Story by Sabra Jackson, Contributing writer
Iwis, a factory that came to Murray in March 2010 and is located just north of town off U.S. Route 641, partnered with the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology and donated a Chevrolet Volt for students to use in research of alternative energy.
Iwis motorsysteme is a production plant based out of Munich. The chain of factories is a world leader in cost-effective timing drive systems based on precision chains. Most, if not all, car manufacturers are supplied with systems from the plants in Munich and Landsberg, Germany.
The donated car was on display in front of Pogue Library Friday. Danny Claiborne, department chairman of the Institute of Engineering, and Patrick Smith, senior engineering major, were there to answer questions, the community had about the car.
Claiborne said the Institute of Engineering has been working on a partnership with Iwis for more than three years after Iwis built a plant in Murray.
In May of 2016, 17 students and three faculty members, including Claiborne, had the opportunity to go to Munich and see the plant.
“We got to know the CEO of North America Iwis, and then he moved to Murray and obviously our friendship continued to grow,” Claiborne said.
Iwis originally worked with Chevrolet on the car to complete all the development that was needed. Once the company was done, it wanted to give the car to Murray State to allow students the chance to see how car engineers use alternative energy as a different motive.
“We are just going to use it for the students’ ability to look at and possibly even have interest in research in this direction,” Claiborne said.
Smith said he hopes that the car will excite students who are interested in alternative energy. Although he has chosen a different career path, he is encouraging others to seek a career opportunity within the company.
Iwis has hosted and sponsored different events throughout the community. Murray State and Iwis are working together to hire students and send them to an engineering plant in Germany.
Smith said being able to see the new technology coming out is one of the positives of having the car at Murray State.
Smith works in the Institute of Engineering as a student worker with Claiborne and said he hopes to see the students take advantage of the opportunity to work with Iwis in the future.
“We are going to use the Iwis car as a demonstration of corporate partners and use it as a marketing tool for the Institute of Engineering so that people can see that we are connected with our corporate partners, and we think that is really, really important,” Claiborne said.