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Haugtvedt, Marketing students help OSU place third in hybrid competition

Published: 2008-05-10

Fisher students lent their marketing expertise to College of Engineering students who began a project four years ago for a national hybrid vehicle competition, the Challenge X, completed in Washington, D.C. last week. 

Michael Shewmon and Katie Appelt conducted focus groups and lent other marketing expertise to help propel the fuel efficient Chevy Equinox, "The Ohio State Reverb" and its team to a third-place finish. Marketing the environmentally friendly vehicle and making it attractive to consumers were significant requirements in the competition.

Initially, Curtis Haugtvedt, associate professor of marketing, advised the team on marketing strategy. Last year, he turned the job over to Fisher students Shewmon and Appelt. "The students took the ball and ran with it," Haugtvedt said. "They did a terrific job. "

A national four-year competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Challenge X engages engineering students to offer solutions to improve the energy efficiency of cars. Students in the College of Engineering have spent the past four years designing energy-efficient ways to improve the car, replacing the standard engine and transmission with a GM 1.9-liter turbo diesel and a six-speed automatic transmission.