the eRocket Mark 0 hybrid rocket project, we provided students at Koper Secondary Technical School with knowledge of and experience in certain specialist vehicle parts and solutions in the field of fuel ignition and glowplug fuel matching.’

The list goes on. As the company says: ‘We have developed and tested the best European green innovation of 2016, the Hidria Optymus PSG, with the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. This is a cold-start system for diesel engines with a pressure sensor that will lead to reductions of up to 30% in fuel consumption and toxic fumes from modern diesel engines from next year.’

Developing an advanced method of engine start-up with the faculty
Of the research institutions with which it collaborates, the Domel company is most closely involved with the Jožef Stefan Institute, particularly in the development of advanced diagnostic systems, which serve as support in decision-making on the suitability of a product on production lines. 

Photo: Domel
Its closest academic partners are the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering.

‘The Facility of Mechanical Engineering is currently developing an advanced method of engine start-up. The team based at the Computer-Supported Construction Laboratory has taken over the construction of a mechanical gearbox in accordance with Domel’s specifications. The first samples are being tested and we are hoping that, having joined forces, the results will be positive enough to initiate industrial manufacture of the product,’ says the company.

The FabLab creative laboratory network
A new network of creative laboratories, FabLab, is expected to be up and running in Slovenia by the start of next year. It has been created as part of the European ‘Erudite’ project and will bring industry, business, education, research and individuals even closer together.

What is FabLab and how does it work? There is a great wealth of underexploited equipment at education centres, enterprise training centres, companies and so on. The supporters of FabLab have inventoried all this equipment and will populate the FabLabs with it. They have also located laboratory premises across the country. ‘A map has been produced of 25 local FabLabs,’ explains the network’s initiator and coordinator in Slovenia, Dr Emilija Stojmenova Duh, assistant professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Ljubljana.

FabLabs will be open to all, with particular focus on creators, entrepreneurs, students and researchers.

Author: Polona Movrin

You can read the article in full in the magazine Glas gospodarstva (Digitalizacija).