CAAT Tracks

Center for Advanced Automotive Technology

November / December 2015

Kettering University Awarded Seed Funding Contract to Prepare Course on Composites

Kettering University, in Flint, MI, has been awarded a seed funding contract through the CAAT to develop a new course titled, "Design with Composite Materials". This course will support the CAAT initiative on preparing future automotive technicians for designing and servicing current and future lightweight vehicles. Reducing vehicle mass is an important component toward the goal to improve fuel economy and reduce pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions.
The course, which integrates the use of Computer Aided Design (CAD), includes the basics of composite properties, mechanics, manufacturing processes, together with design guidelines and drafting notations for composite components with various fiber-reinforcements (unidirectional fibers, random short fibers, and laminate stacking sequences). The course curriculum will be suitable for students at the associate degree level.
The Design with Composite Materials course is being prepared by Professors Yaomin Dong and Craig Hoff who teach in the Mechanical Engineering department at Kettering. The deliverables, to be freely shared on the CAAT web site, will include a course syllabus and course materials such as lecture slides, handouts, homework assignments, quizzes and exams, and a final course project. Course materials are expected to be submitted to CAAT by early March, 2016.  We'll let you know as soon as the materials are added to the CAAT's free resource library.
WSU Advanced Energy Storage Lab Receives Equipment Donation from Bosch Battery Systems LLC

A special thanks to Robert Bosch Battery Systems LLC for donating five battery testing equipment units to support the Advanced Energy Storage Lab at Wayne State University's Advanced Technological Education Center (ATEC), located across the street from Macomb Community College's South Campus. The Advanced Energy Storage Lab will be used jointly by Wayne State University and Macomb Community College. Donations included two environmental chambers, two cyclers and one chiller. The equipment will be used to teach courses on advanced energy storage to both WSU and MCC students as well as provide professional development opportunities for local businesses.
battery testing equipment
Equipment donated by Robert Bosch Battery Systems at the Wayne State University Advanced Technological Education Center (ATEC)


Upcoming CAAT Activities


Wayne State University Offers Professional Development Short Course at Jackson State University


Wayne State University is working with Jackson State University (JSU) to present a 2-day professional development short course at JSU in Jackson, Mississippi.  The course will be held on December 17 & 18, 2015. Topics to be discussed include:
  • Hybrid, electric, and connected vehicle technology
  • Advanced battery systems for hybrid and electric vehicles
  • Power electronics and traction motor for electric drive vehicles, and
  • Lightweighting materials for automotive
Click here for more information.


Recent CAAT Activities


CAAT Director Joins Forces with the Greening of Detroit to Provide Automotive Career Information to Local Middle School Students

CAAT Director, Bob Feldmaier, made a presentation on automotive career opportunities at the Powered Student Conference Series on Monday, December 7. The event was held at Birmingham Covington Middle School and was sponsored by the Greening of Detroit organization. During the morning, 60 eighth graders were given exciting career information. It provided them with an understanding of why they are learning science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM), and how it may apply to a vocation. The information is intended to help them consider an exciting and lucrative career path they may have never before imagined.
University Bound program participants (May, 2015)
Macomb Community College and Wayne State University Host Recruiting Event for University Bound Program

On Monday, December 7, 2015, the staff of the CAAT and our Wayne State University (WSU) partners hosted an Open House for Macomb Community College students and Engineering and Advanced Technology faculty to learn more about the University Bound program.  University Bound is targeted at community college students considering transferring to WSU or other baccalaureate granting institutions.  The program provides students an opportunity to get acquainted with campus life and gain greater insight into their desired majors. The next University Bound session is scheduled for May 16-17, 2016.  It will include an all expenses paid overnight stay in a WSU residential hall and an opportunity to meet with WSU faculty and advisors.  Ten of the 25 students attending the Open House expressed an interest in attending the May event.  We look forward to seeing them in May!
CAAT Sponsors Another Successful Robotics, Engineering and Technology (RET) Days Event
The 10th annual Macomb Community College (MCC) RET Days 2015 event was held December 2-3 at MCC's South Campus in Warren, MI. This free, fun and educational event was attended by approximately 2,750 middle and high school students registered from approximately 50 schools. It was coordinated by MCC, CAAT and Macomb Intermediate School District.
This popular annual school group event introduces students to high-tech careers requiring strong skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Event participants learn about careers in robotics, engineering, and the technology that makes it happen.
Students race remote controlled electric vehicles
Students visited up to 5 industry and education supported "hands-on" exhibits where they were able to check out the latest trends in automotive technology and talk with leading experts in the fields of engineering and robotics.
The technology covered in the exhibits included automotive clay modeling, 3D printing, PLC programming, underwater robotics, electric vehicles, mechatronics, renewable energy, media and communication arts, virtual welding, lightweight metals and Battle Bots. The electric vehicles module was conducted by the CAAT and MCC's Automotive Technology department. After learning about electric vehicles and battery types used in EV's, students had fun racing remote controlled electric vehicles.
In addition to Macomb Community College, high-tech exhibits were provided and staffed by industry professionals from General Motors, DASI Solutions, KUKA Systems, Lightweighting Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT), Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN), Oakland University, Square One, and Building America's Tomorrow (BAT).
Financial support was provided by CAAT, Building America's Tomorrow, American Axle, KUKA Systems, Oakland University, Genisys Credit Union, DASI Solutions, Macomb County and Paslin. We thank all of these companies and organizations for their generous support of this fun and educational student event.
CAAT Participates in "Exploring Careers in Manufacturing and Technology" Event
In conjunction with the RET days event, the CAAT participated in a special evening session held on December 3 for 662 teens and parents called "Explore Careers in Manufacturing and Technology." Promotion of the event was assisted by the Macomb Intermediate School District and Macomb's Michigan Apprenticeship Program Plus.

Attendees of this free event were able to:
  • Find out about job skills that are in high demand.
  • Learn from recent Macomb graduates who found good-paying jobs in manufacturing and technology.
  • Hear from a panel of local employers about who they are hiring and what they look for in a job candidate.
  • Explore apprenticeships, internships and work-based learning opportunities.
  • Have the chance to network with representatives from local and national manufacturing and technology companies.
The CAAT was on hand to answer questions from parents and students about electric vehicle (EV) technology and the batteries used in EVs. Some students and their parents got to race the CAAT's remote controlled electric vehicles.
Participants were provided free concessions, and one lucky student won a drawing for a free iPad Mini.

CAAT Conducts Career Exploration Lab for Local Cub Scout Troop


On November 21st, the CAAT conducted its second Career Exploration Lab (CEL) with a Cub Scout troop from Marysville, MI. Seven scouts and their parents participated in the 4-hour lab. The scout leader brought the troop to Macomb Community College to increase STEM awareness among the scouts and to help them learn about engineering careers.


Cub Scouts participate in Hovercraft lab at Macomb Community College

Upon completion

of the lab, each student received a specially designed STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) badge to proudly wear on their scout jacket. The scouts and their parents found the lab to be extremely informative, challenging and fun.  In fact, they are hoping to return for another lab in the near future.

CAAT Director Supports Digital Sculptor Event at Macomb Community College


On November 11, 2015, Macomb Community College hosted an event called, Digital Sculpting, Modeling the Mustang, which was attended by more than 120 people, including high school students, college students, and industry professionals.  The event featured Giuliano Zuccato, one of the clay modelers who brought the first Ford Mustang to life.  Giuliano talked about the thrill of sculpting the original "pony" car. Participants gained insight into the growing digital sculpting field from auto industry experts and learned more about Macomb's Digital Sculpting Program.

1965 Mustang owned by 

 CAAT Director, Bob Feldmaier

Clay modeling is an important step in the vehicle design process.
In an age where computers reign, one might think that the technology used 50 years ago by Giuliano Zuccato would have long been replaced by a computerized process. While that is somewhat true with digital design, the industry still relies on skilled clay modelers who use their hands and special tools to create a 3D model. This was evident at two recent CAAT events that exposed middle and high school students to the art (the A in STEAM) of automotive clay modeling. The CAAT sponsored 2015 Automotive Design and Engineering Career Expo and 2015 Robotics, Engineering and Technology Days events both featured hands on exhibits on clay modeling conducted by General Motors.
CAAT Director, Bob Feldmaier, put his personal '65 Mustang on display at the event. It was a big hit with event participants, especially the license plate!
CAAT Sponsors Automotive Technology Open House at Macomb Community College
On November 5, the CAAT sponsored an Open House hosted by Macomb's Automotive Technology program. The event brought a record breaking 150 students and teachers from seven local high schools:
  • Chippewa Valley
  • Dakota
  • East Detroit
  • Grosse Point South
  • Lakeview
  • Lincoln
  • South Lake


The high school students toured Macomb's state-of-
A student learns how to conduct a diagnostic test in Macomb's Automotive Technology Program
the-art classrooms, labs and service bays, which provide training in the latest vehicle diagnosis and technology.
Local employers from Alta Engineering and the Suburban Collection were on hand to speak with students about automotive career opportunities. Macomb recruiters were also available to provide information on all of Macomb's educational programs.
Susie Q, a Christophersen Racing dragster encased in the shell of a '57 Chevy, was a big hit with the students. The car is raced by Sue Christophersen, whose husband Steve is part of her pit crew. The couple was invited by Macomb's automotive faculty to speak to the students about racing life and to demonstrate the power of a 528 Hemi engine.
Congratulations to Chippewa Valley High School for winning the valve cover race, a long-standing Open House tradition!
CAAT Leadership Attends Annual ATE PI Conference
Several members of the CAAT staff recently attended the 22nd National ATE Principal Investigators Conference in Washington, DC. CAAT PI, Joe Petrosky, Director Bob Feldmaier, Assistant Directors Sherri Doherty and Nelson Kelly, and Program Manager, Mary Hojnacki all attended the event. A graduate of the CAAT's electric vehicle development certificate program, Luke Deptula, also attended the event on an NSF ATE student scholarship.
The conference brought together approximately 800 people to focus on the critical issues related to advanced technological education. Key people working on ATE projects across the country participated in the conference. Conference attendees represented community colleges, business and industry, secondary school systems, four-year colleges, and research and development centers, covering projects in a wide variety of areas.
Keynote speakers included:
  • AINISSA G. RAMIREZ, Ph.D., a science evangelist who is passionate about getting the general public excited about science. She co-authored Newton's Football: The Science Behind America's Game (Random House); and, authored Save Our Science: How to Inspire a New Generation of Scientists (TED Books).

  • ANDRE W. THORNTON, Senior Manager for Technical Leadership Programs and STEM at Lockheed Martin's Information Systems and Global Solutions. In this role he is responsible for creating and leading the strategy that is charged with developing the next generation of technical leaders in his business.

  • DONALD L. MCCOY, a K-to-College STEM Education Consultant who retired from the IBM Corporation after thirty years of service with experience as a senior engineer and responsibilities in people, process, project, and program management.  


CAAT and the CA2VES Center joined forces to present a panel discussion called Digital Learning, Virtual Reality, and Recruitment - Fueling a New Vision for Technological Education. The session included information on how CAAT and the CA2VES Center collaborated to develop electric vehicle 3D visualization learning modules.

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CAAT Hosts National Visiting Committee Meeting
On November 17, 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 CAAT's completion of year one of their 3-year renewal grant from the National Science Foundation. The committee reported that they are generally very happy with the progress the CAAT has made toward its goals and objectives. Specifically, they noted the CAAT:

- Excels at leveraging funding and relationships to benefit the Center, thereby broadening the overall reach of the Center. 

- Is very strong in utilizing its resources for maximum Center benefit.

- Has done good work in the development of curriculum in advanced automotive technology.

- Seed funding model is very successful and has resulted in additional curriculum that further expands the reach of the Center.

 Did You Know?

Did you know the CAAT's FREE in-classroom STEM labs have reached more than 1,500 middle school students?  That's right, since its launch in early October, CAAT's STEM Outreach program has been well received by the local school districts. As of this writing, nine middle schools have participated, and more than 1,500 students in 52 classes have received instruction. 

The total number of students participating in a CAAT STEM outreach lab is expected to reach 4,000 by the end of the school year! Many teachers have already requested return visits to their classroom, stating the experience is extremely valuable for their students.

Did you know Wayne State University offer's a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electric Transportation Technology (ETT) and, beginning this semester, offers a fully online course (ETT4150) called Fundamentals of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles?  Click here to download the ETT4150 course presentations from the CAAT's free Resource Library.

Source: Wayne State University Electric-drive Vehicle Engineering

Did you know the cable TV show, "Titan American Built," which appears on MAV-TV, visited Macomb Community College in July to film an episode which aired November 23?   Click here to see the YouTube video fearing Macomb Community College.





 Myth Busters
Connected & Automated Vehicle Myth Busters

Myth: Driverless cars would totally eliminate human error - no accidents from texting, drunkenness, sleepiness, or even momentary inattention.
Reality: According to Chris Gerdes, program director for the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS, for short), automated vehicles shift human error from driving to programing and design.  "That can actually be a really good shift, but it's not one to take for granted," he said.  "The idea that you could take a step back and program the car in the comfort of your office, in a lower stress environment to handle all these stressful situations is potentially a huge improvement in safety." 
Where the risk comes in, he said, is in the failures of imagination. In order for a car to be able to handle a situation, the programmers have to have envisioned it, or something similar enough to it.  For example, Gerdes was driving home last year when a person jumped in front of his car. He slammed on his brakes and the person turned, and ran up the hatchback of the car in front of him, on to the roof, jumped off, and right back into traffic. "Imagine trying to come up with a perception system that understands where pedestrians might be. Have you programmed it to look on the roof of cars?"  Gerdes said it's a challenge that's both inspiring and humbling - taking life and death decisions and turning them into programming challenges. "
Source: TechRepublic

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