CAAT e-Blast | August 2014

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What's New

What's New on the CAAT Website?


In June, we added the page Find a Charging Station to our Resources section. This page contains an embedded map, maintained by, which allows you to search and find charging stations all over the country. You can even find the charging station we have outside the CAAT office at Macomb Community College's South Campus!


Charge Station

What's New in the CAAT Resource Library?


In July, one conference resource and two seed funding resources were added to our Resource Library. Conference resources include materials such as handouts and presentations from conferences the CAAT presented at or attended. Seed funding resources are resources created through seed funding from the CAAT. The CAAT provides seed funding for educational institutions to develop or adapt courses, modules, or other educational artifacts that advance the preparation of skilled technicians and engineers for jobs in the automobile. Check out our Funded Programs page to view other seed funding projects/resources. Listed below are the resources added in July:

Browse the CAAT Resource Library 

Did You Know?

Did you know 
students enrolled in Muskegon Community College's automotive technology program built an electric dragster named "Short Circuit" that set a world record by going 109 mph down a quarter mile drag strip in 12.369 seconds? Click here to learn more.



Did you know that what started in 2011 as National Plug-In Day has now expanded to become National Drive Electric Week? The expansion is due to popular demand as the event this year will feature more than 100 events across the U.S. from September 15-21, 2014. This nationwide celebration is designed to heighten awareness of today's widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more. To learn more or to find an event near you, visit the National Drive Electric Week website.

Drive Electric

Did you know that the number of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) on American roads increased by 96% in a year, going from 119,404 in July, 2013, to 234,023 in July, 2014 (SOURCE)? This data was released by the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) along with other sales numbers and trends in the U.S. EV market, including:

  • Hybrid EVs sales
  • Public charging infrastructure
  • Plug-in and fuel cell model availability
  • Extended-range EV sales


Did you know that researchers led by Noritaka Mizuno, professor at the School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo, have developed a new lithium battery that contains seven times the energy density of traditional lithium (Li)-ion cells (SOURCE)? This technology should not only increase capacity, but at reduced cost and while increasing safety due to the battery's sealed design. To be exact, the theoretical capacity is "897mAh per 1g of the positive/negative electrode active material, voltage of 2.87V and theoretical energy density of 2,570Wh/kg." It was found in testing the battery that it can be quickly charged/discharged with a large current, making it ideal for "electric vehicles (EVs) and next-generation stationary batteries."


Visit the CAAT Technologies Page





EV Myth Busters


Myth: Electric Cars Are Fire Hazards


Fact: Yes, there have been some rather high profile incidents of late with Tesla Model S electric cars going up in flames, presumably after their battery packs have been ruptured (SOURCE). Just as airplane crashes make big news whenever they happen, leading some to question the safety of air travel, the true impact of these incidents is being inflated out of proportion. There are literally thousands of airplane flights every day, the vast majority of which go off without a hitch. Similarly, there are literally thousands of Tesla Model S cars on the road, along with a similar number of Nissan LEAF electric cars, as well as partially electric models from Ford and Chevrolet. If electric cars were so incredibly fire prone, you'd see electric car fires practically every day. Fact is internal combustion powered cars catch on fire with considerably more frequency, but nobody says these cars are unsafe because they catch on fire. And, for the record, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority investigated the Tesla incidents and found no manufacturer-related defects in the cars.

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Register Now for a FREE Lightweighting Seminar!


ASBE Join us for a free evening seminar brought to you by the CAAT and the asbe Foundation. The seminar will feature technical briefings on two of the automotive industry's hottest topics: Advanced Materials and Joining Technologies.

Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and refreshments will be provided. Registration is required by Friday, October 3, 2014. Click here for a map and directions. For additional information about this free seminar, please contact us.


Lightweighting: The Implications for Automotive Design Development
Wednesday, October 15, 5:30-8:00 p.m. 
Macomb Community College, Center Campus
Lorenzo Cultural Center (Building K)
44575 Garfield Rd.
Clinton Township, MI


5:30-6:30 p.m.
Registration, Networking & Complimentary Refreshments

6:30-7:40 p.m.
Technical Presentations:


  • Greg Schroeder, Center for Automotive Research (CAR), "Overview of Advanced Materials and Joining Technology"
  • Jeff Conklin, Cosma Engineering, "25% Weight Saving Ford Fusion Project"
  • 7:40-8:00 p.m.

    Join Us for the Next CAAT Webinar: 

    The Future of Automotive Technology - Keeping Your Curriculum Up-to-Date

    WebinarThursday, October 2, 2014 1:00-2:30 p.m.


    Energy! Safety! Emissions! The economic and societal impact of the automotive industry on these issues is vast. Automotive technology is changing rapidly in response to these concerns. Is your curriculum preparing students to be ready to work in these advanced technologies?


    Join us to learn how the CAAT can support keeping your automotive, electronics, and IT curricula up-to-date. The CAAT's recent renewal through 2017 as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Center includes changes in its technical scope and adds new technologies: vehicle lightweight design and automated and connected vehicles. The CAAT will also continue to focus on vehicle electrification and propulsion systems. The webinar will include highlights from the 2014 CAAT Conference, held earlier this year, which addressed the future of automotive technology as presented by several well-known industry experts. These presentations documented the need for improved curricula in these technical areas. 


    As part of the webinar, we will be soliciting proposals to apply for the additional seed funding the CAAT now controls to develop curricula in these subjects. The seed funding portion of the agenda will include brief presentations from two current seed funding project developers so that potential applicants can understand better the types of projects suitable for seed funding support.


    Register Now


    CAAT and CA2VES ATE Centers Collaborate on Electric Vehicle Safety Visualization Project


    The Clemson University Center for Workforce Development (CUCWD) supports demand-driven education, research, dissemination, and outreach that will advance economic development and enhance employment opportunities. The Center for Aviation and Automotive Technical Education (CA2VES) is a National Sciece Foundatin (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Center located at Clemson University that focusses on developing virtual reality based applications to support the needs of curriculum.


    CUCWD's CA2VES is working with the CAAT to develop four virtual reality based learning modules:

    • High Voltage Disconnect Switches
    • High Voltage Checks
    • Battery Pack Removal
    • High Voltage Safety Gloves


    These modules are being developed to supplement existing curriculum that will be particularly helpful for those instructing on electric vehicle safety without physical hardware to demonstrate. Completion of the modules is anticipated in September, at which time the modules will be added to the free CAAT Resource Library.

    Upcoming CAAT Activities

    World COngress


    CAAT to Attend 2014 World Congress on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)


    The CAAT is preparing to attend the 2014 World Congress on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), being held September 7-11 in Detroit, Michigan. The event will feature more than 250 programmatic panels, roundtables, interactive town hall sessions, an exhibition, and networking events. Approximately 10,000 transportation and technology leaders from around the world are expected to attend. 


    The ITS World Congresses have become known for their technology showcases, featuring demonstrations promoting the latest technologies and highlighting the growing integration of intelligent transportation services unfolding around the world. The 2014 Technology Showcase will have a wide range of technologies on display, including connected and autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, robotics, sensor technology, real-time weather and road conditions data analysis, and many others.


    In conjunction with its popular Technology Showcase, ITS America has partnered with Square One Education Network, Michigan DOT, HNTB, and others to develop and coordinate interactive experiences for students at the event. This collaboration will spotlight the next generation of ITS talent developing in Michigan and the career opportunities in the intelligent transportation arena.  


    The Youth Connections Showcase will expose as many as 1,000 high school and college students to the ITS industry by arranging guided tours of the show floor and by hosting a variety of competitions, break out sessions, and demonstrations to highlight the young talent in the state. The CAAT will assist Square One with bus transportation to allow local high school and Macomb Community College students to attend the event. The CAAT will also be on hand to discuss technician career opportunities in advanced automotive technology and more.


    Square One will challenge teams of high school students in exciting on-site electric vehicle build competitions. There will be student demonstrations throughout the event, such as Square One's high school students who will share Wireless Hands-on Applied Mechatronics (WHAM), a community outreach project utilizing radio controlled vehicles. College teams from around the area will demonstrate a variety of Intelligent Ground Vehicle autonomous robots.

    Battery Show


    CAAT Joins the MEDC and Next Energy as a Michigan Pavilion Partner at the Battery Show Conference and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo

    The Battery Show 2014 is the premier showcase of the latest advanced battery and electric vehicle technology. It is co-located with the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo and takes place September 16-18, 2014, in Novi, Michigan. The show is designed to examine the key business and technical issues impacting the industry and help delegates understand and manage the impact of regulatory requirements, comply with safety standards, discover the potential of emerging technologies and chemistries, and improve understanding of growth markets and applications. The Battery Show will be attended by technical experts, business leaders, vehicle engineers, R&D professionals, buyers, and senior executives concerned with advanced energy storage and will host the very latest advanced battery solutions for electric & hybrid vehicles, utility & renewable energy support, portable electronics, medical technology, military, and telecommunications.

    The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Michigan Automotive Office, Next Energy, and show organizer, Smarter Shows, have announced the addition of the Michigan Pavillion (Booth B1204) to this year's event. The Michigan Pavilion's convenient one-stop shops within the exhibition hall will give show attendees the opportunity to explore Michigan's thriving energy storage ecosystem through industry and venture development. As home to almost 400 vehicle R&D and technical centers, almost 90,000 engineers, several leading battery and automotive OEMs, world-renowned universities, and innovative technology developers, attendees will see firsthand why Michigan is a leader in the energy storage industry. The CAAT will participate in the event as a Michigan Pavillion partner, so please stop by and visit us if you are attending the show!  

    MI Auto Summit

    CAAT to Attend MICHauto Summit


    Bob Feldmaier, CAAT director and co-principle investigator, is scheduled to attend the second annual Michigan Automotive Summit on September 23, 2014, in Detroit, MI. The Summit will focus on Michigan's commitment to the automotive industry and will offer an action-packed agenda featuring high-level speakers from industry, academia, and government. The day-long event, themed Michigan's Auto Industry: Concept to Consumer, will explore the new era of Michigan innovation and the blueprint it sets for the rest of the global automotive industry. Programming will steer discussion toward the outlook on design, engineering, manufacturing, and all things automotive.


    General Motror's (GM) Executive Vice President of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, Mark Reuss, will deliver the keynote address. Drawing on his leadership at GM, Reuss will speak to the importance of promoting, growing, and retaining Detroit's and Michigan's role as the epicenter of the global automotive industry.

    Recently Held CAAT Activities



    CAAT PI's Attend Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Management Briefing Seminars

    The CAR Management Briefing Seminars (MBS), held August 4-7 in Traverse City, MI, delivered thought leadership on the most important issues facing the automotive industry today: manufacturing, powertrain, sales forecasting, connected and autonomous vehicles, purchasing, talent, and supply chain. The event was attended by the CAAT's Principal Investigator (PI), Joe Petrosky, dean of Macomb Community College's Engineering and Advanced Technology division, and Scott Palmer, CAAT co-PI and a Career Technical Education (CTE) consultant with the Macomb Intermediate School District (MISD). Petrosky and Palmer participated in this "must attend" annual automotive event to explore emerging trends and future developments in the ongoing evolution of critical advanced automotive technologies and the impact on educating workers to work with new technologies.  

    Two of the sessions offered at the event were particularly relevant to the CAAT's new technology areas (materials lightweighting and connected and automated vehicles). These were:

    • Featherweight Competition: Agile, Light, and Strong: Use of advanced high strength steel, aluminum, and structural composites are serious contenders for all new vehicles. Long term, a mixed-material approach is seen by the industry to offer one of the most economical, lightweight solutions, but this approach adds complexity at every development step from design to fabrication and assembly.
    • Connected and Automated Vehicles: Driving Forward Fast:  Connected and automated vehicle technologies are revolutionizing the way we think about how vehicles are designed, engineered, manufactured, and used. These technologies are enhancing safety, enabling infotainment and location-based services, improving diagnostics and prognostics, and enriching the consumer and driver experiences. 
    A session was also held on Attracting and Retaining Talent in an Era of Changing Technology and Demographics. Conversations on this theme also occurred in other technical sessions at the conference. These discussions continue to confirm the importance of the CAAT's mission to assist meeting the expanding technician needs of the automotive industry through advanced automotive technology education and collaboration among education, industry, government, and professional associations. Two Macomb Community College students that are pursuing educational pathways for careers in the automotive industry also attended the MBS. One of these students was Luke Deptula, a former EV Cohort 2 student and CAR intern.

    Third Cohort of Students Begins Electric Vehicle Development Technology Certificate Program

    The CAAT welcomed its third cohort of 25 students into the Electric Vehicle Development Technology Certificate program Thursday, August 7, 2014, for orientation. During orientation, the students were provided with a detailed overview of the program as well as the internship process. Orientation was also a time for students to get connected with Macomb Community College, engage with other students in the cohort, interact with staff, register for classes, and go on a campus tour. The cohort program began August 25, 2014.

    Cohort 3 of the Electric Vehicle Development Technology Certificate program was made possible by additional grant funding by the Department of Labor in partnership with the National STEM Consortium. Students are expected to earn this 28-credit hour certificate in one of today's hottest fields in one year. The internships/job placements phase of the program begins at the end of May 2015. Beginning in Fall 2014, non-cohort students can also take courses towards this certificate through regular course offerings at Macomb and should see an academic advisor for more information. For general program information, click here. If you have internship opportunities available, please contact Shirley Manus, adjunct internship coordinator, at (586) 447-7475.

    Global Automotive

    CAAT Attends the Global Automotive Lightweight Materials Initiative Conference


    Doug Fertuck, CAAT assistant director, attended the 3rd annual Global Automotive Lightweight Materials Initiative Conference held at Cobo Center in Detroit, MI August 20-21. The theme of the conference was, Delivering the Latest Technical Advances in Material Selection & Mixed-Material Joining to Determine the Materials & Manufacturing that are Having the Biggest Impact on Reducing the Cost of Mass Produced Lightweight Vehicles. Increasingly, the focus of auto manufacturers is accelerating the application of the latest in lightweight materials and designs from low volume specialty vehicles to high volume production. As noted previously, materials lightweighting is a new area of advanced automotive technology that is being addressed under the CAAT's new three-year, $2M National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. 


    The content on the first day of the conference focused on mass production strategies, joining techniques, and corrosion prevention, including presentations on overall lightweighting strategies from the perspectives of the major auto companiesThe second day focused on material selection and optimization, vehicle repair strategies, casting techniques, and assembly plant optimization to determine how to match the right material to the right automotive application at the lowest cost and discussed delivering the latest technical advances in cost-effective vehicle repair, casting techniques, and assembly plant optimization for high volume applications. Specific presentations focused on the characteristics of the major lightweighting alternatives: aluminum, high strength steel, carbon fiber, and magnesium. 

    Center for Advanced Automotive Technology |
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