CLEMSON — The latest annual report prepared by the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) does more than recap another successful year at the Upstate automotive research campus. It looks way down the road.

With a new executive director and record student enrollment, CU-ICAR stands to enhance its reputation as a world-leading center for learning and innovation.

April 1 marked the first day at CU-ICAR for new executive director Frederick M. Cartwright. After more than 30 years in the automotive industry with General Motors (GM), Cartwright brought extensive industry experience to the position.

His background includes work in design and development of advanced powertrains for commercial and military vehicles, management of GM’s hybrid bus program, and numerous new business-development initiatives involving other auto manufacturers.

The 2013 CU-ICAR Annual Report describes the extensive growth in the number of industry partners collaborating with CU-ICAR, the growth in the academic program and more.

The automotive engineering program continues to grow, with 18 faculty and more than 200 students enrolled this academic year.

Further, the research portfolio and funding continues to grow with more than 100 industry partners. Research areas include advanced powertrains, manufacturing and materials, systems integration, vehicle performance, human-machine interface and connected vehicles.

The last year also included the grand opening of the Vehicle Component Testing Laboratory. Located in the Center for Emerging Technologies, the testing lab allows Tier 1 automotive suppliers to test interior components under a wide array of parameters, complementing existing full vehicle testing and systems integration research at CU-ICAR.

Further, faculty affiliated with the automotive engineering department at Clemson were awarded nearly $4.5 million in research and sponsored programs, which funded 24 projects. Automotive companies currently sponsor 46 percent of CU-ICAR research.

Cartwright said CU-ICAR’s high ratio of private-sector funding of an academic institution is significant. It is driven by a philosophy that caters to industry needs shared through close collaboration and an understanding of market trends.

“CU-ICAR has a worldwide reputation for strong and successful relationships with its partners,” Cartwright said. “The continued growth of CU-ICAR is testament to that.”


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