- Feature Stories
- News Flash
- Inspire Innovation
Truck Sweet Truck
By: Greg Faist
Anderson, Boatwright, Gagen & Weingart on the Edge of Design
The old saying is “Home is where you hang your hat,” right?
Well imagine hanging your hat inside the cab of an 18-wheeler every day—and often nights—as you deliver cargo all across the United States. Combine service station coffee with a night or two inside a “sleeper cab,” and you just might be pining for the comforts of home.
This was the challenge faced by International Truck and Engine Corporation, a leading manufacturer of truck cabins, engines and buses, as it sought ideas to make its sleeper cab more like a home for its drivers.
The company knew that if it could create a space that helped drivers feel more comfortable, it would create happier, better rested and, therefore, safer and more productive drivers over the long haul.
Dee Kapur (TPR’76), president of the Truck Division at International Truck and Engine, knew that Carnegie Mellon’s unique collaborative approach to product development—an approach that brings together different disciplines and expertise—could uncover fresh ideas, new patents and a highly coveted marketplace advantage for International Truck and Engine.
That’s why International Truck and Engine partnered with Carnegie Mellon in the spring of 2005.
Why was Kapur so sure of Carnegie Mellon? Because he’d experienced the results before.
Kapur led the truck division of the Ford Motor Company when it sponsored Carnegie Mellon’s Integrated Product Development (IPD) course in the spring semesters of 2000 and 2002. This course focuses the university’s engineering, design and business expertise on real-world product development challenges identified by a corporate sponsor.
In this case, Ford asked the university to identify and develop products for its F-150 pickup truck (2000) and the Ford Escape SUV (2002). The students’ ideas were so exciting that Ford patented five of the 12 products.(Continued …)