GREENVILLE, S.C., Nov. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Michelin North America and students from the two largest universities in South Carolina are teaming up in an effort to improve sustainability within the tire industry. The initiative, "One SC to Sustain," officially launches in January 2017, when Clemson University and the University of South Carolina will kick off a new academic course that will create a fresh path from the classroom to the tire industry.
Students in the class will visit tire manufacturing facilities, meet professionals in the industry, and listen to guest speakers throughout the semester. "One SC to Sustain" will be a unique opportunity for students to learn to work across disciplines and come up with recommended improvements for the tire industry. Officials from Michelin and the two universities met on Nov. 18 at Michelin's North American headquarters in Greenville, S.C., to kick off the One SC to Sustain collaborative project. Michael Fanning, director of sustainable development for Michelin North America, spoke about the company's commitment to responsible industrial operations. "As the global demand for transportation rises, Michelin is committed to making mobility cleaner, safer, and more affordable and accessible," said Fanning. "Sustainable mobility is not only our corporate mission; it is part of our everyday operations and culture. This collaboration with Clemson and USC is an extension of our efforts to produce tires more sustainably." This type of hands-on learning will provide students with valuable experience prior to graduation and the chance to work on projects for which they have a passion. However, the long-term goals of the project are focused on influencing the tire industry in South Carolina, with Clemson, USC and Michelin leading the way. Gregory Mocko, Ph.D., an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Clemson, will teach the first section of the class and is helping oversee the collaboration. "This is a great opportunity for students to get real-world experience in a highly relevant field," said Mocko. " South Carolina is the No. 1 state for tire manufacturing. We see this as a fertile ground for innovation that could make the whole tire industry more sustainable. Michelin brought together the two universities to work on this issue, which speaks volumes about its potential and importance to the tire industry." In addition, Paul Ziehl, Ph.D., a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of South Carolina, has also been instrumental in developing the course curriculum. "This class will bring students from different majors together to more closely represent an actual working environment," said Ziehl. "All students will benefit greatly from partnering with Michelin to address these important, real-life issues."