By LOU WILIN
Ohio State University President Michael Drake and other university officials visited Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. on Friday for tire-related presentations.
It was one of several stops this week for university leaders and faculty, who are taking their annual tour of industries and community organizations that the university partners with in education and research.
About 60 people from Ohio State made the rounds.
This year the annual “Roads Scholars Tour” focused on northwestern Ohio, including visits to Unverferth Manufacturing Co. in Kalida; The Andersons, Maumee; Toledo Zoo and Toledo Museum of Art; Transportation Research Center, East Liberty; and COSI in Columbus.
Cooper for a number of years has collaborated with the university’s Center for Automotive Research in the College of Engineering. Among other things, Cooper has provided ultra-low-rolling-resistance tires for students who modify a gasoline-powered car into a hybrid in competition with students from other colleges, said Chuck Yurkovich, senior vice president of global research and development for Cooper Tire.
Cooper also has collaborated with the Buckeye Bullet program, involving a high-speed vehicle; Buckeye Current, an electric motorcycle; and worked on development of an alternate source of natural rubber.
Drake said the university’s relationship with businesses like Cooper is critical.
“We educate students and those students go out into the workforce and become the leaders of tomorrow. And so we have to make sure that we are relevant and connected so that the students will be able to have jobs,” he said.
“Second, we do a lot of research. We are into both transmitting knowledge through education but also creating knowledge through research. So, the major companies in Ohio are close partners with us in research.”
The tours help solidify those partnerships.
“The idea is to get faculty and staff out of Columbus to experience firsthand the partnerships that Ohio State has around the state,” said Ben Johnson, director of media and public relations for Ohio State University.
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By LOU WILIN