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September 1, 2005

DOE Gives $4.7M for Automotive Technology Education

Nicole Hemsoth

The U.S. Department of Energy announced the selection of eight universities that will receive $4.7 million to be Graduate Automotive Technology Education (GATE) Centers of Excellence.
 
The goal of GATE is to train a future workforce of automotive engineering professionals to overcome technology barriers preventing the development and production of cost-effective, high-efficiency vehicles for the U.S. market.
 
“GATE Centers of Excellence are an exciting opportunity to equip a new generation of engineers and scientists with knowledge and skills in advanced automotive technologies,” said Douglas L. Faulkner, acting assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy. “The technologies developed will benefit the industry as we work to create more efficient gas powered, hybrid and even hydrogen powered vehicles.”
 
Award recipients will receive funds to support graduate fellowships and to establish and/or upgrade and expand course study work and laboratory work to support a graduate engineering degree with a focus or certificate in a critical automotive technology area. The universities will share 20 percent of the cost under these grants.
 
The eight universities will focus on areas such as propulsion systems, energy storage systems and lightweight materials among others.  Funding amounts are approximate and subject to final negotiation:
 

  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham, which received $600,000, will create a GATE Center of Excellence focusing on lighweight materials, advanced computation and simulation, and biomechanics. The University of Alabama-Birmingham Center of Excellence will be a newly created GATE center.

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which received $592,000, will create a GATE Center for Advanced Automotive Bio-Fuel Combustion Engines. The Center will provide comprehensive advanced training in issues related to automotive combustion of biofuels. The University of Illinois Center of Excellence will be a newly created GATE center.

  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, which received $499,000, will update and expand its GATE Center for Automotive Fuel Cell Systems, including new graduate course offerings, hands-on laboratory components, fellowships and industry interaction.

  • The Ohio State University, which received $671,000, will update and expand its GATE Center for Modeling, Control, and System Integration of Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems, including new curriculum and broader industry participation.

  • The University of California-Davis, which received $595,000, will integrate the existing Fuel Cell and Hybrid Vehicle GATE Centers into a single research and education center, develop a curriculum in Fuel Cell Hydrogen Hybrid vehicles, and continue to support fellowships and industry collaboration.

  • Pennsylvania State University, which received $597,000, will strengthen its GATE Center for High Power Energy Storage Systems and integrate elements of complementary technologies.

  • The University of Tennessee, which received $478,000, will update its GATE Center for Hybrid Systems focusing on development of optimal strategies for powertrain control and systems integration.

  • The University of Michigan-Dearborn, which received $706,000, will update its GATE Center for Lightweighting Automotive Materials and Processing, including the development of new curriculum, improving and updating existing courses, expanding the Lightweight Automotive Materials Database and making it more accessible to outside users.