College of Engineering electric vehicle experts to speak at national conference

DETROIT (June 11, 2013) – Four Wayne State University College of Engineering faculty members will share their electric vehicle engineering expertise as they participate in the Electrifying the Economy – Educating the Workforce (E3) conference, held June 17 at the Adoba Hotel in Dearborn, Mich. Held in conjunction with the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Transportation Electrification Conference and Expo, the conference is hosted by Wayne State University, Macomb Community College and NextEnergy.

Steve Salley, associate professor of chemical engineering and materials science, alternative energy technology and electric-drive vehicle engineering, and Jerry Ku, associate professor of alternative energy technology and director of the electric-drive vehicle engineering (EVE) program, will co-chair  “Educational Programs on Transportation Electrification: Current Status and Future Needs.” The panel will discuss the status of programs and courses developed with support from the U.S. Department of Energy for the advancement of electric-drive vehicle engineering educational programs. 

“Our goal is to enhance the future of electric-drive vehicle education,” said Salley. “This conference will provide education and industry leaders the opportunity to share their successes and identify potential areas for future EVE collaboration."

Chih-Ping Yeh, professor and chair of engineering technology and professor of electric-drive vehicle engineering, will co-chair the “Economy and Workforce Development of Electric Vehicle Industrypanel. Gene Liao, associate professor of engineering technology and electric-drive vehicle engineering, will also speak on this panel, which will address how to engage industry in curriculum development in electrified vehicle technology; the impact of future fuel economy improvement technologies on needed workforce skills; strategies for upgrading skills of current employees; and the partnering of original equipment manufacturers, suppliers, and academia to provide the necessary flow of skilled workers into the auto industry.

Participation in E3 is just one way that Wayne State’s Electric-drive Vehicle Engineering program is leading the way in electric vehicle education. As the first program of its kind in the United States, it is dedicated not only to the education of the electric vehicle workforce, but to interdisciplinary research and outreach to industry and the general public.

Ku said, “We look forward to getting input and having thorough discussions about how to improve our curricula and courses so we can better prepare our students for the hybrid electric vehicle workforce.”

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Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution of higher education offering 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students. For more information about engineering at Wayne State University, visit

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