Category Archives: Automotive Engineering

SAE Detroit Sets Chevy Bolt EV Event

SOUTHFIELD — The SAE Detroit Section will host a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV event Tuesday, March 7 at the San Marino Club, 1685 E. Big Beaver Road in Troy.

SAE member sand guests will have the opportunity to hear a presentation from key members of the GM team surrounding the development of the Chevrolet Bolt.

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UM Offers Open-Access Automated Cars For Driverless Research

ANN ARBOR — New University of Michigan research vehicles will be open testbeds for academic and industry researchers to rapidly test self-driving and connected vehicle technologies at a world-class proving ground.

These open connected and automated research vehicles, or open CAVs, are equipped with sensors including radar, lidar and cameras, among other features. They will be able to link to a robot operating system. An open development platform for connected vehicle communications will be added later.

The open CAVs are based at Mcity, UM’s simulated urban and suburban environment for testing automated and connected vehicles located in northeast Ann Arbor. While a handful of other institutions may offer similar research vehicles, UM is the only one that also operates a high-tech, real-world testing facility.

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Nexteer Revenue, Profit Jumps

SAGINAW — Nexteer Automotive Group Ltd., the Chinese-owned manufacturer of electric and hydraulic power steering systems, steering columns, driveline systems and advanced driver assist and autonomous vehicle technologies, reported its first half financial results Tuesday.

The company said profit attributable to equity holders for the six months ended June 30 was $148.9 million or 6 cents a share, up from $96.5 million or 4 cents a share for the first six months of 2015. Revenue for the period was $1.92 billion, up from $1.64 billion in the same period a year earlier.

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Women Get First Hand Look At Auto Industry

HOUGHTON — When Jennifer Shute and Jody Hand took leadership roles in Michigan Technological University’s inaugural Women in Automotive Engineering (WIAE) program in July, one of their goals was to provide young women with something they didn’t have when they were students at Michigan Technological University — female role models in the automotive industry.

Women in Automotive Engineering, sponsored by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), was conducted by Tech’s Center for Pre-college Outreach as part of the Summer Youth Program (SYP). Both women work for FCA — Shute is product investigations manager in vehicle safety and regulatory compliance and Hand works as a reactive problem solving master blackbelt instructor.

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Mitchell Plastics Expanding In Sterling Heights, Adding 122 Jobs

LANSING — The Michigan Strategic Fund has offered Mitchell Plastics a $427,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant to support a new plant in Sterling Heights that will create 122 jobs.

The 200,000-square-foot plant represents a total investment of more than $20.5 million.

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Borg Warner Expansion Gets State Aid

LANSING — An expansion in Auburn Hills by the auto supplier BorgWarner will get state financial support.

BorgWarner is planning to expand its existing operations in the Oakland County community, investing $27 million in new plant and equipment and creating 76 new jobs.

As a result, the Michigan Strategic Fund board approved a $750,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant.

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Lawrence Tech hits top 10 in SAE Supermileage competition

SOUTHFIELD — The Blue Devil Motorsports team from Lawrence Technological University ranked 10th out of 28 teams in the 37th annual SAE Supermileage competition, held June 9-10 at the Eaton Proving Ground in Marshall, Mich.

That’s an improvement from the 2015 competition, when LTU finished 13th and claimed the “Best Newcomer Performance Award.”

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Ford named Lawrence Tech Corporate Partner of the Year

SOUTHFIELDWhen Lawrence Technological University was founded in 1932, its original campus was located within  Henry Ford’s Highland Park auto plant. Since that time, the relationship between Ford and LTU has remained close.

Now, Lawrence Tech has made it official, recognizing Ford as its Corporate Partner of the Year in ceremonies on the LTU campus.

The event featured Ford Motor Company employees and executives  – all LTU alumni – who have played key roles in advancing the enduring Ford-LTU industry-university partnership.

A highlight of the event was a video, “Ford and Lawrence Tech: Partners in Educational Innovation,” which explored the changes in the educational landscape since what was originally Lawrence Institute of Technology opened its doors in Highland Park 84 years ago. The video spans Henry and Edsel Ford’s support of Russell Lawrence’s vision for a university that offered working adults the opportunity to earn engineering degrees through evening classes, to today’s sponsored research on the high-tech vehicles of tomorrow.

Along the way, LTU grads have played key roles in groundbreaking Ford vehicles like the Mustang, the first-generation Taurus, and the stunning new version of the Ford GT supercar. Other examples include a Taurus modified by LTU students, which won the New York City to Washington, D.C. “Tour de Sol” in 2000, achieving more than 80 mpg with flawless highway performance. A Ford donation in 2006 funded the launch of LTU’s innovative Bachelor of Science in Transportation Design degree, which blends design skills and engineering expertise. Today, more than 2,600 Lawrence Tech alumni are employed by, or retired from, Ford Motor Company. The company and its employees have donated more than $7.2 million to the university over its history.

“This institution was embraced by Henry Ford, the man who invented the middle class in America,” LTU President Virinder Moudgil said. “It was home to the workers of the Arsenal of Democracy. That legacy is so unique. We are an extraordinary university, and that reputation is strengthened because of what alumni do every day at work.”

Lawrence Technological University, http://www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. The Brookings Institution ranks Lawrence Tech fifth nationwide for boosting graduates’ earning power, PayScale lists it in the nation’s top 10 percent of universities for graduates’ salaries, and U.S. News and World Report places it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus in Southfield, Michigan, include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

In the photo above, Donna Bell, BSEE’89, president of the Lawrence Technological University Alumni Association and a Ford Motor Co. engineer, addresses the crowd gathered at LTU to celebrate Ford being named LTU Corporate Partner of the Year.

State Supports Ford’s $1.4B Transmission Upgrade

LANSING — Ford Motor Co. is shifting its Livonia Transmission Plant to high gear with a $1.4 billion investment that will create 500 new jobs.

The Dearborn automaker said the plant on Plymouth Road will now build a new 10-speed rear-wheel drive transmission.

The Michigan Strategic Fund in turn has approved an exemption from the State Essential Services Assessment for the automaker valued at $27.3 million over 15 years. The exclusion serves as an incentive for projects that result in significant investment in eligible manufacturing personal property.

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Willow Run Vehicle Tech Center Names Board, CEO

ANN ARBOR — A nonprofit organization and a board of directors have been formed to handle operations for the new American Center for Mobility.

The center, located in Ypsilanti Township, is intended to help accelerate the development of autonomous and connected vehicles, as well as lead to economic development in Michigan.

The board of directors approved the appointment of John M. Maddox as CEO, effective immediately. Maddox has been serving as assistant director of the University of Michigan Mobility Transformation Center. MTC operates Mcity, a connected and automated vehicle test center on UM’s North Campus. Maddox will retain a partial appointment with MTC.

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