CAAT Tracks

Center for Advanced Automotive Technology

May/June 2015

Former Electric Vehicle Development Student Competes in 2015 Toyota Green Grand Prix

Luke Deptula, a recipient of the Macomb Community College Electric Vehicle (EV) Development Certificate, competed in the 2015 Toyota Green Grand Prix on April 17, 2015.  The Green Grand Prix is an educational and competitive event held in Watkins Glen, NY including the only Official SCCA road rally that promotes entry of all road- legal vehicle types and fuels in North America.  The Toyota Green Grand Prix is a showcase of motoring technology that aims for a cleaner environment  The single-day event features a three-stage, fuel-efficiency competition for pre-registered drivers of alternate-fueled vehicles, hybrids and traditional gasoline-powered and diesel powered vehicles. Individuals, colleges and universities, car clubs and manufacturers are all invited to participate.


Luke competed in the EV category with a stripped down EV prototype, Coda.  He won the EV category and was awarded the Most Fuel Efficient Vehicle 2015! Click the link below to see a complete list of award recipients:


Since completing the Macomb Community College Electric Vehicle Development Technology Certificate, Luke is pursuing an Electric Transportation Technology degree at Wayne State University and is currently employed at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR).


Luke Deptula

Luke Deptula standing behind an electric car battery

Macomb Community College Partners with Industry to Launch New Digital Sculptor Program Featuring Training in Clay Modeling Skills

Finding skilled digital sculptors with clay modeling experience has become a challenge for automakers, auto suppliers and other employers because few design programs teach these skills. To help meet the demand, Macomb's new digital sculptor associate degree program will be launched in August. It will be the only two-year degree program in southeast Michigan to include clay modeling in addition to digital design and milling.

The program was designed with industry input to ensure graduates possess the knowledge and skills required for entry-level positions in industrial design studios. Those who are both technical and creative are best suited for the field.  According to the college's research, the average local entry level salary for graduates of a digital sculptor associate degree is expected to be $67,500.

While Macomb's new program has been structured to develop skills needed by the auto industry, clay modeling is also in demand in many industries and in Hollywood.

Macomb's digital sculptor associate degree program is designed to directly prepare graduates for work in industrial design studios. The 64-credit program, which will be offered beginning the fall 2015 semester, focuses on the development of both technical and creative proficiencies, preparing graduates for jobs such as digital sculptor, industrial designer and clay modeler.  Students will learn skills including: rendering, basic and advanced clay modeling, basic and advanced Alias software, computer-numerical-controls (CNC) and presentation techniques.

Local employers expect demand for digital sculptors to continue to increase over the next five years - locally as well as statewide and nationally. This program will offer an exciting, well-paying new career option for people with technical ability and a strong creative side. It will also help respond to the automakers' need for highly skilled employees with clay modeling skills.

Clay modeling also played a big role in the recent CAAT sponsored Automotive Design and Engineering Career Expo.  Read the article below to learn more!

Upcoming CAAT Activities
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 the state. The event was founded and is maintained by The J. Lewis Cooper family and Elizabeth and 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 with 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 worthy event, please visit The Garden Party website. To purchase tickets, please click hereOr, check out the social media contest shown below for your chance to win 2 free tickets to this exciting event!


Garden Party Info 

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. 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 Buidling) 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 (EVs), EV safety, battery technologies, and motor types. Each student will build a battery, DC motor kit, and fuel cell vehicle.


Seats are limited and classes do fill up quickly! For further information, please visit the  Student Activities page on the CAAT website. 
Recently Held CAAT Activities
2015 CAAT
2015 CAAT Conference a Great Success!


The CAAT hosted its annual conference this year on May 1.  We were pleased to have approximately 130 attendees representing 11 states and 2 countries, 1 media organization, 11 universities, 18 community colleges, 9 school districts, 6 high schools and technical schools, 5 educational organizations, 25 industry employers including 4 automotive OEMs, 9 professional associations, 5 city/county offices, 5 State of Michigan departments and the US Department of Labor.  What a great mix of attendees!


We are pleased to report that the conference evaluation, which was completed by more than 70% of the conference attendees, indicated that more than 90% of those who completed the survey rated the conference overall as either "extremely valuable" or "very valuable"! 


If you were able to attend this year's CAAT Conference, we hope you found it to be both enjoyable and informative!  Whether you attended or not, we invite you to check out the conference presentations.  Due to the many requests we receive each year for copies of our conference presentations, we have posted all of them on the CAAT website so you can explore the information or share it with a colleague or friend who may find it useful.  To view or download the presentations from the 2015 CAAT Conference, please visit our Conference Resources page on the CAAT website. To see photos of this event click here.

The CAAT staff would also like to take this opportunity to thank our conference sponsors for their participation and ongoing support of this annual event. Please click the links below to learn more about our sponsors.

Last but not least, we would like to send a very special "thank you" to our conference speakers, who shared a wealth of information with our conference attendees on the current direction of the automotive industry, and the workforce needed to support the many new and emerging advances in automotive technology.

  • Jeff Gilbert, Reporter for WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBS Radio News  
  • Robert Healey, Head of EV Infrastructure, BMW NA
  • Matt Smith, Program Manager, Michigan Department of Transportation 
  • Kristin Dziczek, Director, Industry and Labor Group, Center for Automotive Research 

As soon as we set a date for the 2016 CAAT Conference, we'll let you know about it right here in the CAAT Tracks Newsletter!

Students Automotive Design and Engineering Career Expo and Parent Night a Huge Success!


The 2015 Automotive Design & Engineering Career Expo took place May 20-21 at the Macomb Community College (MCC) Expo Center in Warren, MI. It was attended by approximately 1,200 students from 25 different schools. The event was sponsored jointly by MCC's Center for Advanced Automotive Technology, Ford Motor Company, Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors. The event was designed to recruit future automotive designers and engineers by bringing awareness to and perhaps spark interest in students in pursuing careers in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) careers, particularly those in automotive design and engineering for which the automotive industry has and will have jobs to fill.  


Students and teachers had the opportunity to explore modules that showcase the major steps in vehicle design and engineering.  Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles featured a module on digital sketching, General Motors demonstrated the art of clay and digital modeling, and Ford Motor Company presented a module on production design. 


The career expo also included a car show, featuring production vehicles and concept cars supplied by the participating automotive companies.   The car show included three Chevrolet vehicles that were featured in the Transformers 4 movie, several Ford Mustang's, including a fiberglass model used during the design process for a current production model Mustang, the recently released Jeep Renegade and soon to be released RAM 1500 Rebel, a cutaway vehicle for students to see how a car looks on the inside, a General Motors clay model vehicle on which students were allowed to try their hand at sculpting, a matte finish Corvette, and several current production models including a Dodge Viper and Challenger, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler, Chevy Camaro, Fiat 500 and Chrysler 200.


The students were actively engaged throughout the event and were genuinely excited to learn about viable automotive design career opportunities, many of which they were unaware of prior to attending the event. Students also had the opportunity to get career advice from automotive designers and engineering professionals currently working in the automotive industry. 


The event also included an evening event for parents to learn more about exciting and viable automotive technical career opportunities.  Students who attended the career expo during the day were provided an opportunity to bring their parents to the evening event so they, too, could learn about the exciting automotive design and engineering careers available in the automotive industry.  In addition to the modules noted above, the evening event featured presentations and a question-and-answer session with representatives from all three participating automakers. Several local colleges and universities were on hand to dispense information and answer questions about their automotive design and engineering certificate and degree programs. These included Macomb Community College, Wayne State University, Ferris State University, Kettering University and the College for Creative Studies. 


Parent night was a huge success according to the surveys completed by parents after the event.  Nearly 90% of the parents who completed the survey indicated that they were either "extremely likely" (58%) or "very likely" (32%) to talk to their  student(s) about pursuing an automotive and/or technical career.   In addition, more than 60% of survey respondents indicated that the career expo was "better than expected". To see photos of this event click here.

University Bound Program Assists Community College Students Interested in Pursuing Bachelor's Degrees

Held May 18-19, 2015, University Bound is a summer program co-sponsored by the CAAT, Wayne State University (WSU), Macomb Community College (MCC), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). The program is targeted toward community college students considering transferring to WSU or another baccalaureate granting institution. It's an opportunity for students to get acquainted with campus life.


As part of this year's program, which was held at Wayne State University, 12 students attended two days of workshops and participated in team building exercises geared at improving their college experience and supporting their goal of graduating with a bachelor's degree. Linking the two days of workshops, participants stayed overnight in a WSU dormitory. Students had an opportunity to meet with faculty, advisors and students in a relaxed atmosphere that encouraged good dialogue and addressed many of the questions transferring students have.  Also included this year was a bus tour of Midtown, Downtown and the Detroit Riverfront.


The workshops focused on:

  • Increasing academic skills
  • Experiencing campus life at an urban research university
  • Expanding confidence, affirming positive attitudes, and enhancing interpersonal skills
  • Exploring college/university services and facilities 
Stay Connected
Featured Information
EV Myth Busters

Myth: Autonomous vehicles are not safe drivers and have been involved in a lot of accidents.


Facts: Google's autonomous vehicles have been involved in 11 minor accidents in the past 6 years. Of the 11 accidents not one of them was caused by the autonomous vehicle. During this period Google's vehicles have logged a combined total of 1.7 million miles. Delphi, another company developing autonomous vehicles, has only reported 1 accident. In the case of Delphi their car was hit by another car while stopped at a traffic light. Autonomous vehicles so far have demonstrated a reliable safety record with a low accident rate.


Sourced from Wall Street JournalLA Times, and Transport Evolved

Did You Know?

Did you know the first car to feature regenerative breaking was American Motors electric concept car the Amitron which was unveiled in 1967. Regenerative breaking is a breaking system that reverses the electric motors direction to cause torque that counteracts the forward momentum. In addition to stopping the car it generates electricity that is fed into a battery. This improves the energy efficiency of the electric vehicle.


Sources: Car Design News and How Stuff Works


1967 AMC Amitron

The 1967 AMC Amitron


Photo Source Wikipedia - Copyright Public Domain

Did you know that a study done by Plug-in America shows electric cars overtaking petroleum powered vehicles within the next 25 years?  Currently there are 300,000 plugs in electric vehicles (PEV) on the road in the United States compared to the 250 million petroleum powered vehicles. Forty percent of the PEV's currently on the road where purchased in 2014. Industry data shows that consumer satisfaction with PEV's is overwhelmingly positive.


Source: Plugin America

Did you know that CAAT archives its newsletters online?  You can view CAAT's previous newsletters by clicking Newsletter under Resources at the CAAT website. This archive can also be reached by clicking here.

What's New on the 

CAAT website?

The CAAT recently upgraded the search functionality on our website and resource library.  Did you know you can search our FREE resource library items by:

  • Education level, such as middle school, high school, college, etc.
  • Engineering technology, such as materials lightweighting, automated and connected vehicles, energy storage and battery technology, etc.
  • Type, such as classroom activity, lab activity, lesson plan, presentation, etc.
  • Product lifecycle, including pre-production, production and post-production
  • Audience, such as students, educators, general public, etc.

If you haven't yet had a chance to browse our free resources, be sure to click here to check it out today. 


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