Ford is Retraining Automotive Engineers for Electric Car Work


Photo: Courtesy of Ford
A Partnership with the University of Detroit Mercy
We always hear that electric cars are coming, but someone has to actually design and build the things. There are lots of automotive engineers out there, but only a small portion of them have any experience or training with electric cars. That's why Ford has decided to partner with the University of Detroit Mercy to retrain what it calls "traditional automotive engineers." Together they created the Advanced Electric Vehicle Program, a graduate-level curriculum that emphasizes core electric and hybrid vehicle engineering expertise, such as power electronics, power flow, energy management and system architecture.
Photo: Courtesy of Ford
Beginning in January 2010
Ford has already been training its engineers internally for some time, but this new program will provide supplementary knowledge. "UDM has created seven new courses that are directly responsive to the training needs of Ford and the entire automotive and defense ground vehicles industries, said Dr. Leo E. Hanifin, dean of UDM's College of Engineering & Science. [...] Approximately 125 Ford engineers will participate in the program over the next several years." 125 seems like a small number, but we don't know how many people Ford is retraining internally, and wether those 125 will then help train others...

Seven courses are offered, and the engineers must pick five. The courses are:

  • Introduction to Advanced Electric Vehicles
  • Controls Modeling and Design for Electric Vehicles
  • Energy Storage Systems
  • Power Electronics for Electric Vehicles
  • Electric Drives/Electromechanical Energy Conversion
  • Innovation and System Architecture for Electric Vehicles
  • System Engineering for Electric Vehicles

I'm hoping that other car companies are doing something similar (in fact, I know they are, but I hope they take it seriously and don't do a half-assed job). There's no time to waste, automotive engineers should be trained to design the cars of tomorrow.

Via Ford

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Tags: Electric Cars | Electric Vehicles | Transportation