CAAT e-Blast | February 2014

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Register Now to Attend the FREE 2014 CAAT Conference


This FREE conference, You Can't See the Future in the Rearview Mirror, will be held on Friday, May 2, 2014 at Macomb Community College's South Campus in Warren, MI. Don't miss your opportunity to learn more about the future of the automotive industry from our keynote speakers: 


  • Nigel Francis, senior automotive advisor to the State of Michigan 
  • John McElroy, host of "AutoLine Daily" and WWJ News Radio 950, 
  • Kristen Dziczek, director, Labor and Industry Group, Center for Automotive Research   
A technical session will feature an electric vehicle taxonomy, and information on the lightweighting of the new Chevrolet Corvette and the Ann Arbor Connected Vehicle Project. 

To make this event even more informative, the CAAT plans to offer conference participants an optional electric vehicle ride & drive experience. Later in the day, the ride & drive event will be open to the general public.


For more information and to register, click here. Seating is limited, so please register soon!  


Did You Know?

Did you know the CAAT won the ASEE ETD Best Paper Award?


That's right, last year the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) awarded their Engineering Technology Division Best Paper Award to the CAAT for its paper titled "A University and Community College Partnership to Meet Industry Needs for Future Workers in Advanced Automotive Technology." This award recognizes the best paper accepted for presentation in a session sponsored or co-sponsored by the Engineering Technology Division at the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition.


Congratulations to the CAAT team for their efforts in developing this outstanding paper!


Click here to read the award winning paper on the ASEE website.


Did you know the Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck achieved 10.7 miles per gallon in its latest test?


This truck's increased efficiency is due to several advanced engine and vehicle technologies and was on display during President Obama's announcement of stricter fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy-duty commercial vehicles (SOURCE). Some of these technologies include an advanced engine, batteries, materials lightweighting, and more. 


To learn more about these technologies, visit links in this section or our Resource Library.


CAAT Outreach

AutoRama World of Wheels Student Career Day  


Join the CAAT on March 8, 2014 in Detroit, MI to learn more about technical education career pathways.


Student day at Autorama began in 2006 as an initiative to support the automotive educational programs at schools by exposing students to the wide range of opportunities in the industry through speakers, corporate support, and event participation. Autorama welcomes school groups of high school and college level students to participate in this positive and valuable educational experience.



2014 SAE World Congress & Exhibition 


Visit the CAAT poster exhibit at the SAE 2014 World Congress to be held April 8-10 in Detroit, MI. This annual event assembles the best talent in the automotive industry; experts, management teams, engineers, and executives alike gather to collaborate and address current challenges, celebrate evolution and achievement over the last 100+ years, and promote the multitude of opportunities fundamental for a successful future.


Michigan's Senior Automotive Advisor Visits the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology


Nigel Francis
Nigel Francis
Nigel Francis, senior automotive adviser to the state of Michigan and senior vice president, Automotive Industry Office, Michigan Economic Development Corporationvisited the CAAT earlier this month. Nigel is charged with developing, implementing, and executing a comprehensive strategic plan and road map to promote, retain, and grow the automotive industry in Michigan. He serves as the state's central connection point for automotive industry stakeholders and engages with them to drive action that supports the industry and Michigan's overall economic growth strategy. 


During his visit, Mr. Francis shared with the CAAT key components of his comprehensive strategy to drive the auto industry forward in the state of Michigan. He noted that having the right technologies and the right talent will be critical for Michigan to remain the global center of the automotive industry. Nigel also emphasized the state's need to develop and retain more technical talent that will help the state understand and implement these new and emerging technologies into the vehicles that will be designed and manufactured here in Michigan.  


The following technologies have been identified as critical areas of focus for the state of Michigan, according to Mr. Francis:

  • Connected, automated, and autonomous vehicles 
  • Lightweight and multi-material vehicles
  • Advanced powertrain and propulsion systems
  • World-class manufacturing, supply chain management, and logistics

As the CAAT's current area of focus is on the development of technicians to work on advanced powertrain and propulsion systems, and we have already planned to put a greater emphasis on lightweighting and connected, automated, and autonomous vehicles over the next few years, the CAAT's strategic priorities are very closely aligned with those of the automotive industry in Michigan! 


To hear more about Nigel Francis and the future of the automotive industry in the state of Michigan, be sure to attend the 2014 CAAT conference where Nigel will be a keynote speaker!  

CAAT Hosts National Visiting Committee Meeting


On January 30, the CAAT hosted its annual National Visiting Committee (NVC) meeting at Macomb Community College (MCC). The committee is a outside group of advisors who serve voluntarily and are leaders in the fields of science, mathematics, engineering, technology, business, industry, and education. The role of the ATE Center NVC is to:

  • Work with grantees and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to advise and help Centers achieve their goals and objectives
  • Assess the plans and progress of the Center and report to the NSF and other Center leadership
  • Provide advice to the Center staff and serve as advocates for the Center

At this year's meeting, the CAAT NVC reported that they are very pleased with the progress the CAAT has been making toward its goals and objectives. Specifically, they noted that they are pleased with how the CAAT leverages its resources, the ongoing development of the CAAT website, this newsletter communication, the CAAT staff, collaboration among MCC and Wayne State University, and the caliber of students in the Electric Vehicle Development Technology Certificate cohort. In addition, the NVC advised that they fully support the CAAT's renewal proposal requesting continued funding from the NSF for an additional three years.   

Smarter Cars, Smarter Students 


The CAAT conducted a workshop at the 2014 Michigan Career Education Conference entitled "Smarter Cars, Smarter Students."  The conference was held February 11-13, 2014 in Grand Rapids, MI and was themed Career and Technical Education (CTE), Learning that Works for Michigan. The event was attended by hundreds of secondary and postsecondary educators and administrators, career development counselors, career and technical educators and business/community partners. Those who attended the CAAT workshop learned how cars are getting more and more technologically advanced and the resulting increased demand for highly trained middle-skill technicians to work on these technology-rich vehicles. Participants also learned how the CAAT provides curricula in advanced automotive engineering technology for technicians by:

  • Working closely with industry to identify future education and training requirements
  • Funding projects to develop new curricula demanded by industry
  • Housing and disseminating the latest curricula to schools

Click here to download a copy of the "Smarter Cars, Smarter Students" presentation.


CAAT Participates in the North American international Auto Show Education Day


Last month, the CAAT conducted an electric vehicle development technology workshop for approximately 50 high school students attending the North American International Auto Show's Education Day at Cobo Center in Detroit, MI. The participants, which included a number of hearing impaired students and a sign language interpreter, not only learned about the technology involved in electric vehicles (EVs), but were also given the opportunity to experience the technology they learned about by participating in a hands-on demonstration using remote controlled EVs.   


Through the generosity of Inforum, the CAAT also coordinated the attendance of five female Macomb Community College students (Vonda Williams, Monique Sgro, Karen Mroz, Cherie Snider and Maureen Parmenter) to attend the Inforum women's alliance's 12th annual breakfast held in conjunction with the NAIAS on January 17, 2014. The MCC students were accompanied by Gail Turri, Macomb's Manager of Career and Technical Education, and Dawn Magretta, Director of the Macomb Foundation. The students were among those invited from 15 local colleges and universities.



Left to Right: Turri, Williams, Sgro,

Mroz, Snider, Parmenter, Magretta

Cohort Participates in Electric Vehicle Information and Networking Event      


Macomb Community College Career Services hosted an Electric Vehicle Information and Networking event for Macomb's EV Development Technology Certificate students on February 25, 2014. The event was attended by 21 students and 8 employer representatives from five employers including DTE Energy, General Motors, Energy Power Systems, Denso and Aerotek. The event included a panel discussion on employment trends in the EV field and students were allowed to ask questions of the panel members. Following the panel, students had the opportunity to interact one-on-one with the employer representatives to learn more about the companies and discuss possible summer internships.  

Students Tour GM Global Battery Systems Lab


Current Electric Vehicle (EV) Development Technology Certificate students toured the General Motors Global Battery Systems Laboratory on February 13, 2014. The students were able to see the facilities and learn about the methods used for testing the EV batteries used domestically and internationally. The tour provided in-depth knowledge and lengthy discussion of EV battery design, testing and application.

GM Volt Lab   
Chevrolet Spark EV battery at the General Motors Global Battery Systems Laboratory
Photo Source: GM Media 

What's New in the CAAT Resource Library?



In January, two new conference resources were added to our Resource Library. Conference resources include materials such as handouts and presentations from conferences the CAAT presented at or attended. Listed below are the resources added in January:


Save the Date to Attend the First CAAT Webinar: Preparing Technicians for Careers in Advanced Mobility - April 17, 2014 / 1:00 PM EST



The CAAT invites you to our inaugural webinar to learn how we can support and improve your curricula in automotive and related technology. CAAT, funded by the National Science Foundation, provides curricula in advanced automotive engineering technology for technicians by: working closely with industry to identify future education and training requirements; funding projects to develop new curricula demanded by industry; housing and disseminating the latest curricula to schools. After attending our webinar, you will know how to access the technical and curriculum resources that the CAAT houses and gain funding for curricula development projects at your institution.

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