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TCC-HRT relationship results in rebuilt engine for in-service bus

Walk into the Advance Diesel Engine Systems (DSL 237) lab this week at Tidewater Community College’s Regional Automotive Center (RAC), and you’ll see students rebuilding a bus engine.

Not just any bus engine, either. This one is from Hampton Roads Transit (HRT), and the result of a collaboration that will benefit students at the college and the community’s regional transportation system.

three students work on a diesel engineUsing two engines supplied by HRT, TCC students removed, restored and will ultimately reassemble the parts to make one refurbished Cummins engine for an in-service HRT bus.

“Students are getting great real-world experience and we’re getting a rebuilt engine on a pretty speedy timetable,” said TCC diesel instructor Mike Glaeser, who is also a bus maintenance training manager for HRT.

It’s a win-win for TCC and HRT.

“This is the first time we’ve teamed with another company for work like this,” said Beno Rubin, director of the RAC. “Students started with failure analysis and then moved into the rebuild.”

This diesel class is part of the Associate of Applied Science in Diesel Technology and prepares students for work in the diesel industry as technicians in the areas of service, maintenance and repair. Sixteen students are in the class.

Ashwin Nagar, in his second year at the college, is grateful to hone his skills on a real-world project. “I grew up working on the trucks and heavy equipment for my family’s logging business,” he said. “I ultimately want to start my own repair business, and this place is giving me the hands-on training and the confidence to do just that.”

David Torres, a former diesel mechanic for the Navy and second-year student said, “I found out that there’s always room to improve. I’m enjoying working with my hands and growing in my trade.”

Student Jennifer Landis added, “I like working on all types of engines, but I like diesel the best. They are bigger, better and built to last.”