SOUTHFIELD — Student projects commissioned by automotive manufacturers are on display at Lawrence Technological University’s exhibit at the 2013 North American International Auto Show that opened to the public Jan. 19. The exhibit is located downstairs in Michigan Hall.
With support and encouragement from the automotive industry, Lawrence Tech has created a unique Bachelor of Science in Transportation Design program that emphasizes the importance of engineering factors in automotive design. The director is Keith Nagara, a former Ford designer who has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.
Nagara has designed the degree program to simulate an industry studio environment. Blending their creative talent with an understanding of engineering and manufacturing technology, Lawrence Tech students design projects with feasibility of manufacturing in mind.
Lawrence Tech students are trained on computer programs used by industry professionals. The university’s Auto Show exhibit features video presentations about software from Dassault Systemes and Inteva Products that students are using.
Students will exhibit concept models that they have designed and built as part of industry projects that auto companies and suppliers have commissioned. These projects give students unique opportunities to “test drive” their educations in real-world situations.
Two 2012 competition vehicles built by SAE teams at LTU will also be on display.
On Saturday, Jan.19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Lawrence Tech exhibit also hosted a reenactment of the 2012 Thanksgiving RoboParade. Students in grades 4-12 from a dozen schools and two home schools demonstrated the autonomous robot floats that they constructed, decorated and programmed to follow the parade route and avoid collisions with other floats. The teams come from Canton, Northville, Clawson, Sterling Heights, Farmington, Southfield, and St. Clair Shores.
RoboParade helps inspire students to pursue science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, as well as computer science, in a creative environment.
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. Bloomberg Businessweek lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 20 percent of universities for return on undergraduate tuition investment, and highest in the Detroit metropolitan area. Lawrence Tech is also listed in the top tier of Midwestern universities by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus include over 60 student clubs and organizations and a growing roster of NAIA varsity sports.