AISI has been one of the most  fruitful corporate relationships for Trans Design  for more than 20 years. During this period they have sponsored  summer intern projects which have challenged the students creativity and competence. Weight saving has always been a goal and the interns learn about the latest steel technologies such as laser welding, tailored blanks, hydroforming and other weight saving technologies. The projects were done over a 12 week period, then presented to the professional design community and motoring press. Shown here are projects which give a flavor of the goals of the program. 

The first project shown was to design very realistic sedans based on a vehicle structure developed for AISI by Porsche Engineering Services. This was called the Ultra Lightweight Steel Auto Body or ULSAB. The goal was to reduce the weight of a Ford Taurus size sedan by 35%. Porsche met this goal. The students were required to design cars which adhered to the Porsche structure. The project was done in the summer 1995.

Designer:   Mark Micelli                                                  Designer: Dufy Patten


Designer:  Chad Kammerrad


Compressed Natural Gas(CNG)  fuel tanks are very heavy. The goal of the project was to find ways to reduce weight to compensate for the tanks. A solution was to integrate the fuel tanks as part of the vehicle structure thus they replaced some of the steel in the structure. This resulted in some very interesting aesthetic solutions.

Designer: Bruno Conti

Space models show fuel tanks in blue. Everything works on this remarkable model including lamps, winch, safety harnesses, etc.. Diamond plate steel panels adds to the perception of robustness.

Designer: Scott Graham

Small SUV has fuel tanks expressed on the exterior side view. Details such as lamps, power bulge all contribute to the unity of the overall composition.

Designer:  Eugene Sobieski

Fuel tanks formed the structure between  A pillars, central stack of IP, behind seats, even auxiliary tanks behind headrests.

Estimated driving range over 400 miles.