New DENSO Mechanical Engineering Classroom unveiled at TTU

When Tennessee Tech University mechanical engineering students return to campus in the fall, they will find a newly renovated classroom thanks to an international automotive manufacturer of advanced technology, which has Tennessee operations.

DENSO North America Foundation, of Southfield, Mich., recently provided a $75,000 donation to be used for the classroom renovation.

Work on TTU’s DENSO Mechanical Engineering Smart Classroom began in December, and the new and improved facility was unveiled on April 27, shortly before the university’s summer break began.

Features of the renovated classroom include improved acoustics and layout, new heating and cooling unit, new drop ceiling, state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and wireless networking capabilities.

DENSO’s foundation, which has given TTU two major grants since its establishment in 2001, was the first corporate foundation established by a Japanese-based automotive component supplier in North America. Globally, DENSO Corp. is the third largest supplier of high-end automotive technology, employing 105,000 people in 31 countries. The corporation supplies such products as power-train control systems, electronic systems, thermal systems, information technology systems and small motors to all the world’s automakers.

Jim Woroniecki, who is senior vice president of DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Maryville, and a foundation board member, presented the check to TTU officials during the room’s dedication.

The Maryville company represents one of the largest international operations for DENSO, producing a wide array of components and systems, such as electronics products, instrument clusters, starters and alternators to more than 20 major automotive manufacturers.

“DENSO’s relationship with Tennessee Tech University has always been strong,” Woroniecki said. “We want to continue that alliance in helping support TTU’s great engineering programs. Good engineers are valuable to our company and to the automotive industry.”

DENSO recently announced a major expansion in Maryville, where another 500 employees will be hired by 2010 to join the 2,500 already employed. A 220,000-square-foot electronic products addition will be built next year for that $185 million expansion.

DENSO North America Foundation’s previous grant to TTU of $120,000, given over a three-year period, helped develop the DENSO Vehicle Engineering Center in East Stadium, where student design teams build rugged Mini Baja vehicles and smooth and fast Formula SAE cars.

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