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DATE: August 24, 2005

UM-Dearborn receives gift from DENSO North America Foundation to support new engineering laboratory

DEARBORN---The University of Michigan-Dearborn's College of Engineering and Computer Science will receive $250,000 over five years from the DENSO North America Foundation to support the development of a new laboratory dedicated to teaching and research in vehicle climate control.

The new laboratory will be called the DENSO Climate Control Education and Research Laboratory.

"Currently, both instruction and research are performed on campus, but a dedicated climate control laboratory will significantly enhance the mechanical engineering program at UM-Dearborn and better prepare our students in the automotive industry," according to Subrata Sengupta, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. "This support will allow us to purchase equipment that we currently do not have and very much need to continue to provide an enriched learning experience and to make a significant impact throughout the curriculum for decades to come."

The equipment--a wind tunnel to conduct heat exchanger research and for instruction in fluid mechanics, and an infrared camera to conduct a variety of thermal-fluid research in heating/cooling systems, air flow distribution, and thermal comfort and to help instruction in thermal-fluids--is commonly used in industry and is needed at UM-Dearborn for significant learning and research in the lab, Sengupta said.

"DENSO holds the number one global market share for car air conditioners, employing more than 8,000 engineers worldwide," said Doug Patton, senior vice president of engineering at DENSO International America. "So we're especially interested in supporting engineering education. As our company grows, we're going to need more and more well-trained engineers."

In addition to purchasing equipment, the grant also will provide support for facility modification and student support to install the equipment.

DENSO Corporation, headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, is a leading global supplier of advanced automotive technology, systems and components. Its customers include all the world's major carmakers. Worldwide, the company employs 104,000 people in 31 countries and regions, including Japan. For more information, go to www.globaldenso.com. In the Americas, DENSO employs more than 15,000 people at 33 companies. In Michigan, DENSO Group companies employ more than 4,500 people. For more information, go to www.densocorp-na.com.

UM-Dearborn's engineering program was recently ranked among the top public schools in the country without doctoral programs by U.S. News. Nearly 1,500 undergraduate students are currently enrolled in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, pursuing degrees in computer and information science, electrical and computer engineering, industrial and manufacturing systems engineering, and mechanical engineering. The school also offers master's degree programs, which currently enroll nearly 1,000 students.

From left: Eric Ratts, associate professor of mechanical engineering at UM-Dearborn; Barbara Wertheimer, program officer and secretary of the DENSO North America Foundation; Subrata Sengupta, dean of UM-Dearborn's College of Engineering and Computer Science; and Patrick Bassett, director of Climate Control III, DENSO International America. Bassett also is an alumnus of UM-Dearborn ('86 B.S.E.M.E.).

(Click on image above to access high-resolution JPG.)

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