DENSO Bestows $100,000 Award to TTU College of Engineering

No doubt you’ve seen the DENSO name around campus at various labs and classrooms. DENSO North America has long had a relationship with Tennessee Tech’s College of Engineering, and that mutually-beneficial relationship has now moved to a new level with the award of $100,000 over two years to the department. DENSO, one of the world’s largest suppliers of aftermarket auto parts, is focusing on Intelligent Vehicle Design, technologies that can greatly improve safety and performance of future vehicles.

TTU will be developing an Intelligent Vehicle Systems Development Cluster, bringing together talent and know-how from Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering departments to form a Vehicle Systems test bed. The test bed will be comprised of a small fleet of vehicles that will put designs to use in a hand-on, real-world environment. The project will integrate mechatronics and intelligent machinery know-how to help develop these new technologies and give students a sound knowledge base that they can take with them as they move into their careers. TTU is a good fit for these objectives, with a uniquely qualified faculty, and up-to-date research and classroom facilities.

“We couldn’t be happier with this gift from DENSO,” said Stephen Canfield, Mechanical Engineering professor. “TTU’s College of Engineering has long had a fruitful, productive partnership with DENSO, and this is a logical step in that process. Between our students, faculty and facilities, we feel that we can assemble a team that can do some really useful work towards these goals. We’re all excited about seeing these projects through, and none of it could happen without this backing from DENSO. ”

Canfield went on to say, ”The newest generations of practically any mechanical product incorporate more and more intelligence into design and function, and this is especially true of cars. This lab gives our students a chance to get out in front of this state-of-the-art technology and research, design and develop vehicle systems that work closely with people, other vehicles and the vehicle’s environment.”

The IVDC work could have long-ranging effects on automotive design, specifically in driver interaction, accident avoidance, improved navigation, interaction of vehicle systems and vehicle performance. DENSO is also a popular career destination for TTU COE graduates, with a lengthy tradition of co-ops and internships and several TTU graduates employed at the DENSO Maryville plant and other locations.

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