CAAT e-Blast | June 2014

WebsiteAbout CAATEducators StudentsResource LibraryTechnologies
Stay Connected
Did You Know?

Did you know that Google has unveiled its third-generation Google car? This prototype is Google's latest design of a driverless car, and although it uses much of the same automated and connected vehicle technology as the second-generation Google car, there are some distinct differences (SOURCE). The third-generation was designed entirely from the ground-up rather than modifying an existing production vehicle like the previous generation. It also looks much different than a typical car and lacks a steering wheel, pedals, and airbags. Currently, 100 prototypes are being built and are expected to be on public roads in California by the end of the year. However, Google claims "self-driving cars are still at least five years from commercialization." To learn more about automated and connected vehicles, visit the links in this section or our Resource Library


Google Car


Visit the CAAT Technologies Page 

Did you know the CAAT website has a Simulations page? This section features several videos simulating various hybrid configurations in LABVIEW software. These configurations include series, parallel, and series-parallel powertrains at the levels of mild and strong. To learn more about these videos or hybrid configurations visit our Simulations and Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicles pages.


Did you know that the CAAT website features an interactive animation displaying power flow in different hybrid types? These types include series, parallel, and series-parallel configurations. It is a great tool to use in the classroom to explain hybrid configurations or just to learn on your own. Click here to view and use this animation.

Upcoming CAAT Activities

CAAT to Sponsor Junior 

Career Camps


The CAAT will sponsor summer junior career camps for middle school students through Macomb Community College's College for Kids (C4K) program, which provides educational opportunities and a college campus connection for students ages 3-17. Through fun activities and enriching, memorable experiences, students learn and succeed through personal achievement. The CAAT is pleased to sponsor the following STEM-focused learning opportunities.  


Lego: EV3 Next Generation

This class utilizes the next Generation of Lego Mindstorms robots and enables students to build, program and test solutions based on real-life robotics technology. EV3 uses a more powerful intelligent brick, increased memory, and other upgraded functions.

Lego Mindstorms


Goldie Blox

This class will allow students to build a spinning machine, parade float, and dunk tank while developing spatial skills, applying engineering principles, and building confidence in problem solving through a variety of design ideas and unlimited building possibilities.



Motorized Mechanisms

In this class, students will investigate the principles of simple machines, mechanisms, and structure, while experimenting with balanced and unbalanced forces and friction, measuring distance, time, speed, and weight. 


We do Wonders

Students will discover LEGO® We-Do through fun, hands-on activities while learning to work with simple machines, gears, pulleys, levers, motion, and other science,

technology, engineering, and math (STEM) focused projects.


CAAT Teams Up With Oakland Schools Technical Campuses 


The CAAT has joined forces with the Oakland Schools Technical Campuses (OSTC) to offer a Summer Exploratory Camp focused on hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs). The HEV summer camp will target 9th-11th grade students and will be held July 7-10 at Macomb Community College's South Campus in Warren, MI. The camp will be taught by Macomb Community College automotive technology faculty and will provide a great hands-on learning experience for students who attend! This HEV summer camp will explain the principles of battery/electric and other alternative fuel vehicles, discuss reasons to use EVs, EV safety, battery technologies, and motor types. Each student will build a battery, a DC motor kit, and a fuel cell vehicle. 

CAAT to Participate in High Impact Technology Exchange Conference


HI-TEC is an annual national conference on advanced technological education where secondary and postsecondary educators, counselors, industry professionals, trade organizations, and technicians can update their knowledge and skills. Charged with the theme Educating America's Technical Workforce, the event focuses on the preparation needed by the existing and future workforce for companies in the high-tech sectors that drive our nation's economy.


HI-TEC will uniquely explore the convergence of scientific disciplines and technologies including:

  • Advanced Manufacturing Technologies
  • Agricultural, Energy, and Environmental Technologies
  • Biotechnology and Chemical Processes
  • Electronics
  • Engineering Technologies
  • Information Communications, Geospatial, and Security Technologies
  • Learning, Evaluation, and Research
  • Micro and Nanotechnologies

Attendees have the option to choose from approximately 15 preconference workshops and industry site tours during the first 2 days, followed by the 2-day main conference featuring keynote speakers and 60 breakout sessions. There will also be an awards luncheon and Technology Showcase with an exhibitor reception, door prizes, and more!


This year HI-TEC will be held July 21-24 in Chicago, Illinois.

Miss a previous CAAT e-Blast?

Click here to view the CAAT e-Blast archive.

CAAT Hosts Second Industry Advisory Council Meeting


CAAT leadership met with its Industry Advisory Council (IAC) for the second time on June 10, 2014, at Macomb Community College's South Campus in Warren, MI. The role of the IAC is to provide strategic direction and support the CAAT's development of curriculum to meet the education needs of current and future workers in the automotive industry. Efforts are currently focused on training engineering technicians to assist with the industry's development of more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles. 


At the June 10 meeting, the IAC was updated on the major activities of the CAAT in the past 9 months as well as the EV Development Technology Certificate program continuation. This was followed by a major discussion of the technologies currently being utilized by vehicle manufacturers, which include electrified vehicles, automated and connected vehicles, and materials lightweighting. It was noted that there is a shortage of people trained in these areas. In particular, there is a shortage of people who understand electronics from controls to communications, and who have a total system understanding. It was also mentioned that the skills requirement gap between the engineer and technician is closing, with the latter really becoming a "technologist".


The CAAT's scope already includes electrified vehicles, and with the encouragement of the IAC, we are now preparing to expand into materials lightweighting as well as automated and connected vehicles. As you can see, the IAC's input is critical to ensure graduating students have the appropriate skills to work within the new technologies noted above.


We very much appreciate the IAC's continued guidance and support. To view a list of the IAC members, please visit the IAC page on the CAAT website.


University of Alabama
University of Alabama Approved for CAAT Seed Funding


The CAAT recently approved the University of Alabama's proposal for seed funding to expand its undergraduate engineering curriculum with a unique course titled, "Energy Efficiency of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles, Labs" that provides both computational and hands-on skills to community college students, practicing technicians, and 4-year university students on the construction, design, and computer simulations and tests of powertrain systems found in hybrid electric and electric vehicles. 


Objectives of the project include:

  • Develop laboratory work and student manuals on conducting laboratories to learn construction, design, and testing powertrain sub-systems of hybrid electric and electric vehicles
  • Develop computer workshops and student manuals to simulate hybrid electric and electric powertrain systems and to understand power losses and directions in order to improve energy efficiency of the systems
  • Develop lecture course material to support the laboratories and computer workshops

Project deliverables will include:

  • Lecture slides (PowerPoint format)
  • Student/technician detailed manuals and guidelines for conducting lab experiments/tests, doing computer simulations, and writing student/technician reports
  • Lists of hardware and software recommended for lab experiments/tests in this course

Upon completion of the project, all materials developed in association with this project will be posted on the CAAT website's Resource Library for free download and use by other educational institutions or interested parties. 

Center for Automotive Research  


Spotlight on CAAT Industry Partners 


The CAAT has been fortunate to have the support and guidance of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), an Ann Arbor, MI, based non-profit organization recognized for leading-edge research regarding the future of the global automotive industry. The CAR forecasts industry trends, advises on public policy, and sponsors multi-stakeholder communication forums. Not only has the CAR sponsored the last two CAAT conferences by assisting in spreading the word to increase attendance, but Kristin Dziczek, the CAR's Industry and Labor Group director, serves as the chair of the CAAT's National Visiting Committee and was a keynote speaker at the 2014 CAAT Conference. In addition, Jay Baron, the CAR's president and CEO, provided a keynote speech at the 2013 CAAT Conference. The CAAT plans to attend the CAR's Management Briefing Seminars to be held August 4-7 in Traverse City, MI!

In their most recent show of support, the CAR offered internships to two Macomb Community College (MCC) students: Alaa Noah, a recent MCC graduate who was awarded an associate's degree in pre-engineering last month, and Luke Deptula, who recently completed the course requirements of MCC's Electric Vehicle Development Technician Certificate. Luke noted in a recent social media post that, "the program prepares students having no previous automotive background to meet the needs of the future, and currently evolving, automotive industry. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to be ahead of the curve in the automotive industry." 


We thank the CAR for their ongoing support of the CAAT and wish Luke and Alaa much success in their assignments at the CAR!

Electric Vehicle (EV) Myth Busters


(Photo Source)


EVs don't have enough range. You'll be stranded when you run out of electricity.

Most new EVs have a range of at least 80 miles; more than double what a typical American drives in a day (SOURCE). For those planning on traveling longer distances, there are several plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) on the market that first drive solely on electric power until their battery runs out and then use a gasoline engine to charge and power the vehicle for the rest of the trip.


Recently Held CAAT Activities

CAAT Co-Sponsors PlugVolt Energy Storage Seminar 


Earlier this month, the CAAT co-sponsored the PlugVolt Energy Storage Seminar which took place on May 28-29, 2014, at the NextEnergy Center in Detroit, MI. About 80 people attended this two-day seminar on advanced energy storage systems (batteries). Presentations were made by industry, academia, and government on the status of battery developments and future opportunities. On the first day of the event, breakfast and lunch were provided by the CAAT. At the CAAT sponsored lunch, Bob Feldmaier, CAAT director, gave a presentation on the activities of the CAAT and how it can interface and support other organizations. The CAAT also hosted an information table along with the Workforce Development and Continuing Education department of Macomb Community College.

CAAT Director Attends Telematics Detroit 2014 Conference


The Telematics Detroit conference, held June 4-5, 2014, in Novi, MI, is the world's largest annual forum dedicated to the future of connected auto mobility. About 500 people attended this two day conference on telematics. Subjects ranged from infotainment to autonomous vehicles, and the latest developments in electronics and communication systems were discussed. Also included was a large exhibition featuring supplier displays on various telematics technologies. Joe Petrosky, Sarah Fall, and Bob Feldmaier attended on behalf of Macomb Community College.
CAAT Participates in the 6th Annual Michigan Electric Vehicle Show and Rally


The CAAT and the Department of Engineering and Advanced Technology (EAT) of Macomb Community College (MCC) participated for the third time in the Michigan Electric Vehicle Show and Rally held at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan on June 7, 2014. The CAAT team staffed a tent that featured information on all of the automotive technology programs offered by MCC and of the services and resources available to students, faculty, and industry through the CAAT.


The target audiences for the event were electric vehicle (EV) owners and those considering ownership of EVs. The show offered the display of a wide variety of EVs and related products, the opportunity to discuss the experience of owning EVs with experts and other owners, test drives of many of the available EVs, and a session featuring speakers on several topics and a panel to answer the questions of those in attendance. Doug Fertuck of the CAAT served as a panelist and delivered the presentation, "Educating Technicians for the World of Electrified Vehicles" that described the classifications of EVs and reviewed the many pros and cons of EV ownership. Much of the panel discussion addressed the issues of building an ever larger charging station infrastructure to support the growing national and regional EV fleet. Over 600 EV enthusiasts attended the show, which had 35 vehicles on display, and over 30 attendees participated in the panel discussion.

Pictured above is show attendee Luke Deptula, a MCC student who recently completed the coursework for Macomb's Electric Vehicle Development Technology Certificate and is currently completing the internship component of the certificate program with the Center for Automotive Research (see CAR article above). Luke is shown with his vehicle, an electric converted 1988 Chevy S10. When asked why he electrified it, Luke noted that it was "because it was simple and inexpensive to build at $5,500. It has 16 golf cart batteries totaling 96v, with a 35 mile range, and it only costs $30 a month in electricity to drive!" 

University Bound  

CAAT Short Course on Electric-Drive Vehicle Technology


The CAAT sponsored a free short course titled "Electric-Drive Vehicles Technology" on June 7 & 8, 2014, at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio. The workshop was conducted by CAAT Co-Principal Investigators, Chih-Ping (CP) Yeh, director and chair of the Division of Engineering Technology, Wayne State University, and Gene Liao, director of the Electric Transportation Technology Program and professor in the Engineering Technology Division, Wayne State University. The course addressed the fundamentals of electric-drive vehicle development, design, manufacturing, and marketing. Also discussed were vehicle electrification, road load, hybrid powertrains and components, future trends, power electronics such as traction motors and inverters, controls, and hands-on exercises. 


This annual training session was targeted to community college instructors, 4-year college/university engineering and technology faculty, high school science and technology teachers, and automotive industry professionals. Fifteen participants completed the course and were provided a 300-page resource book, certificate of completion accredited by Wayne State University, and $200 stipend to cover travel expenses.


More than 70% of the short course participants rated the course overall as "excellent," and nearly 100% of participants said they were "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to utilize what they learned in their work/teaching.

CAAT Sponsors Participation of 11 Students in Hybrid Electric Vehicles Career Academy


Sponsorship from the CAAT made it possible for 11 high school students to participate in a free week-long career academy on hybrid electric vehicles. The event was held on June 23-26 at Macomb Community College's South Campus in Warren, MI. This academy offered participants a great hands-on learning experience for students interested in cars and electronics. Also included was an interactive workshop explaining the principles of battery/electric and other alternative fuel vehicles. Other topics included reasons to use electric vehicles (EVs), EV safety, battery technologies, and motor types. Each student built a battery, a DC motor kit, and a fuel cell vehicle. See a related article in C and G Newspapers.

Center for Advanced Automotive Technology |
Copyright © 2014 Macomb Community College. All Rights Reserved.