The University is the first in the nation to introduce and include a ground-breaking automotive benchmarking technology into its mechanical engineering curriculum.
When it comes to designing, constructing and using machines, there’s only so much you can learn from a textbook. That’s why Michigan Technological University partners with industry to bring real-world projects and learning experiences into the classroom. A recent collaboration with Caresoft Global will provide students with a unique opportunity to explore an advanced vehicle in virtual reality.
“Michigan Tech, and the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics in particular, are very excited to have been chosen by Caresoft Global as the first university to receive this extraordinary engineering data software for the Tesla Model X,” said William Predebon, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics.
Caresoft Global works closely with major automotive manufacturers and other industry clients to solve engineering challenges. The application and data the company gifted to the University, which has a commercial value exceeding $3 million, allows students to gain actionable intelligence and insights behind some of the leading path-breaking vehicles in the world today.
“Students need to see what’s behind today’s groundbreaking cars,” said Prideep Subramaniam, director of North America Sales at Caresoft Global. “They need practical experience and engineering insights. Innovation is happening in their backyard, and we want to make sure they have the knowledge they need when they enter the industry.”
The Caresoft technology, software and processes enable extraction of accurate 3D computer-aided design (CAD) models of complete vehicles. The CAD data is used to conduct advanced engineering analyses for computer-assisted engineering, computational fluid dynamics and other purposes. Users can also view the CAD model inside an immersive virtual reality environment.
Through a high-energy scan, complete vehicle CAD data and analysis, students can assess and benchmark the vehicle’s components and run simulations to predict stress, durability and crash responses.
Michigan Tech recently used the software and data for the first time during an automotive systems course for graduate students in mechanical engineering and electrical engineering.
“Caresoft personnel provided the class with a look into the future of benchmarking for competitive assessment,” said Predebon. “There are many educational opportunities with this software, and this is just one example. We are in the process of determining how to integrate it throughout our mechanical engineering curriculum and research.”
Caresoft Global, which was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Detroit, was recently honored with Ford Motor Company’s World Excellence Award as a Smart Brand Pillar of Technology and Innovation. It was named an Automotive News All-Star and is a finalist for the 2019 Automotive News PACE Award.
The company has conducted high-energy scans and engineering analysis of company-owned Chevrolet Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3 (in addition to the Tesla Model X), and more than 20 automakers have entered into agreements to implement the Caresoft technology and benchmarking data.
“The fact that Caresoft chose Michigan Tech to be the first university in the country to implement this technology demonstrates the world-class reputation and research of both our mechanical engineering department and the institution as a whole,” said Janet Callahan, dean of Michigan Tech’s College of Engineering. “We are honored by Caresoft’s generosity and look forward to building our relationship with the company for many years to come.”
Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, the University offers more than 125 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.