- Eximus is like nothing else students get to do in their programmes. It’s a development project that takes eight months to complete. It runs on a real budget, has real deadlines, and involves direct contact with sub-contractors. Working according to these factors, university students are also responsible for heading a team of secondary-school students, explains Patrick Kenger, Head of the School of Information and Technology at Campus Borlänge.
Two members of the project group, mechanical engineer Pontus and secondary-school pupil Molly, both say that the best part of the project is the chance to learn how to work on a project from the outset while creating something practical. Both are looking forward to Delsbo Electric and the chance to compete against other Swedish universities.
The beginning of collaboration
- The idea for university students and secondary-school pupils to work together came up in a discussion between Dalarna University and Delsbo Electric about how the project could be developed. This led to the suggestion of involving secondary-school pupils from the local area, continues Patrick Kenger.
Local secondary school Soltorgsgymnasiet was quick to respond to the idea. Thanks to the project, several of its second-year pupils gain insight into higher education and perhaps increase their interest in engineering, while having a particularly interesting subject to write about at school.
University students and secondary-school pupils are selected to Eximus based on their study results and factors such as the amount of time they can devote to the project. Eximus is an advanced-level development project that requires driven and dedicated individuals since the work is done outside regular study hours.
What does the collaboration involve?
Eximus is a Latin word meaning “extraordinary”, which is an excellent word to describe the vehicle under construction at Dalarna University. To build a railroad vehicle from scratch is both difficult and challenging. At the same time, it offers a unique opportunity for those involved to work with mechanics and electronics, and to collaborate with others on a project.
- By working together with university students, you quickly understand what needs to be done, but there is no pressure, and you increase your understanding as the teamwork progresses. You can ask the university students questions while still working on the vehicle production, explains secondary-school pupil Molly.
This is the sixth year that Eximus is being built, hence the name Eximus 6. One difference from previous years is that we have formed the lower part ourselves. Before, we used to buy pre-made carbon fibre plates.[MB(2]
Eximus 6 construction in the Dalarna University lab
- What I learnt in my university programme has been really useful, for example with the dimensioning of axles, states Pontus, one of the mechanical engineering students.
Molly, a secondary-school pupil from nearby Soltorgsgymnasiet, explains how she became interested in the project after talking to students who took part in previous years. She was inspired to take the challenge herself and to use her technical knowledge to solve more difficult problems and arrive at creative solutions.
- I saw Eximus as an opportunity to find out what I would like to do in the future – there are so many different paths you can pursue. After secondary school, I want to train to be an engineer so that I can develop technology since that’s becoming increasingly important for society. Eximus gave me the chance to do just that – to experience first-hand what it’s like to be an engineer, explains Molly.
Competition August 28
Delsbo Electric was set to take place on May 29, but because of the corona pandemic has been postponed until August 28. That is when Dalarna University will once again compete with both this year’s Eximus 6 and last year’s Eximus 5, which was constructed by three students from the IT Security and Energy and Mechanical Engineering programmes. Involved in the work that year were four pupils, also from Soltorgsgymnasiet.
Eximus 5 took home second place at Delsbo Electric 2020, while also being awarded the HHK (Hudiksvall Hydrualikkluster) Innovation Award for their automated steering system.
Follow the competition live on the homepage of Delsbo Electric