The program was designed with input from engineers at:
- General Motors
- Efficient Drivetrains
- Borg Warner
- UQM Technologies
- Argonne National Lab
- California EPA / CARB
This program was developed by experts in engineering education and hybrid-electric vehicles, with input from industry and academia, and for engineering students of various backgrounds. Funded by a grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the program focuses on preparing engineering students to move directly into careers involving hybrid-electric vehicles.
The program design has entailed nearly 3 years' work, including collection and analysis of input from various stakeholders in the Hybrid-Electric Vehicle Engineering (HEVE) program, including companies above. Input from stakeholders has come from interviews and surveys from industry engineers and academic experts, as well as from students' work in the program classes. Interviews with industry engineers were recorded, and small segments of the recordings are played in classes. This allows students to consider for themselves the value and importance of the various topics of study in the HEVE program, and if they want to specialize in any of these topics.
Also, survey results showed that the most important things employers are looking for are skills (as opposed to specialized knowledge) of communication, problem-solving, design, and simulation. As such, the program focuses on skilled development rather than heavy memorization. Technical knowledge that employers are most interested in include electricity and electronics, control systems, power-split devices, and batteries, as well as understanding the state-of-the-art of current hybrid vehicles.
The resulting program is growing quickly and gaining attention around the industry. Already, one of our students has gone to work for BMW in Germany, and told us that his report from the Powertrains course was a key piece of his interview and getting hired!