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Grant provides real-world, hands-on experimentation and research in automotive thermal systems

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July 09, 2015

Having to turn up the car radio while the air conditioning is on high may be a thing of the past as undergraduate engineering students gain hands-on measurement and design experience with a minivan’s HVAC system.

Through a $50,000 grant from DENSO North America Foundation (DNAF), the College of Engineering & Science will add an Automotive Thermal System Test Bench to its new Center for Automotive Systems Engineering Education (CASEE) laboratory.

The Automotive Thermal System Test Bench provides students a real-world system to design and test the principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer and “noise, vibration and harshness”.

Mechanical Engineering Professor Mark Schumack is thrilled DNAF funded this research opportunity. 

Schumack said, “Undergraduate students will gain valuable hands-on experience using standard industrial applications.  Traditionally, engineering principles are taught in abstract removed from industry.  This system provides laboratory opportunities other schools may not be able to provide.”

Hands-on engineering programs grounded in professional practice are consistent with the College’s student-focused curriculum. 

Dean Gary Kuleck is excited to see the system incorporated into the CASEE lab.  Kuleck said, “Our vision of the CASEE lab is realized thanks to our industry partners.  Providing students with hands-on research is a focus of the College.”

The CASEE lab is scheduled to open in early 2016.  The Automotive Thermal System Test Bench will be available to students beginning in the fall 2016.

CASEE Systems Room Rendering

About DENSO North America Foundation   

The DENSO North America Foundation is dedicated to helping students advance their education in engineering, technology and other related programs. Founded in 2001, the Foundation provides grants to colleges and universities throughout North America, helping communities prosper through the development of a skilled and knowledgeable workforce.

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