New Teaching and Lab Space to Come Online for Green Vehicle Education Program

Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute, Paul Gargaro
Release Date: 

The new, Integrated Hybrid Electric System Laboratory in the College of Engineering’s Walter E. Lay Automotive Laboratory will offer students hands-on opportunities to sharpen their understanding of next-generation electric and hybrid vehicles.

Slated for completion this fall, the approximately 2,400-square-foot lab will support the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education (AEDVE) Program launched in 2009 with $2.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE). The grant has enabled 13 U-M, UM-Dearborn and Kettering University faculty, led by Mechanical Engineering Professor and Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute Faculty Affiliate Huei Peng, to launch 10 new graduate and undergraduate-level courses focused on hybrid vehicles, batteries and green transportation. Seven of the courses are taught in Ann Arbor. The remaining classes are offered at UM-D and Kettering in Flint, Mich.

“Demand for the program has been pretty healthy,” Peng said. “We’re working to continually upgrade the curriculum with the most up-to-date knowledge supplied through our faculty research and based on the resources like we’ll have in this new lab.”

“The real driving force behind our program is to produce students who not only understand internal combustion, but also the new hybrid engines, batteries etc. “

The Integrated Hybrid Electric System Laboratory will feature a control room and a $1.2 million, high-speed dynamometer (“dyno”) acquired with DoE funding. The smallest of the Auto Lab’s five dynos, the new system is specifically designed for measuring the power produced by hybrid engines. Peng said the new lab and dyno will be operated and tested in the fall and be ready for student use at the start of the second semester in January 2011.

This lab joins two others utilized in the AEDVE program – the Green Mobility Lab at Kettering and the Electrical Power and Energy Lab housed in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department and operated by the Vennema Professor of Engineering and MMPEI Faculty Fellow Ian Hiskens along with Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and MMPEI Faculty Fellow Heath Hofmann.