Technology students’ ideas bring ski lift manufacturers to UVU campus

University Marketing & Communications: Layton Shumway | 801-863-6863 |

Written by: Barbara Christiansen | 801-863-8208 |

Students in a technology class at Utah Valley University have come up with an innovative solution to traffic congestion around the university: ski lifts.

They suggested having the Orem train station and UVU campus be connected with an open-air gondola ski lift that would go over the train tracks and freeway, like the Cabriolet lift at the Canyons resort in Park City, with an additional possibility of connecting student parking lots to UVU buildings with a similar ski lift, which could allow parking lots to be located more efficiently.

A representative from Doppelmayr USA will come to Orem Wednesday to evaluate the students’ work and provide an industry viewpoint about how realistic their ideas area. Based in Salt Lake City, Doppelmayr USA is part of the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group, the world’s largest ski lift manufacturer.

Doppelmayr representatives have said they look forward to listening to the students at UVU and their ideas of ways to improve and implement more efficient urban transportation systems.

The students’ creative solutions surpassed the expectations of UVU assistant professor Pauli Alin, who runs the “Understanding Technology” class. At many universities, introductory classes are often based on mass lectures with little classroom interaction, which can lead students to view the topics as “irrelevant.” But Alin says students in UVU’s “Understanding Technology” class learn by doing projects themselves.

“I thought their ideas for easing traffic around the university were really good. Industry should know about the type and caliber of work coming out of UVU,” Alin said.

Overall, ropeways are rapidly gaining acceptance around the world as a viable alternative to more conventional modes of transportation in the urban environment, and Doppelmayr has been a pioneer in adapting this proven technology to provide urban transportation solutions. Lower cost, quicker build time, and the ability to overfly obstacles or difficult terrain are a few of the benefits that have led cities such as Portland, Ore., New York City, La Paz, Bolivia, and other cities around the world, to implement this technology as an environmentally attractive solution aimed at improving the lives of people and serving as an engine for further development.

Fourth region (Section 1)