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TheStreet Open House

Avnet Express Announces Plans To Donate Chevrolet Volt "Guts" To Arizona State University's Formula Electric Team

PHOENIX and SAN FRANCISCO, April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Any car enthusiast will say the most important part of the car lives under the hood. A group of Arizona State University students are about to get up close and personal with the Chevrolet Volt, courtesy of Avnet Express, the e-Commerce engine for Avnet, Inc. (NYSE: AVT). On Saturday, April 14, during the Avnet Tech Games at the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Ariz., members of the Formula Electric Team from the Arizona State University Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering will receive the keys to a disassembled General Motors Chevrolet Volt – which they can further examine at the conclusion of the Drive for Innovation program. As part of the  Drive for Innovation, a partnership between UBM Electronics and Avnet Express, this donation will give Arizona State University's future engineers the chance to study the innovation built inside the Chevrolet Volt.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120412/AQ86489LOGO)

Arizona State University's Formula Electric Team consists of nearly 25 members. Wade Gyllenhaal, team captain, said, "We are incredibly excited to be the recipients of the torn-down Chevrolet Volt. We're looking forward to studying the 'guts' of the car and learning what's really under the hood. We couldn't be more grateful to Avnet Express for the opportunity to study the inner workings of the car."

As part of the Drive for Innovation, engineers from Munro & Associates and UBM TechInsights tore down the car and highlighted the technology used inside the Volt, from its T-shaped battery pack to individual circuit boards. Removing about 600 components from the car, the team took note of circuit designs and the individual integrated circuits used. Click here to see a time-lapse video of the teardown.

Brian Fuller, editorial lead of the Drive for Innovation, met with students and professors at Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus in March 2012. Fuller met with Professor John Robertson on the Polytechnic campus and discussed how the automotive engineering program was challenging students. In addition, Fuller met with the Formula Electric Team to discuss how they use the information they receive in the classroom to design electric vehicles; the team's involvement in the Society of Automotive Engineers; and how they are involved in a high school mentoring program. Click here to see a video with the Formula Electric Team.

Fuller said, "The electric vehicle is chock-full of technology and will give the Arizona State University students a hands-on experience outside of the classroom. As these students continue to build new electric cars and compete, this technology will foster exciting new developments in the students' understanding of the intricate components and systems and their application of this knowledge to the vehicles they design. This kind of intellectual challenge is what will keep our universities graduating engineers with the knowledge to create innovative technologies and remain competitive in the worldwide marketplace."

Beth Ely, senior vice president of Avnet Express, said: "The Drive for Innovation continues to expose the heart of American innovation and design to the world. With this donation, Avnet is hoping to inspire future engineers at Arizona State University to find new ways to create, design and build the technology of tomorrow."

The Avnet Tech Games is an annual college technology competition that provides students with an opportunity to apply what they learn in school to real-world scenarios. Students compete in teams and each winning team member is eligible to receive a scholarship. The virtual games are open to college students nationwide and allow students to compete against others from across the country. Projects are submitted to judges who are able to score them remotely and declare a winner. The culminating event, the Arizona Onsite Competition is a one-day event open to Arizona college students.

About the Drive for Innovation Program:Since July 2011, the Chevrolet Volt has been making periodic stops throughout the journey, where Fuller, the driver of the Chevrolet Volt, has been interviewing engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and students, and blogging and posting video updates about his experiences. The trip details the electronic innovations behind the Chevrolet Volt and the future of plug-in electric cars. The multi-faceted program is anchored by a website that features content from the road trip, a drive tracker and an interactive map that highlights the tour as well as games and prizes to fuel community engagement.

Avnet Express gives design engineers and purchasing professionals online access to the world's largest catalog of electronic component products, which tops five million parts. Avnet Express offers parametric searching capabilities and the ability to upload a bill of materials (BOM) for easier sourcing of products and a consistent global platform of localized content. The site can be accessed in nine languages and 13 currencies.

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