A team of faculty and students recently went to BMW R&D and Engineering Center (FIZ) in Munich as part of an effort to expand the university’s partnership with the German automaker.

 The trip came just days after BMW announced that it planned to invest $1 billion into its Greer plant and hire another 800 workers to build its new X7 model.Manfred_Erlacher_President_of_BMW_Manufacturing

 Members of the Clemson team presented their work in a variety of areas. There was also an exhibit showcasing the Deep Orange 4 concept car, which was sponsored by BMW and included contributions from a number of BMW suppliers.

 Paul Venhovens, the BMW Endowed Chair in Automotive Systems Integration, presented an invited lecture as part of the BMW Forschung’s Colloquium on the Deep Orange concept vehicle program, highlighting its unique educational experience as a tool for workforce development.

 The team’s goal was to show university’s capabilities to the BMW network, not just in manufacturing research but also in the area of Business IT and Energy Management, said Dr. Imtiaz Haque, who is executive director of the Carroll A. Campbell Graduate Engineering Center and Founding Chair of the Department of Automotive Engineering.

 “The visit was clearly a success,” said Haque. “We were able to open new doors and strengthen already existing relationships. I am very proud of the work that our faculty and students have done over the last few years and the quality and its impact was evident in this exhibition.”

 Haque opened the two-day event with Manfred Erlacher, president of BMW Manufacturing Co.

 The visit consisted of two components. A large exhibit area featured research topics and hardware display. There was also a full program of presentations over the course of two full days.

 Josef Kerscher, past president of BMW Manufacturing, attended the exhibition. Top executives from BMW’s production technologies group and the Vehicle Development group also attended the exhibition.

 Last year a Clemson team traveled with President Jim Barker to present to the BMW International Production Network Board. The more recent exhibition was a followup to President Barker’s visit.