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ExxonMobil’s Technology Center in Clinton has donated 17 gasoline test engines to Raritan Valley Community College’s Automotive Technology program, which educates and trains students to become qualified auto technicians.

The donation will help enrich students’ hands-on experience as they learn to troubleshoot engine computer systems, repair engines, and perform basic engine maintenance.

Prior to ExxonMobil’s donation, the college’s Automotive Technology program did not possess any two of the same engines, making teaching and student collaboration during tasks like disassembling and evaluating the internal components of engines, challenging.

“Although all engines have the same components, they are not all built the exact same and require the use of specialized tools,” said Sara Heller, RVCC Automotive Technology program coordinator.

“When students work on different engines – using dissimilar tools and following a slightly different process – they sometimes ask their peers for help and will get misleading answers because they are using different engines. Using the same engines will increase collaborative effort. It will also reinforce teamwork, an essential 21st century skill.”

The 17 General Motors V6 gasoline engines ExxonMobil donated were used to develop the latest formulations of Mobil 1 lubricants at ExxonMobil’s state-of-the-art engine test facility. The engines reached the 1,000 hours runtime limit set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and while no longer appropriate for the specific tests required by ExxonMobil, the engines are suitable for other applications.

“Our donation to RVCC ensures these test engines have a second life, while improving the quality of training for students,” said Paul Rubas, ExxonMobil Advanced Engineering associate. “We wanted to do our part to make a beneficial impact and support our next generation of automotive engineers and technicians.”

The college’s Automotive Technology program curriculum includes engine overhaul, where students completely tear down an engine and reassemble it. This coursework helps students to better understand engine operation and identify its components, while offering them a sense of accomplishment in having rebuilt an engine.

“We are extremely grateful to ExxonMobil for its incredible contribution to the college’s Automotive Technology program,” said Michael J. McDonough, RVCC president. “Public-private partnerships such as this help our students to be better skilled in their field, advance our educational offerings, and enhance our career training programs to answer immediate and future workforce needs.”

Photo Caption

RVCC student Rui Zhu, second from left, examines one of the 17 gasoline test engines donated to the College’s Automotive Technology program by ExxonMobil’s Technology Center in Clinton, NJ. With her, from left, are Andrew V. Sinclair, manager, Northeast Public & Government Affairs, ExxonMobil Corporation; Sara Heller, instructor/coordinator, RVCC Automotive Technology; and Paul Rubas, ExxonMobil Advanced Engineering associate. Photo courtesy of RVCC.

About RVCC

Ranked by and as the No. 1 community college in New Jersey in 2022, Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg has been serving as an academic and cultural center for Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for over 50 years. The college has been nationally recognized for its service to the community, environmental stewardship, and commitment to diversity. The college offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training and professional development courses. For further information, visit