2011 North Carolina A&T State University FOCUSS Idea Competition Sponsored by Volvo Group NA

Click here to watch competition video.

The presidios campus of North Carolina A&T State University was the site of the FOCUSS (Framework for Opportunity Convergence and the Utilization of Sustainable Solutions) Idea Competition, which was held on 22 February 2011.

Created to stimulate constructive thought surrounding concepts of innovation and discovery, the FOCUSS Idea Competition provided students a unique opportunity to share and cultivate creative solutions to a sponsoring corporation. Competition was open to all current North Carolina A&T State University students. The corporate Sponsor of the North Carolina competition was Volvo Group North America.

Areas of Concentration

  • Green Technology
  • Electrical/Mechanical


Platform for Idea Competition

Guided by the FOCUSS Areas of Concentration, students (with the optional assistance of associated North Carolina A&T State University faculty advisor) proposed an idea that resolved the following problem statement submitted by Volvo Group North America:

  • Vehicle weight is a major factor in determining fuel economy and payload capacity for a Class 8 Tractor or Straight Truck. What product material content considerations should Volvo Trucks/Mack Trucks pursue to gain or improve their comparative competitive position and yet maintain their traditional product value propositions?  Areas of focus include, but are not limited to, Cab Structure, Chassis Structure, Accessories and Attachments.

Proposals were judged on the following criteria:

  • Innovative nature of the Idea
  • Creative nature of the presentation
  • Involvement of the University or business community
  • Potential impact of the Sustainable Solution

  • $1,000 First Place
  • $750 Second Place
  • $500 Third Place

Located in Greensboro, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is a public, comprehensive, land-grant university committed to fulfilling its fundamental purposes through exemplary undergraduate and graduate instruction, scholarly and creative research, and effective public service. The University offers degree programs at the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels with emphasis on engineering, science, technology, literature, and other academic areas.

As one of North Carolina’s three engineering colleges, the University offers Ph.D. programs in engineering. Basic and applied research is conducted by faculty in university centers of excellence, in inter institutional relationships, and through significant involvement with several public and private agencies. The University also conducts major research through engineering, transportation, and its extension programs in agriculture.

The purpose of the University is to provide an intellectual setting where students in higher education may find a sense of identification, belonging, responsibility, and achievement that will prepare them for roles of leadership and service in the communities where they live and work. In this sense, the University serves as a laboratory for the development of excellence in teaching, research and public service. Currently, North Carolina A&T nurtures ten thousand students.

Samuel P. Owusu-Ofori, Ph.D, Professor and Interim Chair, Dept of Mechanical Engineering Daniel K. Acree, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Dept of Mechanical EngineeringLeading the Idea effort at North Carolina A&T is Samuel P. Owusu-Ofori, Ph.D, Professor and Interim Chair, Dept of Mechanical Engineering; and Daniel K. Acree, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Dept of Mechanical Engineering.



Volvo Group North America is a division of the Volvo Group. The Volvo Group is one of the world's leading manufacturers of trucks, buses and construction equipment, drive systems for marine and industrial applications, aerospace components and services, and is one of the world's leading producers of heavy-diesel engines (9-16 liter). The Group also provides complete solutions for financing and service.

The Volvo Group, which employs about 96,000 people, has production facilities in 19 countries and sells their products in more than 180 markets. Volvo Group sales for 2009 amounted to approximately 29 BUSD. The Volvo Group is a publicly-held company headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Nordic Exchange and are traded OTC in the US.

Leading the Idea effort at Volvo Group North America are (from left to right): Kevin Hawkins, Manager
3P Product Planning (New Generation); Thomas M. Kelly, Senior Vice President Business Development; Anthony Selley, Director Global Purchasing Development; and Stacey Youngdale (Lindenbaum), Director Talent Management