Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Feds lend hand to UCCS for electric car design training

Posted By on Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 2:28 PM

Thanks to Uncle Sam, UCCS and University of Colorado at Boulder faculty will team up to teach courses in design and implementation of electric vehicle drive trains.

The project is made possible by a five-year, $954,000 grant to UCS from the Department of Energy.

From the release:

The courses will be available through distance learning technologies such as online courses and, possibly, CISCO Telepresence, in addition to traditional in-person classrooms, making them available to people nationwide.

“There are thousands of engineers who have either been displaced as the U.S. auto industry shifted or who have an interest in learning about creating vehicles of the future,” Greg Plett, professor, UCCS College of Engineering and Applied Science, said. “This program offers them the opportunity to retrain without relocating.”

Plett, the principal investigator on the project, has spent his career working with battery controls and has close relationships to many Colorado-based companies who manufacture batteries or their controls as well as large corporations such as General Motors. Plett is working with General Motors’ engineers on new methods for battery controls in future extended range electric vehicles, beyond the Chevy Volt.

The GATE Center of Excellence in Innovative Drivetrains in Electric Automotive Technology Education will provide students the opportunity to earn a graduate certificate in electric drivetrain technology by taking four courses in battery dynamics, battery controls, power electronics and detailed courses in adjustable alternating current drives. Plans also call for creating options for students in master’s of science in electrical engineering programs at UCCS and CU-Boulder to pursue specialization in fields such as battery controls, taught by UCCS faculty, and vehicle power electronics taught by CU-Boulder faculty members.

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