INDIANAPOLIS – The School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI has been named a grantee of the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s 2021 University Center Economic Development Program Competition to support its work advancing the next generation of electrified and autonomous vehicles.
The five-year $300,000 grant will fund the Initiative for Electrified and Autonomous Mobility University Center, a regional gateway that will serve as a portal for government, industry, the public and academia to prepare for the next generation of electrified and autonomous vehicles. The initiative builds on the knowledge and expertise of the Transportation and Autonomous Systems Institute at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI.
“IEAM will help Indiana advance to the forefront of autonomous and electrified mobility technologies, which will vastly transform human and freight mobility, providing new economic opportunities as intelligent transportation systems evolve,” said Razi Nalim, associate dean for research. “Adoption of digital control and communication technologies that assist drivers or support autonomous operation will help improve Indiana’s manufacturing and logistics, and protect vulnerable road users, while electric vehicles can help improve the environment globally. Research at TASI and other labs at IUPUI, in collaboration with world-class companies, is already contributing to key advancements, standards setting and rigorous technology testing in these fields.”
The Initiative for Electrified and Autonomous Mobility will advance Indiana’s economic competitiveness by working with industry, government and academia to cultivate innovation; develop a highly skilled workforce; and ensure attractive locations for new business development in intelligent transportation systems. Among other activities, the initiative will develop a strategic plan for the state to provide a vision for electrified and autonomous vehicle transportation systems, convene discussions, and extend applications to develop more inclusive and agile supply chains.
“Mobility is as important to the low income as it is to the affluent, to the elderly as it is to the young, or whether you reside in a city or rural area,” said Clayton Nicholas, industry research development specialist at the School of Engineering and Technology. “Electrified and autonomous technologies have the potential to disrupt the status quo, alter how people live and work, rearrange value pools, and lead to entirely new products and services. This requires decisions on how to invest in new forms of education, workforce development and infrastructure, by discerning how disruptive economic change will affect various regions.”
Along with Nicholas and Nalim, the IUPUI team is composed of Yaobin Chen, who is director of TASI and a professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Mark Frohlich, who is an associate professor of operations management in the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI and director of its Center for Excellence in Manufacturing.
“We are grateful for the support from the EDA,” said David Russomanno, School of Engineering and Technology dean. “It is wonderful to see another funded project in our school that will further the advancement of intelligent transportations systems within a socially responsible context while also contributing to the economic development of our region.”