Starting this semester, the University of Michigan will be a driving force in the electric and hybrid vehicle movement, thanks to a $2.5 million grant from the White House’s Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program, announced in August 2009.
The grant, which is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will create ten courses on topics such as hybrid vehicles, batteries and green power. Seven of the ten courses will be taught in Ann Arbor, while the rest will be offered to students at UM-Dearborn and Kettering University in Flint. In addition, two laboratories—an Integrated Hybrid Electric System Laboratory and an Automotive Power Electronics Laboratory—will be developed for the Ann Arbor campus over the next two years to support the graduate and undergraduate courses.
ME Professor Huei Peng, who also serves as the executive director of Interdisciplinary and Professional Engineering Programs in the College of Engineering, led the proposal that won the $2.5 million grant for the development of educational activities in transportation electrification. The goal of the program is to educate UM graduates in electrical power generation, delivery, conversion, and controls both at the grid level and the vehicular level. These graduates will then go on to form the next generation of engineers and workers to lead the way toward a new age of green vehicles.
“We want to develop all opportunities so the workforce in Michigan can be transformed,” Peng said. Besides laying the foundation for education with a clean energy focus, the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program will also create industrially relevant engineering jobs and will support the nation’s transition to green manufacturing.
The grant is part of more than $1 billion going to Michigan-based companies and universities. Reflecting the state’s leadership in clean-energy manufacturing, Michigan is receiving the largest share of grant funding of any state.