UM-Dearborn project receives $287,000 in support from state’s 21st Century Jobs Fund

October 9, 2006

DEARBORN / Oct. 9, 2006---A project proposed by University of Michigan-Dearborn Prof. Yi Lu Murphey, along with collaborators from industry and government, was one of 61 projects to be awarded a grant through the first round of Michigan’s 21st Century Jobs Fund initiative.

Murphey’s project, titled “Machine Learning Approaches to Vehicle Power Management,” plans to study how to take maximum advantage of new approaches to control energy flows through vehicle systems, including hybrid fuel technologies. Murphey is a professor of electrical and computer engineering in UM-Dearborn’s College of Engineering and Computer Science.

“In the near future, a significant increase in electric power consumption in vehicles is expected, as automakers incorporate more electrical and electronic components into vehicles,” Murphey said. “At the same time, we need to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions without sacrificing performance, safety and reliability.”

Murphey’s project, which will receive $287,000 in funding over two years, was selected by the Michigan Strategic Economic Investment and Commercialization Board as part of $100 million effort to create jobs in Michigan's emerging technologies. The grants were announced by Governor Jennifer M. Granholm last month after an eight month-long competitive review process.

Murphey will collaborate on the project with Anthony M. Phillips and Ming L. Kuang from Ford Motor Co. and M. Abul Masrur, a researcher at the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) in Warren.

In their project, the project team will develop methods of controlling vehicle power systems to generate and store electrical energy at the most suitable times. “Our approach is to use off-line machine-learning methods based on the knowledge of the driving pattern to generate optimal control rules to be used on-line for optimal power control,” Murphey said.

Murphey has worked in intelligent systems research for over 15 years, applying machine-learning technologies to robotic vision systems, vehicle fault diagnostics, advanced signal analysis and medical applications. The collaborators at Ford and TARDEC have extensive research experience in developing innovative vehicle power systems, hybrid vehicles and vehicle electronics.

Reviewers cited the strength of the research team in their consideration of the proposal. “There is obviously strong academic input,” they noted, and “the contribution from the industrial and government collaborators is excellent. They offer equipment and facilities, but most importantly time and expertise that is invaluable.” Murphey’s proposal received a score of 91 points out of a possible 100.

The UM-Dearborn project was chosen from a pool of more than 505 proposals to the 21st Century Jobs Fund, $2 billion, ten-year initiative administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to accelerate the diversification of Michigan's economy.

“The 21st Century Jobs Fund competition incorporates a new emphasis on entrepreneurship that can take research deliverables to the marketplace,” MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said. “These funding awards will lead directly to the creation of new Michigan businesses and good-paying jobs for Michigan workers in years to come."

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CONTACT: Terry Gallagher
PHONE: 313-593-5518
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