The Volvo Group Signs Academic Preferred Partner Agreement with The Pennsylvania State University

Volvo Group North America renewed its Academic Preferred Partner (APP) agreement with The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) for another three-year term. The Volvo Group first named Penn State an Academic Preferred Partner in 2009, offering students co-op, internship and mentoring opportunities.
Volvo Group Signs Academic Preferred Partner Agreement with The Pennsylvania State University

“We are pleased to once again partner with Penn State, which has been mutually beneficial for both the university and for Volvo,” said Hope Rush, Volvo Group North America director of talent strategy. “Through the Academic Preferred Partner program, Volvo offers Penn State students opportunities within our organization to give them real-world experiences while also enticing them to join Volvo Group as an employee once they graduate.”

The Volvo Group began its partnership with Penn State in 2009, when it focused on efficient energy solutions for sustainable transportation and automation for intelligent vehicles. The partnership now is expanded to include emerging technologies, such as connected vehicles and artificial intelligence.  

The university’s geographic location offers an ideal opportunity for the Volvo Group, due to its close proximity to three major Volvo Group manufacturing facilities – Mack Lehigh Valley Operations in Macungie, Pennsylvania, Volvo Construction Equipment in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, and Volvo Group Powertrain in Hagerstown, Maryland.

“The Volvo Group is one of the world’s iconic companies and one of Penn State’s most esteemed corporate partners,” said Penn State Associate Vice President of Research Jeff Fortin. “Our continued relationship will benefit the Volvo Group, the students and faculty at Penn State, the trucking and heavy equipment industries, and countless others in the years to come.”

During the past several years, the partnership has resulted in new research teams and faculty fellowships; several patents from  Penn State professors; the development of the Innovation Gateway, a novel web tool which connects Penn State researchers to the technical challenges and needs of industry; the hiring of approximately 100 Penn State students as full-time Volvo Group employees; and the hiring of an additional 150 students for co-op and internship positions.

An example of one noteworthy research project is related to battery use and aging. The project validated a low-order performance, thermal and aging model of parallel-connected battery packs and successfully developed three strategies to extend the life of battery packs.

“The Volvo Group’s partnership with Penn State has seen a decade of progress, and we each continue to see benefits, said Sam McLaughlin, Volvo Group external research manager. “Research opportunities abound in the areas of autonomous vehicle and battery technology areas. And, of course, we see many valued co-ops and new employees from Penn State who share the Volvo Group’s values and interest in the transportation field. We look forward to seeing what the next partnership innovations will bring.”

Academic standing, student diversity, international connections and the university’s research department are considerations Volvo takes into account when determining which university will be an Academic Preferred Partner.

The Volvo Group currently maintains Academic Preferred Partner agreements with nine universities around the globe: SWEDEN - Chalmers University of Technology, University of Skovde, School of Business, Gothenburg University, Malardalen University Gothenburg; FRANCE - EM Lyon and INSA Lyon; JAPAN - Sophia University; and U.S. – Penn State and North Carolina State University.

The Volvo Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines. The Group also provides complete solutions for financing and service. The Volvo Group, which employs nearly 100,000 people, has production facilities in 18 countries and sells its products in more than 190 markets. In 2018, the Volvo Group’s sales amounted to about $43 billion. The Volvo Group is a publicly held company headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. For more information, please visit

For further information, please contact:

John Mies
Volvo Group North America
Phone: 336-543-9094

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