Test engineer with cutting-edge skills
“I am personally convinced that testing trailers and semi-trailers in wind tunnels offers enormous potential. As yet, however, it appears that the economic gains are greater if you have the largest possible cargo area and this calls for a square shape,” says Björn Bergqvist.
Björn Bergqvist is completely unique. He is the Volvo Group’s only full-time test engineer in the field of aerodynamics and he tests the air resistance of trucks from Volvo Trucks, Renault Trucks and Mack.
He is only 35 years old and he is the only person in the Group with these cutting-edge skills. Björn Bergqvist also illustrates the global approach at Volvo 3P at its best. He is a test engineer and an expert on aerodynamics – air currents – and he conducts tests on vehicle models from Mack, Renault Trucks and Volvo Trucks.
“The only disadvantage is that problems can occur if I’m away,” he admits.
Air resistance and the air currents that are created when a truck moves are extremely important, first and foremost when it comes to fuel consumption. If the air resistance can be reduced, fuel consumption and thereby costs and emissions can also be cut. So the design of the truck exterior is of vital importance to truck manufacturers and improvements are being made the whole time.
“As fuel prices continue to rise and more and more people become environmentally conscious, I am being given more and more assignments and I am currently also collaborating with UD Trucks (former Nissan Diesel). It is clear that low emissions are becoming increasingly important to the Volvo Group,” says Björn Bergqvist.
The air also transports dirt that sticks to the rearview mirrors on trucks and obstructs the driver’s view, so, in addition to cutting fuel consumption, the tests also enhance safety. In the past, the companies had different ways of conducting aerodynamic tests, but each company now has a buyer who contacts Björn Bergqvist. He then rents facilities with wind tunnels.
The tunnels the Volvo Group uses are located in Europe and North America so Björn Bergqvist’s workplace covers large parts of the world. He works with people from different countries and cultures and is confronted by both human and aerodynamic challenges. Different languages are one problem. Different cultures at the same workplace are another.
“People are different and you need to be calm and patient – which I am,” he says.
He adds that there are many advantages to conducting all the Group’s aerodynamic tests.
“Instead of having three different test engineers who work on aerodynamics part time at the different companies and build a number of different test models, we have gathered all our resources together in one place. I
make sure that I book several tests after one another once I get to a wind tunnel. By co-ordinating the tests, we maintain a high level of expertise and make savings at the same time.”