In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion and buzz about industry experience and gaining practical knowledge in the higher education landscape. But do universities really do this?
A university that really talks about the word and walks is Clemson University in South Carolina, USA.
In the Department of Automotive Engineering, which falls under the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR)a one-of-a-kind educational experience is offered that immerses automotive engineering students in hands-on learning from the start.
Students work in conjunction with participating faculty and industry partners to produce an all-new prototype vehicle each year under the Deep Orange program, where they receive a graduate qualification while performing impactful work in the exciting and challenging field. flourishing automotive engineering.
Students gain first-hand knowledge of how to think creatively to solve global challenges on the ground while developing innovations that shape the future of the industry with sustainability, sustainability and the performance.
Deep Orange projects incorporate breakthrough products, innovations, and new processes in automotive engineering, exposing students to the latest industry trends and technologies so they’ll be one step ahead when they graduate.
Hands-on learning while developing important soft skills
the accelerated concept development program is a two-year master’s program for automotive engineering students working on Deep Orange projects – a framework that prepares students for the real world by having them work directly with automotive suppliers and manufacturers in the future.
Not only does this program accelerate students’ careers with in-depth practical automotive engineering knowledge, but it also equips them with soft skills such as project management, teamwork, resilience, and leadership.
This enables students to be competent and highly valuable employees who think innovatively and can work effectively in real-world engineering environments.
Students learn through practical applications of automotive engineering knowledge, working on the design, engineering, prototyping and production of vehicles from the start of the academic program.
Over two years, graduate students work collaboratively with industry partners while completing the full cycle of product development, from concept to validation.
Developing innovations with industry leaders in automotive engineering
CU-ICAR’s open innovation platform paves the way for industry partners across the supply chain to participate in the accelerated development of a concept vehicle for these projects.
For example, for the last Deep Orange 12 Projectthe prototype vehicle program partnered with the Indy Autonomous Challenge to produce a driverless open-wheel race car.
The student team is tasked with designing an Indy Lights race car to have a driverless setup with onboard hardware and software.
This student-engineer framework will be used by separate university teams around the world to develop fully functional autonomous vehicle algorithms for head-to-head racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a US$1 million grand prize .
“Deep Orange is an educational framework that immerses students in industrial-like environments to simulate the real-world R&D challenges facing businesses today,” noted Dr. Robert Prucka, Clemson Kulwicki University Endowed Professor and DO12 Project Leader,
“Working with industry partners such as IMS, ESN, Dallara and ANSYS provides students with unparalleled opportunities to work with the latest technologies and collaborate with cross-functional teams in a way that will make them more innovative engineering leaders. and capable after graduation.”
Other ongoing projects include the Dark Orange 11 – a sustainability-focused concept vehicle designed as a lightweight and highly sustainable mobility solution for the year 2035 and beyond. The project is a collaboration with industry partners ExxonMobil and Honda R&D Americas.
Students involved in this project are exploring sustainable innovations in automotive engineering design such as lightweight plastics, advanced fuels and lubricants, and tread additives to reduce rolling resistance.
Completed projects include the Dark orange 9 vehicle, a next generation Rallycross racing car which is a fuel efficient and high performance car designed for rallycross – a global motorsport with big jumps and drifts on asphalt, mud and dirt tracks.
Designed, built and tested by Clemson students, the vehicle was designed to improve fuel economy, reduce emissions, minimize vehicle operating costs and match today’s rallycross racing performance.
Working with Honda R&D Americas, Inc as title sponsor, the students took on the task and unveiled the prototype at the ALL-IN Auto Rally at Clemson University in 2018.
The vehicle is a potent combination of high-performance, ultra-rugged racing features with a fuel-efficient and clean hybrid powertrain – in keeping with the increasing standards of fuel efficiency in today’s automotive engineering world.
These projects are examples of the cutting-edge, industry-relevant practical knowledge that graduates gain at Clemson University.
Without a doubt, this is a powerhouse of a university that provides an unparalleled student experience and develops high-impact engineering leaders and changemakers in this rapidly growing field.
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