CAAT e-Blast | July 2014

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What's New

What's New on the CAAT Website?


In June, we added the page Automated and Connected Vehicles to our Technologies section. This page defines automated and connected vehicles and explains the benefits of these advanced automotive technologies such as crash reduction, improved efficiency, and more. On the page, we've provided a few videos to visually explain the technologies in these vehicles and the current testing of the vehicles on public roads. Links to related publications are also provided. Check out this page to learn more about the cars and automotive technologies coming in the near future!

Automated Vechicles

What's New in the CAAT Resource Library?


In June, two conference resources and two other resources were added to our Resource Library. One existing resource was also updated with new content. Conference resources include materials such as handouts and presentations from conferences the CAAT presented at or attended. Listed below are the resources that were added or updated in June:

Browse the CAAT Resource Library 

Did You Know?

Did you know the CAAT website's Technologies section includes a Power Electronics page? This page explains some of the electronics found in electric drive vehicles such as hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), fuel cell electric vehicles (FCVs), and battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Also included on this page are subpages dedicated to specific power electronics such as Converters, Inverters, and Controls and Motors. Click the links above to learn more about the technologies that make up electric vehicles. 


Power Electronics


Did you know that the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has partnered with General Motors (GM) on a multiyear, multimillion dollar joint effort to "accelerate the reduction of automotive fuel cellstack costs through fuel cell material and manufacturing research and development" (SOURCE)? Through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between the parties, the two plan to advance fuel cell technology and make widespread commercialization feasible. This will be done through improved technology and the lowered costs of components. The NREL plans to reach these goals by, "reducing platinum loading, achieving high power densities, understanding the implication of contaminants on fuel cell performance and durability, and accelerating manufacturing processes to achieve the benefits of increased economies of scale." GM has also been collaborating with Honda since 2013 on fuel cell technology with plans to commercialize a fuel cell vehicle by 2020. To learn more about fuel cells, visit the links in this section or our Resource Library.


Visit the CAAT Technologies Page

Fuel Cell

CAAT Receives 3-Year Grant Renewal from the National Science Foundation (NSF)


NSF The CAAT at Macomb Community College was originally established in 2010 as one of 39 NSF-funded Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Centers. The initial grant of $2.8 million was awarded for the 4-year period from September 2010 through August 2014. 

The CAAT is extremely pleased to announce that it has received an additional $2 million in funding from the NSF to be used over the 3-year period from August 1, 2014 through July 31, 2017. The purpose of this renewal grant is to enable the CAAT to continue and enhance its scope, developing into a self-sustained educational center which prepares technicians and technologists to work on vehicles featuring the most advanced automotive technology being used in vehicle development today. This is a critical initiative to revive the economic growth of the region and nation.


The CAAT's primary focus during our initial grant period was on training technicians to work on electrified vehicles. However, in the past few years the automotive industry has been investing heavily in several new technologies, including materials lightweighting and automated and connected vehicles. With this additional grant funding, we are pleased to announce that these areas have been added [to electrified vehicles] as core areas of focus for the CAAT. To visit these areas of our website, click the links above. The CAAT staff is already planning to develop other educational materials related to the training of technicians who are or plan to work in these areas of advanced automotive technology. 

EV Myth Busters

Switching to an electric vehicle will just mean that the same amount of pollution comes from the electricity generation rather than from the tailpipe -- I'll just be switching from oil to coal.

According to a range of studies doing a 'well to wheels' analysis, an electric car leads to significantly less carbon dioxide pollution from electricity than the CO2 pollution from the oil of a conventional car with an internal combustion engine (SOURCE). In some areas, like many on the West Coast that rely largely on wind or hydro power, the emissions are significantly lower for EVs. And that's today. As we retire more coal plants and bring cleaner sources of power online, the emissions from electric vehicle charging drop even further. Additionally, in some areas, night-time charging will increase the opportunity to take advantage of wind power -- another way to reduce emissions.

Kent Intermediate School District / Kent Career and Technical Center Completes CAAT Seed Funding Project

The CAAT would like to congratulate the Kent Career and Technical Center (KCTC) for completing their first seed funding project. With seed funding from the CAAT, the KCTC developed a new, project-based curriculum component that revolves around the construction of a working electric powered vehicle (EPV) that will be entered into the Electrathon America race. This project is consistent with the KCTC's new building-wide green curriculum, and provides a hands-on way for students to learn more about EV's and strengthen the network of local school districts active in building and racing EVs. Click here to view and/or download the curriculum in the CAAT's free Resource Library.



Upcoming CAAT Activities

CAAT Sponsors Junior Career Camps


The CAAT is sponsoring four Junior Career Camps (see below) for K-12 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 utilizing basic engineering principles, students will learn and succeed through personal achievement. These CAAT sponsored Junior Career Camps are being held at Macomb Community College's South Campus from late July through mid August.


The CAAT is pleased to sponsor the following STEM-focused learning opportunities:


Lego: EV3 Next Generation (Ages 13 and Up)

The next generation of LEGOŽ Mindstorms robots 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. Robots are for classroom use only.



Goldie Blox (Ages 4-10 and 11-14)

Discover Goldie Blox as you learn to build a spinning machine, parade float, and dunk tank. Develop spatial skills, engineering principles, and confidence in problem solving through a variety of design ideas and unlimited building possibilities. Goldie Blox's goal is to get students building by tapping into their strong verbal skills with stories and construction sets. Each student will take home all three sets of Goldie Blox upon course completion for more engineering fun at home!



Motorized Mechanisms (Ages 10-14)

In this class, students will investigate the principles of simple machines, mechanisms, and structures. This knowledge is reinforced through experimenting with balanced/unbalanced forces and friction and measuring distance, time, speed, and weight. Students will also discover just how much fun engineering can be with LEGOŽ!


We-Do Wonders of Science & Technology (Ages 7-9)

Discover LEGOŽ We-Do through fun, hands-on activities while students learn to work with simple machines, gears, pulleys, levers, motion, and other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) focused projects. LEGOŽ kits are for classroom use only. 


Click here to see the full C4K brochure and click here to see the related Macomb Community College press release. For additional information on these Junior Career Camps and the C4K program, please contact the C4K program coordinator at 586-498-4100 or

CAAT Sponsors and Participates in the Michigan Association of Continuing Education and Training (MACET) Annual Conference 2014

The CAAT is attending the MACET conference on "Building Your Networks - Bridging The Gaps," which is being held July 31 through August 1 on Mackinac Island. The membership of MACET includes leaders from the 28 community colleges in Michigan and serves as the state organization to the National Council for Continuing Education and Training (NCCET). 
The MACET Annual Conference is the only multi-day conference for state leaders in continuing education and training in Michigan. This conference will feature informational sessions on national trends and programming, state policy and programs, funding opportunities and partnerships, as well as best practices and emerging trends. The conference will offer a variety of professional development breakout sessions, networking opportunities, and an interactive President's Panel. Expected to attend this year's event are the presidents from the following six community colleges: Alpena, Delta, Kellogg, Lansing, Muskegon, and St. Clair. 
In addition to being an event sponsor, the CAAT will have a display in the exhibit area and will do a presentation about the CAAT and it's seed funding opportunities available to community colleges to develop advanced automotive technology curriculum for their automotive programs.

Recently Held CAAT Activities

CAAT and Oakland Schools Technical Campuses Hold Summer Career Camp for High School Students

The CAAT joined forces with the Oakland Schools Technical Campuses (OSTC) to offer a summer camp course focused on hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs). The summer camp targeted 9th-11th grade students and was held July 7-10 at Macomb Community College's South Campus in Warren, MI. The course was taught by Macomb Community College automotive technology faculty and provided a great hands-on learning experience for the eight students who attended! Students learned about the principles of battery/electric and other alternative fuel vehicles, discussed reasons to use EVs, EV safety, battery technologies, and motor types. Each student also built a battery, DC motor kit, and fuel cell vehicle.   

CAAT Participates in High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (HI-TEC)

The CAAT recently had five people attend the 2014 HI-TEC conference held July 21-24 in Chicago, Illinois. Now in its sixth year, HI-TEC is produced by a consortium of National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education centers and projects. 


This national conference, which was themed Educating America's Technical Workforce, presented post-secondary and secondary educators and stakeholders with professional development, educational materials, collaborative ventures, and insights into the convergence of scientific disciplines, technologies, and emerging market trends essential to developing and advancing the technical workforce of the 21st century.


This year's HI-TEC conference attracted 582 attendees, which included community college and university educators, high school educators, workforce development advocates, trade organizations, industry professionals, and technicians.


Attendees had the option to choose from 18 preconference workshops and four industry site tours during the first two days. The main conference was held the following two days and featured two outstanding keynote speakers and 75 concurrent conference sessions. The sessions ranged from new technologies, to new resources, to new teaching methodologies. The event also featured an awards luncheon and Technology Showcase with an exhibitor reception, door prizes, and more. The CAAT hosted a table providing the opportunity to interact with a variety of people. One was from Rio Honda Community College in California with whom the CAAT had previously done a consulting conference call with regarding electric vehicles.

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