On the fast track

Jun 1, 2007

Three 2006 Kettering graduates were recognized for automotive excellence at the SAE Foundation banquet.

Known affectionately as the "doughnut oil gang" to many on campus, Jacob Hirschman, Brian Kulling and Justin Keiffer, all 2006 Kettering graduates, have added a new title to their resumes: recipients of the Heinz C. Prechter Award for Automotive Excellence.

They received the award at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Foundation banquet "Manufacturing Leadership for the Future," May 24 at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.

"It was rewarding and unexpected to be chosen. It was a huge event, I was proud to be a part of it," said Kulling, who attended the event with Hirschman.

The three earned bachelor of science degrees in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in bio-fuels - hence the doughnut oil nickname. They were known for driving modified diesel VW Rabbits that ran on used bakery (doughnut) fryer oil.

As seniors at Kettering they incorporated to form an S-corporation, Mid Michigan Bioenergy, with a view toward developing a bio-diesel plant in their home state. They also performed un-funded research in bio-fuels for BOSCH.

Hirschman, originally of Alma, Mich., is currently working for Liberty Renewable Fuels, LLC in Owosso, Mich. Kulling, originally of White Lake, Mich., is currently working for Key Plastics in Plymouth, Mich. Keiffer, originally of Carson City, Mich., is currently working for Precision Shooting Equipment in Tucson, Ariz.

Written by Dawn Hibbard