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Liberty Mutual Benjamin Franklin Institute Alternative Fuels Lab

Posted on 05 Oct 11

In today's difficult job market, graduates from Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, one of New England's oldest colleges of engineering and industrial technologies, now have a competitive edge in their search for automotive industry employment with training from the College's new Liberty Mutual Alternative Fuels Lab. Funded with a $250,000 grant, the lab is part of Liberty Mutual's larger programmatic support for the College, which totals $535,000 since 2007.

The Alternative Fuels Lab helps Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology give its students the skills needed to diagnose, repair and maintain alternative fuel vehicles with hands on experience in hybrid electrical and electronics systems and engines. As auto manufacturers continue to develop more affordable alternative fuel vehicles, the number of these vehicles on the road will grow as will demand for technicians who have the necessary 'green' skills to service them.

A leading member of Mayor Menino's Success Boston initiative, Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology maintains a student graduation and retention rate that is three times above the State average and over twice the national average for two-year colleges.  

A key to their success are two tuition-free programs offered by the college, which include a "third semester," also funded by Liberty Mutual, that provides students with courses throughout the summer that help them stay on track and graduate within two years.

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology is the only college in the region to include alternative fuel vehicle training as part of its Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees. Students will gain experience in automotive hybrid safety and technology through courses in the Liberty Mutual Alternative Fuels Lab as well as through internships with Boston's Water and Sewer Commission to service its' conventional and alternative fuel vehicle fleet.

 "We are grateful for Liberty Mutual's transformative gift that allowed the College to create the Alternative Fuels Lab and provide students the opportunity to acquire the skills to service the automotive technologies of the future," said George Chryssis, President of Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology. "As the interests of education and industry converge, mutual partnerships are essential to meet market needs and social challenges. Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology is indeed fortunate to count Liberty Mutual as a valued industry partner." 

David Long, President and CEO of Liberty Mutual Group, said: "Graduates of Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology enter the workforce with the skills and knowledge needed to sustain a successful career. The college's dedication to post-secondary education for inner-city and low-income populations is precisely the type of educational initiative we seek to support through our Foundation."

"The demand for green jobs is growing in Boston, and I want to make sure that our residents have the proper skills and training to take advantage of these opportunities in our rapidly growing clean economy," Mayor Thomas M. Menino said. "That's why I’m delighted that the Ben Franklin Institute of Technology recognized the need for this specialized training and through Liberty Mutual they will now be able to offer students a competitive advantage."   

The Liberty Mutual Alternative Fuels Lab at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology includes:

  • An operational hybrid car front-end on heavy-duty rollers that enables hands on experiments and trouble-shooting exercises.
  • Two hybrid electrical and electronics training systems to serve 20 students simultaneously on a multimedia, interactive computer-based training system that provides instruction on electrical and electronics experiments specific to Hybrid vehicles.
  • One oil-less 4-cycle alternative fuel engines with a dynamometer and transparent cylinder for viewing combustion using a variety of alternative fuels. The modular design also allows students to change engine functions such as piston stroke, combustion ratio, and timing while monitoring efficiency and diagnostics through a data acquisition computer interface.

 About Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology offers education to students pursuing career-based paths. The College strives to develop technical and professional skills as well as individual values that help to create a foundation for success, civic responsibility and life-long learning. The College adheres to the principles put forth by our benefactor Benjamin Franklin in his writings about education and citizenship.

The College's automotive training program is the oldest in the country, starting when the College opened in 1908. The College has articulation agreements with 11 Regional Vo-Tech High Schools and 10 Boston Public High Schools and numerous New England four-year colleges: including Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston Architectural Center, UMass Dartmouth, and Northeastern University.


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