CAAT Tracks

Center for Advanced Automotive Technology

April 2015

Don't Miss the FREE 2015 CAAT Conference Next Week - Register Today!

The CAAT is pleased to announce that Robert Healey, head of EV Infrastructure for BMW, will deliver the presentation on the BMW i3 which has an electric powertrain and a carbon-fiber/aluminum structure.  


More than 180 people have already registered to attend, but time is running out -  register today! And remember, travel expenses for community college and secondary school science and technology faculty and administrators may be reimbursed if traveling overnight - typically greater than 100 miles (one way) to the conference location.Visit the CAAT Conference website to see all of the conference information, including our final agenda and a map to the conference location at Macomb Community College in Warren, MI. 


We look forward to seeing you at our conference!


CAAT Hires STEM Outreach Coordinator 


The CAAT recently added a new position and person to its staff! Robert Tonti was recently hired to be the CAAT's STEM Outreach Coordinator. In this capacity, Robert will focus his attention on bringing STEM related activities and events to the classrooms of regional middle and high school students, as well as hosting STEM related activities and events at Macomb Community College. 


Robert has over 10 years of teaching experience in middle school science and advanced math classes. He holds a B.A. in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management from Michigan State University, M.S. in Technical Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and M.A. in Elementary Teaching from Oakland University. He is also a certified Montessori teacher.


As his first assignment, Robert is assisting in planning the upcoming 2015 Automotive Design and Engineering Career Expo (see article below). Next month, he will attend a Train-the-Trainer workshop to become a certified TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) trainer so that he can host parent/daughter TEA events with middle school girls in our region. Robert will also be involved in the annual Robotics, Engineering and Technology Days event held at Macomb Community College each December. 


Please join us in welcoming Robert Tonti to the CAAT team! He can be reached at

Upcoming CAAT Activities
2015 ADECE
Teachers and Parents - Register Your Students Today! Attend the Automotive Design and Engineering Career Expo!

This spring, the CAAT will co-sponsor the Automotive Design and Engineering Career Expo for 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 we hope will inspire them to consider rewarding careers in vehicle design and/or engineering.

The event will be held May 20-21 from 9-11 a.m. and again from 12-2 p.m. each day for invited schools. 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.
  • General Motors Company will offer a module on clay/digital modeling.
  • A fourth module will feature an exciting car show (presented jointly by the three participating OEMs) that will allow students to sit behind the wheel and even talk to real automotive designers and engineers. 

Students will rotate through each of the four modules during their time at the expo. A special evening session will be held for students and their parents on Thursday, May 21 from 6-8 p.m. 


More than 900 people are already registered to attend.  And don't forget, schools may apply for school bus transfer expense reimbursement! Photo releases are required for each attendee. Visit the Career Expo area of the CAAT website for more information and to register. Note: Both the day and evening portions of the event require advance registration and seating is limited, so register soon.
Fundraising Event to Benefit Macomb Community College's Applied Technologies Programs

Garden Party

The purpose of The Garden Party is to create a pleasant Sunday afternoon that is pleasing to the eye, the palate, and for its charitable aspect - pleasing to the soul. The Garden Party aims to be the finest and most prominent food and wine event in Michigan. The event was founded and is maintained by the J. Lewis Cooper family and Elizabeth and the Sydney L. Ross Foundation.


The mission of The Garden Party Foundation (TGPF) is to provide trade school and culinary school scholarships to underprivileged young adults. TGPF believes that the purpose of education is to teach students skills allowing them the opportunity to create their own self-sustainable life, which goes hand in hand with TGPF's intention: to help one student at a time reach their dreams. 


The two charities selected by TGPF to benefit from the 2015 Garden Party are the Oakland Community College Culinary Studies Institute and Macomb Community College's Applied Technologies programs. The funds from The Garden Party will provide support for Macomb's apprenticeships, and scholarships for those who are in apprenticeship programs that want to complete their associate degree. These apprenticeship programs at Macomb combine on-the-job training and theoretical and practical classroom and lab instruction to prepare highly skilled workers for industry. The Applied Technology and Apprenticeship Department at Macomb offers areas of specialty including building construction technology, maintenance technology, and manufacturing technology. To learn more about these Macomb programs, click here

The 2015 Garden Party will be held at Meadow Brook Hall on Sunday, June 14. For more information about this event, please visit The Garden Party website. To purchase tickets, please click here.

CAAT to Sponsor Hybrid Electric Vehicles Career Academy


For several years now, the CAAT has sponsored an annual Hybrid Electric Vehicle Career Academy for high school students. Again this year, the CAAT will underwrite the cost of this Career Academy with funds from its National Science Foundation grant, allowing students to attend for free. Career academies are short-term learning experiences for high school students that provide a clear understanding of what a specific career field is like. They are designed to be hands-on, interactive, and fun learning experiences. This year's Hybrid Electric Vehicles Career Academy will be held June 22-25 in the automotive building (M Building) at Macomb Community College's South Campus in Warren, MI.


This academy is a perfect hands-on learning experience for students interested in cars and electronics! This interactive workshop explains the principles of battery/electric and other alternative fuel vehicles. Other topics include reasons to use electric vehicles, EV safety, battery technologies, and motor types. Each student will build a battery, DC motor kit, and fuel cell vehicle. 

Seating is limited and classes fill up quickly! For additional information, please visit the 
Student Activities page on the CAAT website. 
Recently Held CAAT Activities

CAAT Attends National STEM Consortium Annual Summit


The National STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Consortium (NSC), a collaboration of 10 colleges in 9 states, held its annual summit in Annapolis, Maryland, April 15-17. Bob Feldmaier, director, CAAT; Joanne Burns, program manager, NSC/EV Certificate; and Linda Chase, director, Michigan Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing (m-Cam); attended from Macomb Community College. As this Department of Labor grant ends September 30, 2015, this was the last scheduled summit of the grant period. Much of the meeting was devoted to discussion of sustainability and sustainability implementation.


The NSC has developed new workforce training programs in five technical pathways: composites technology, cyber technology, electric vehicle technology, environmental technology, and mechatronics technology. The one-year certificate programs are built on a 30-credit model and use a built-for-completion structure, including a program navigator, cohort structure, block scheduling, compressed timeline, enhanced student support services, and employer partnerships.


NSC programs embed contextualized refresher instruction in mathematics, communication, and professionalism to eliminate traditional remedial courses and prepare students for success in these demanding technical courses. NSC materials will be located in Platform+ by OLI, the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie-Mellon University, and will be available this summer for adoption by other colleges.

The CAAT Hosts the Michigan Robotics Industry Executive Forum at Macomb Community College!    

 The AVeTar (Autonomous Electric Vehicle Target)


The 2015 Michigan Robotics Industry Executive Forum: Michigan Strengths and Weaknesses for Global Competition in Robotics was held on April 7, at Macomb Community College in Warren, MI. The event was made possible through a partnership between the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development, and the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology at Macomb Community College (MCC). Approximately 50 people attended the event. 


The event featured panel discussions and speakers from industry, military, and government. A demonstration of robotics and autonomous vehicle technology was also offered. The autonomous vehicle demonstration featured AVeTar, an autonomous electric vehicle target used for training purposes that behaves like a real vehicle with a human driver.  The concept of AVeTar, designed in partnership between Pratt & Miller and Quantum Signal, uses global positioning technology and complex software to provide a challenge to Army sniper trainees.


CAAT Director, Bob Feldmaier, provided a tour of MCC's engineering and technology facilities to attendees. 

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

In March, one resource was added to our Resource Library. Listed below is the resource we added:

  • Automotive Technology: You Cannot See the Future in the Rearview Mirror
    This presentation by CAAT Director, Bob Feldmaier, explains the explosion of new technology being introduced on automobiles in order to meet new fuel economy and emission standards while making vehicles safer. It was presented at
    Macomb Community College's (MCC) event series 101 People, Places and Things that Made Michigan on March 8, 2015.

Did You Know?

Did you know the 2016 Malibu increased its fuel economy rating over 50% compared to the 2015 model through the use of advanced technologies (SOURCE)? The mid-size sedan achieves 45 miles per gallon combined by utilizing a strong hybrid powertrain with technology adapted from the Volt, improved aerodynamics, and a new 1.8l direct injected engine. The Malibu also features Chevrolet's first application of Exhaust Gas Heat Recovery, a system that "improves engine warm up and assures consistent fuel economy performance in cold weather." To learn more about the new Malibu, visit the link above. If you are interested in learning more about hybrid technologies, such as the differences between micro, mild, and full/strong hybrids, visit the Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicles section of our site.


Did you know replacing conventional gas vehicles with electric vehicles in urban environments can reduce local temperatures and save power (SOURCE)? A study at China's Hunan University found that if Beijing were to make the switch, the city's temperature would not only be lower, but it would also reduce daily power consumed by air conditioners 14.4 million kilowatt-hours and daily CO2 emissions by 10,686 tons. By reducing the local power consumption and CO2 pollution, there is also a global effect.


Image sourced from Scientific Reports
Image sourced from Scientific Reports

Did you know California residents bought more electric vehicles (EVs) in 2014 than China? In fact, if California were its own country, its purchases of EVs last year would place it second only to the United States! For more EV purchasing statistics, click here.

Did you know vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication may hit public roads in the next few years? Cadillac has announced they will release a V2V car by 2017, and other sources such as MIT Technology review and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) predict the technology is nearly ready and should be hitting the market soon (SOURCE). Although there is no doubt that the technology will be implemented, it will likely need to be done through government regulation to be widespread and most effective since all cars will need the technology to function as designed. Drafts of regulations are expected to start next year. Visit the link above or the Automated and Connected Vehicles section of our site to learn more about this technology.

EV Myth Busters

Myth: They require more energy than they save


Facts: There is very little variation between petrol/diesel and electric cars in terms of the energy requirements for material and production. Manufacturer BMW has even gone a step further to eliminate emissions from its production of electric cars, with four wind turbines feeding power directly into its new US$540 million Leipzig factory.



Center for Advanced Automotive Technology | |
Copyright 2015 Macomb Community College. All Rights Reserved.