Michigan Tech Showcases New Professional Master of Engineering Program

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

Teaching assistant Abhishek Manekar (right) and student Gerald Putz (left) use a high-speed National Instruments Data Acquisition system to measure and assess battery performance during a real-world drive cycle.
Teaching assistant Abhishek Manekar (right) and student Gerald Putz (left) use a high-speed National Instruments Data Acquisition system to measure and assess battery performance during a real-world drive cycle.

Automotive engineering is entering a new era of hybrid electric-drive vehicles that demand a special set of skills most automotive engineers didn’t study when they went to college. To prepare engineers to thrive in this hybrid/electric world, Michigan Technological University is developing an interdisciplinary professional Master of Engineering program with graduate and undergraduate certification in propulsion technologies for hybrid and electric vehicles.

This curriculum development is supported by a three-year, $3 million grant from the Department of Energy under the Transportation Electrification Program.  Michigan Tech will preview the new professional master’s program at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit Jan. 11-24.

The Michigan Tech exhibit is part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) EcoXperience Showcase at the Auto Show this year.  Michigan Tech’s booth will feature information about the new hybrid/electric graduate program. 

“We were invited because we are leading the way in professional education in hybrid electric vehicles and battery technologies,” said Carl L. Anderson, associate dean for research and graduate programs in Michigan Tech’s College of Engineering. Anderson and Michigan Tech engineering faculty Jeff Naber and Wayne Weaver are heading the development of the new graduate curriculum.

The exhibit will be in the MEDC Alternative Energy Showcase on the lower level of the Cobo Center in downtown Detroit, home to the annual Auto Show. EcoXperience will feature a quarter-mile indoor ride-and-drive test track surrounded by landscaped and forested terrain.  MEDC is expecting at least 50,000 of the Auto Show’s 650,000 visitors to see EcoXperience.

Representatives from Michigan Tech’s College of Engineering and Michigan Tech alumni who work at General Motors will staff the exhibit to answer questions about the University’s new professional Master of Engineering curriculum.

The pioneering professional master’s curriculum is being developed in partnership with AVL and GM.

For the past two semesters, Naber and colleagues have collaborated with the Engineering Society of Detroit, the Michigan Academy for Green Mobility and Michigan Tech’s industry partners to offer a pilot course for automotive engineers in the Detroit area. This course, including distance instruction and hands-on labs, attracted 100 graduate students each time it was taught

A fully outfitted mobile lab for the new curriculum is being built at Michigan Tech’s Keweenaw Research Center, and the University’s Husky Game Development Enterprise is developing computer software for student simulations in the lab.   The mobile lab will also be used in outreach programs, including the US Department of Education’s GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) at Michigan Tech and the University’s Youth Programs, which bring hands-on engineering and science experiences to more than 1,000 middle and high-school students each year.

Youth Programs and Admissions representatives will be at the Michigan Tech booth on Automotive Education day, which is Jan. 20.

A press preview is scheduled for Jan. 11-12, followed by an industry preview Jan. 13-14. The Auto Show will open to the public at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 16 and close at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.