CAAT Tracks

Center for Advanced Automotive Technology

February 2015
Register Now for the 2015 CAAT Conference!

Jeff Gilbert
Since our last issue, the CAAT conference planning team has been busy nailing down the details for this increasingly popular automotive
event. We are excited to announce that Jeff Gilbert, automotive reporter for WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBS Radio News, has accepted our invitation to speak. Gilbert has been with WWJ for more than 20 years and has the "honor of being the only broadcast reporter in the US assigned to exclusively cover the automotive industry." Click here to learn more about 2015 CAAT Conference speaker Jeff Gilbert.

A theme for the FREE 2015 CAAT Conference has also been identified: Future Cars, Future WorkersParticipants attending the event will receive valuable insights on how automotive technology will impact future education on electrified vehicles, light weighting, and automated/connected vehicles from media, government, and industry perspectives.
For more information and to register, please click here to visit the conference page on our website. We look forward to seeing you at this exciting annual CAAT event!


CAAT to Co-sponsor Automotive Design and Engineering Career Expo


This spring, the CAAT will co-sponsor the Automotive Design and Engineering Career Expo (recently renamed) for hundreds of local middle and high school students at Macomb Community College's South Campus Expo Center in Warren, MI. Students attending the event will be able to interact with leading designers, engineers, and state of the art technology, which will hopefully inspire them to consider rewarding careers in vehicle design and/or engineering.

The event was formerly known as the Utica Community Schools (UCS) Career and Technical Education Automotive Showcase: Where Innovation Meets Design, and began back in 2006. The UCS event evolved over the years and grew to nearly 1,000 students. Due to its ongoing success, the event is now expanding in order to open it up to additional middle and high schools in the area. This year, the event will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary and will be held May 20-21 from 9-11 a.m., and again from 12-2 p.m., for invited schools from various Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne County school districts.

The event is being co-sponsored by three Detroit area automotive manufacturers. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will present a module on sketching, Ford Motor Company will conduct a module on production design, and General Motors Company will offer a module on clay/digital modeling. A fourth module will feature a car show presented jointly by the three participating OEMs. Students will rotate through each of the four modules during their time at the expo.


A special evening segment will be held to include parents that will run from approximately 6-8 p.m. (date to be determined). Both the day and evening portions of the event will require advance registration.


Additional information will be provided in this newsletter and on the CAAT website as it becomes available.

CAAT Joins the Connected Vehicle Trade Association 

The CAAT recently became an Educational Member of the Connected Vehicle Trade Association (CVTA), a non-profit business league established to facilitate the interaction and advance the interests of the entities involved in the vehicle communication environment. The CVTA enables the collaboration of companies, organizations, and governmental bodies engaged in developing bidirectional vehicle communications. Membership is open to corporations, public entities, standards and specification organizations, educational institutions, and qualified individuals. CVTA members also have the opportunity to influence and contribute to on-going development of the connected vehicle environment through structured meetings with automakers, public entities, and other industry groups. Macomb Community College is the first community college member accepted into the organization. The CAAT is very much looking forward to its participation in this industry collaborative association.

In addition, the CAAT has been invited to participate in the Connected Vehicle Professional (CVP) Credentialing Program, a comprehensive education and certification curriculum collaboratively launched between SAE International, the CVTA, and Mobile Comply. The CAAT was provided a complementary registration to attend the course, Connected Vehicle Professional 1 - Function, Protocols, and Architecture, which focuses on connected vehicle application concepts and vision, performance functions, communication protocols, hardware architecture components, and software architecture methodologies within the connected vehicle ecosystems.
Upcoming CAAT Activities
CAAT to Sponsor/Host Michigan Robotics Industry Executive Forum


The 2015 Michigan Robotics Industry Executive Forum: Michigan Strengths and Weaknesses for Global Competition in Robotics, will be held on April 7, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at Macomb Community College's John Lewis Community Center at it's South Campus in Warren, MI. The event is made possible through a partnership between the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development, and the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology at Macomb Community College. Approximately 100 people are expected to attend. 


Join us to learn about opportunities for Michigan to become a global leader in advanced robotics. The event will feature panel discussions, special guest speakers, and demonstrations of robotics and autonomous vehicle technology. The cost to attend is $25. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. 


Click these links to see the event agenda and to register.   

CAAT Director to Participate in Cultural Event: 101 People, Places and Things that Made Michigan

CAAT Director, Bob Feldmaier, has been invited to do a presentation on advanced automotive technology, as part of the 101 People, Places and Things that Made Michigan event being held from February 28 through May 9 at Macomb Community College's Lorenzo Cultural Center in Clinton Township, MI. During this event, the Lorenzo Cultural Center will examine what made the Michigan of today--- from the forces of nature that created the state's geography, to the forces of personality that molded its persona. Through exhibits, presentations, and activities, they will:
  • Explore how the ethos of Michigan was shaped
  • Study the events that created an enduring impact, whether natural or man-made
  • Discover the stories of Michiganders whose actions and lives are intrinsic to how the state relates to the rest of the nation and the world
  • Delve into key facets of our state's rich history that help define both the Michigan spirit and experience
An exhibit of things that made Michigan and things that are Michigan-made will help tell the story of our great state. Everything from a Mustang and a World War II vehicle made at Willow Run, to items from the 22nd Michigan Regiment of the Civil War, and Motown records will be on display. Michigan's stories will be told through displays and artifacts on loan from the Detroit Historical Museum, the Detroit Arsenal of Democracy Museum, Mariner's Church, the Oakland County Pioneer and Historical Society, the Port Huron Museum, and other private collectors and historical societies. 

The CAAT presentation, "You Can't See the Future in the Rearview Mirror" will be held on March 18 and will detail the explosion of new technology being introduced on automobiles in order to meet new fuel economy and emission standards while making vehicles safer. Preregistration is required for all presentations. For more information on this event and to register for the CAAT presentation, please call 586.445.7348 or visit

Recently Held CAAT Activities
CAAT Hosts National Visiting Committee Meeting

On January 29, the CAAT hosted its annual National Visiting Committee (NVC) meeting at Macomb Community College (MCC). The NVC is an outside group of advisors who serve voluntarily and are leaders in the fields of science, mathematics, engineering, technology, business, industry, and education. Their role is to assist the CAAT in meeting its goals and objectives, assessing plans and progress, and to be an advocate for the Center.

At this year's meeting, the NVC evaluated the completion of the initial grant and reported that they are very pleased with the progress the CAAT made toward its goals and objectives. Specifically, they noted that they are happy with the following:
  • Ongoing development of the CAAT website, social media presence, and newsletter
  • Success of the CAAT's seed funding efforts, particularly those engaging middle/high schools and universities
  • Collaboration among the CAAT and the CA2VES Center as well as among Macomb Community College and Wayne State University.
  • Caliber and diversity of the current Electric Vehicle Development Technology Certificate cohort

The NVC also made several recommendations that the CAAT will soon begin to explore for viability.

CAAT Hosts Third Industry Advisory Council Meeting 

The CAAT hosted its third Industry Advisory Council meeting on Tuesday, February 10.
 The meeting was attended by six industry representatives and four CAAT principal/co-principal investigators.


The group reviewed the status of the CAAT grant as well as the results of the recent National Visiting Committee meeting. In addition, they reviewed progress to date on the potential development of new curriculum in the areas of lightweighting and automated/connected vehicles. The CAAT conducted an extensive review of existing curriculum with faculty and industry representatives, from which the CAAT completed an accurate gap analysis. The gap analysis determined that the CAAT has all the information needed for aluminum, most of the information needed for joining, and has found some information on composites and automated/connected vehicles but will need to acquire more.


The CAAT requested the Council's input on desired technician skills and was advised that technicians need to understand how controls and sensors work, troubleshooting, and know how decisions are made within the system. In addition, it was noted that technicians should have a basic understanding of where software handshakes occur and how to troubleshoot software related problems. 


The Council advised CAAT leadership that a certificate would be desirable to layer on top of other formal training, but should not stand alone, and that such a certificate would be useful to enhance the skills of existing workers. They further noted that they prefer technicians have at least an associate's degree. Furthermore, the Council provided strong support to combine mechanical and electronics training with basic software skills for technician education.


Finally, the Council discussed the lack of internships at the technician level similar to those that exist for engineers, and suggested holding a conference that would discuss internships and include HR professionals. 

Survey Results Now in for RET Days 2014 Event

According to survey results completed by 64 students who attended the Robotics, Engineering and Technology Days event held at Macomb Community College in December of last year:
  • 83% indicated that attending RET Days 2014 made them "somewhat", "very" or "extremely" interested in pursuing a technical career.
  • 81% rated the hands-on activities at the event as "good," "very good," or "excellent."
  • 76% expressed that they were satisfied with the event.
  • 54% noted that the event was better than what they expected.

According to survey results completed by 21 teachers who accompanied their students to the RET Days 2014 event:

  • 95% felt that upon return to the classroom, the level of student interest in STEM coursework and future STEM careers was "moderate" (40%), "moderately high" (5%), "high" (30%), or "very high" (20%).
  • 63% advised that the likelihood of using what they learned at the event by applying it to their lessons and classroom instruction was "moderate," "moderately high," "high," or "very high."
  • Nearly 50% indicated the event was better than what they expected. 

We are so pleased that so many thought so much of this event and we look forward to improving it even more for the 2014 RET Days event!

Event Photo    

Stay Connected
Featured Information
What's New in the CAAT Resource Library?

In January, 3 resources were added to our Resource Library. Listed below are the resources added in January:

Electric Vehicle Safety Visualization Modules 
Electric vehicle 3D visualization modules created through collaboration between the CAAT and another ATE Center, the Center for Aviation and Automotive Technical Education (CA2VES), located at Clemson University


Evaluating Electric Vehicle Charging Impacts and Customer Charging Behaviors - Experiences from Six Smart Grid Investment Grant Projects Report by the U.S. Department of Energy on electric car charging presenting customer behaviors and their impact on the grid


State of Michigan Automotive Strategic Plan
The State of Michigan's 30-year automotive strategic plan to further elevate Michigan's status as a global automotive industry leader


 Auto Accel

Whats New on the

CAAT Website

In January we made two updates to our Student Activities page. We added a photo gallery of the CAAT sponsored event, RET Days 2014, and updated the content for University Bound 2015, which now includes this year's application. Click the link above or picture below to view these updates.

Additionally, last month we updated our Alternative Fuels and Hybrid Electric Vehicle Courses in Michigan page to reflect changes in course offerings as of 2015; several courses and schools were added as a result.  To view this unique page full of undergraduate courses, click the link above.

Did You Know?

Did you know the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is funding 10 projects to develop advanced, zero-emissions buses? The program has a total funding of $55m through the FTA's Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program and will deploy buses utilizing battery-electric, hybrid-electric, and hydrogen fuel cell powertrains, as well as charging infrastructure. Click here to learn more about this initiative. 

Did you know you can calculate your well-to-wheel emissions by ZIP code using a tool on the Alternative Fuels Data Center's website? It also includes information on your electricity's energy source and offers fuel cost comparisons for conventional, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all electric powertrains in your region. More links to great tools like this can be found on our own Quick Links page.

Did you know the CAAT has photo albums for past events? Click the image below to view our event photos.


Did you know a research consortium in Germany is engineering a scalable electric drive axle module for commercial vehicles comprised of a motor, gearbox, and power electronics all-in-one unit (SOURCE)? This module known as ESKAM (electric scalable axle module) is being developed by a consortium of researchers and is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It is a high torque, power dense unit which can be used in a small van or scaled up in size for use in busses and trucks. The production of the unit uses advanced manufacturing techniques to reduce the cost and waste material making it very economical. To learn more about this project, visit the link above. For more general information on motors and power electronics, visit their respective areas in our Technologies section

diagram .

In electric commercial vehicles of the future, the drive will be integrated into the axle (SOURCE).

EV Myth Busters

Myth: Electric vehicles are expensive. 


Facts: In 2013, the average price of a car purchased in the United States was $32,000. There are four models of 100% electric cars that retail for under $32,000. (Source: Fitzsimmons, Jill.Electric Cars for the Folks. Media Matters. April 2012.) (Source: Macesich, Mark. Average New-Car Prices Lower in 2013. Santander ConsumerUSA. January 2014.)

Based on the average price of gasoline and electricity in April 2014, and the average miles per gallon/kilowatt hour, gas powered vehicles utilize approximately $2,400 worth of gas per year, while electric vehicles utilize only about $515 worth of electricity per year. (Source: Fuel Economy Guide. U.S. Department of Energy. August 2014.) (Source: Alternative Fuels Data Center: Fuel Prices. U.S.Department of Energy. June 2014.)

On average, the maintenance costs associated with an electric vehicle are 50% cheaper than the maintenance costs associated with a traditional vehicle. (Source:Deployment Rollout Estimate of Electric Vehicles 2011-2015. Center for Automotive Research. January 2011.)

Sourced from NRG Energy. 


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