CAAT e-Blast | September 2014

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What's New

What's New on the CAAT Website?


In August, we added the page Professional Development Opportunities to our Industry area. This page lists the CAAT's recent and upcoming professional development efforts for industry such as conferences, technical seminars, and more. If you are interested in professional

development for educators, please visit our Professional Development Opportunities page for educators. 


Prof Dev


In August, we also added a new video to our batteries section showing the dissection of a 2013 Chevrolet Volt battery pack. This informational video provides a detailed disassembly of the battery pack starting with the complete pack and shows the breakdown processes into individual modules and cells.  



What's New in the CAAT Resource Library?


In August, one resource was added to our Resource Library. Below is the resource that was added:

Browse the CAAT Resource Library 



Did You Know?

Did you know that Tesla has decided to build its $5B Gigafactory for lithium-ion battery production in Nevada, and it's scheduled to open in 2017 (SOURCE)? This news was announced by Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, earlier this month along with the statement that the factory will only use "raw materials sourced in North America." Tesla plans to produce batteries for approximately 500,000 vehicles by 2020 in the factory. To produce this many batteries, the company will need to source at least 28,000 tons of spherical graphite. It's speculated that this graphite will come from Graphite Creek in Alaska.


Did you know there are a combined 20 plug-in and fuel cell model vehicles currently available (SOURCE)? Over the past few years, the availability of these models has continued to grow with 40 models expected in 2016. Not only are there new models, but sales of existing models continue to rise as well. In just the last year, from September 2013 thru August 2014, there was a 33% increase in plug-in vehicle sales over September 2012 thru August 2013, from 87,119 to 115,659 vehicles! For more plug-in vehicle facts, check out the Electric Drive Transportation Association's website.



Did you know? 

that the Michigan Department of Transportation, General Motors, Ford, and the University of Michigan are teaming up to create less congested and safer highway(SOURCE)? This will be done by installing cameras and sensors on over 120 miles of metro Detroit freeways, "that will propel development of safety technologies that help cars communicate with each other." This partnership builds on the already established connected vehicle project started in Ann Arbor, MI in 2012 and will work to improve automated and connected vehicle technology. The project plans to install equipment on I-96, I-696, I-75, and U.S.-23. This announcement was made at the 2014 Intelligent Transportation Systems World Congress in Detroit, which was attended by 10,000 transportation and technology leaders including the CAAT. To learn more about the project or the technologies mentioned, visit the links in this section.

Visit the CAAT Technologies Page 



EV Myth Busters


Myth: Plug-in cars might be good for the environment, but if everybody has one, they'll crash the grid when they all plug in to charge at the same time.

Fact:  On an around-the-clock basis, utilities in the U.S. actually can produce far more electricity than we consume (SOURCE). We have demand-based blackouts because peak demand during daylight hours, especially on hot days when air conditioning is in heavy use, often exceeds the capability of the grid to instantly deliver the amount of juice demanded.

But most plug-in vehicle charging takes place at night, when power use is down and there's a surplus of capacity. And even if we move toward more daytime charging (with workplace chargers, for instance) the use of smart devices that can match charging times with grid supplies is expected to mitigate the impact.

The industry-supported Electric Power Research Institute recently conducted a national study that found that utility companies' grid improvements are expected to more than keep up with the relatively slow pace of plug-in vehicle adoption. One hour of EV charging draws about the same power as four new plasma-screen television sets, and few people are worried that more TV purchases will crash the grid.

Don't Miss the CAAT Webinar on the Future of Automotive Technology! Register Now!

  Webinar Page  

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


Thursday, October 2, 2014 1:00 to 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 Advanced Technological Education Center includes changes in its technical scope, adding 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 Conferenceheld 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

Time is Running Out! Register Now for Our 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 Tuesday, October 7, 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:


  • Overview of Advanced Materials and Joining Technology: Greg Schroeder, Center for Automotive Research (CAR)
  • 25% Weight Saving Ford Fusion Project: Matt Zaluzec, Ford Motor Company & Jeff Conklin, Magna International

    7:40-8:00 p.m.

    Upcoming CAAT Activities

    CAAT to Attend National ATE Principal Investigator's Conference
    The CAAT is preparing to participate in the 21st National ATE Principal Investigators (PI) Conference being held in Washington, D.C. in late October. The conference is themed, Navigating the Future of Advanced Technological Education: Developing Leaders, Broadening Impact, and is being held by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) with the support of the National Science Foundation (NSF). 
    The conference will bring together approximately 850 people to focus on the critical issues related to advanced technological education. Key people working on ATE projects across the country participate in the conference. Attending for the CAAT are Joe Petrosky (PI), Bob Feldmaier and Scott Palmer (co-PI's), Sherri Doherty, Doug Fertuck, and Mary Hojnacki (CAAT staff), and Mike McMillan, an ATE Center student alumni (and CAAT employee) selected to attend the event by the NSF and the AACC.

    Conference attendees represent community colleges, business and industry, secondary school systems, four-year colleges, and research and development centers covering projects in a wide variety of areas such as information technology, engineering technology, micro- and nanotechnologies, chemical technology, biotechnology, and others.

    Keynote speakers for the event are:

    • Chandra Brown, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration
    • Esther J. Cepeda, an opinion journalist and expert on the issues of U.S. Hispanics/Latinos
    • Keith J. Masback, Chief Executive Officer of the not-for-profit United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation
    • Mark Mitsui, the new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges in the OVAE.

    The event will feature showcase sessions which provide grantees an opportunity to exhibit their programs and share information with other programs and non-ATE guests at the conference. These showcases are a highlight of the conference, and the CAAT will proudly host two showcases; a Centers showcase to be held on Wednesday evening, October 23, and a Student Showcase to be hosted by Mike McMillan, CAAT Student Alumni, on Thursday, October 24.

    Recently Held CAAT Activities

    World COngress

    CAAT Participates in the World's Largest Transportation Technology Exhibition!


    CAAT Director, Bob Feldmaier, and CAAT Assistant Directors, Sherri Doherty and Doug Fertuck, recently attended portions of the 2014 World Congress on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)held September 7-11 in Detroit, Michigan. The Congress is a truly international annual event attended by over 10,000 engineers, researchers, and industry representatives from Europe, Asia, and the Americas, and featured some of the highest-level executives in the automotive industry. The theme of this year's congress was Reinventing Transportation in Our Connected World.


    The CAAT team hosted an information table at the Technology Showcase held on Belle Isle. The showcase had 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.   


    The CAAT team also participated in several technology demonstrations, most conducted on Belle Isle on closed road courses, with hands-on experiences across a wide-range of technologies in connected and autonomous vehicles. Some of the demonstrations experienced were Bosch's Traffic Jam Assist and 360 degree Surround View, GM's automated and connected vehicle technologies, Denso's V2X Enabled Automated Driving, Honda's Omnidirectinal Safety System, and Valeo's Connected Automated Valet Parking. These technologies are rapidly emerging as among the most significant in the industry over the next 20 years starting now.



    Doug Fertuck and CAAT Co-Principal Investigator, Scott Palmer, attended a special session at the ITS World Congress for approximately 35 local academic administrators. The purpose of the session was to impress upon those running the state's education systems the importance of preparing students to compete for the highly technical jobs in advanced automotive, software, and communications technologies that are the bedrock of automated and connected automobiles. The industry and government panel emphasized the need to expose and engage K-12 students in STEM education, hands-on technology experiences, and opportunities to apply the soft skills necessary to work within complex team projects.


    The event also offered interactive experiences for high school and college students, spotlighting the next generation of ITS talent developing in Michigan, as well as the many career opportunities available in the intelligent transportation arena. The Youth Connections Showcase exposed students to the ITS industry by hosting guided tours of the show floor and a variety of competitions, break out sessions, and demonstrations to highlight the young talent in the state. The CAAT was pleased to sponsor bus transportation that allowed 820 students to attend this student event.    

    Battery Show


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

    The Battery Show 2014 which took place September 16-18, 2014, in Novi, Michigan, is the premier showcase of the latest advanced battery technology and electric and hybrid vehicle technology and innovation. 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 show was attended by technical experts, business leaders, vehicle engineers, R&D professionals, buyers, and senior executives concerned with advanced energy storage and featured the very latest advanced battery solutions for electric & hybrid vehiclesutility and renewable energy support, portable electronics, medical technology, military, and telecommunications.



    The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Michigan Automotive Office, NextEnergy, and show organizer, Smarter Shows, hosted the Michigan Pavilion at this year's event. The Michigan Pavilion's convenient one-stop shops within the exhibition hall gave 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 experienced firsthand why Michigan is a leader in the energy storage industry. The CAAT proudly participated in the event as a Michigan Pavilion partner!


    MI Auto Summit

    CAAT Leadership Attends MICHauto Summit


    Bob Feldmaier, CAAT director and co-principal investigator, attended the second annual Michigan Automotive Summit on September 23, 2014, in Detroit, MI. The Summit, which was attended by more than 500 people, focused on Michigan's commitment to the automotive industry and featured an action-packed agenda that included high level speakers from industry, academia, and government. The day-long event, themed Michigan's Auto Industry: Concept to Consumer, explored the new era of Michigan innovation and the blueprint it sets for the rest of the global automotive industry. Event programming steered discussion toward the outlook on design, engineering, manufacturing, and all things automotive.

    Presentations and discussion during the day highlighted Michigan's unique position of automotive technology concentration that is unmatched anywhere else in the world. There is a need for more talent in this area to maintain this ability. There needs to be more students interested in STEM and automotive manufacturing along with getting their parents to understand the rewarding careers that are available. This is true for engineering as well as skilled trades. Most auto jobs require at least a two-year associates degree, and there are many apprenticeship programs being established.


    GM's Executive Vice President of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, Mark Reuss, delivered the keynote address. Reuss spoke about the need for more investment in Michigan classrooms, noting that "the future of Michigan's auto industry rests with the education of the state's young people." Reuss further noted that, "without young college students studying advanced battery engineering, automobile design and materials, the auto industry will have a skills shortage that will undermine Michigan's resurgence in smart vehicle manufacturing."


    Governor Snyder's remarks also emphasized the need for improved education and talent attraction.


    To see highlights of the event, click here.

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