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DATE: July 22, 2005

UM-Dearborn professor to chair "e-conference" on hybrid-electric vehicles

DEARBORN---University of Michigan-Dearborn engineering Prof. Chris Mi will present an "e-conference" on hybrid-electric vehicles for members of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers at 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25. The "e-conference" format will allow groups to participate in the seminar from remote locations in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Mi, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in the UM-Dearborn College of Engineering and Computer Science, regularly offers a graduate course in electric and hybrid vehicles. He has also taught courses and led seminars on the subject for the U.S. Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command and for the Society of Automotive Engineers.

"The e-conference is planned to be a very timely discussion on both the auto companies' vision, as well as customers' perceptions," Mi said.

Hybrid-electric vehicles are one of the fastest growing automotive segments and present both opportunities and challenges, Mi said.

"Hybrid vehicles are more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly than conventional vehicles," he said. "By optimizing the power intake, the engine operation can be kept within the range designed for best fuel economy and lowest emissions, while the motor/generator system will either provide additional power or generate electricity. Because of these advantages, hybrid vehicles have attracted worldwide interest in the automotive industry."

Some experts predict that hybrid vehicles will take at least 10 percent of the total vehicle market share in the next 5 years and could affect 200,000 jobs in automotive-related industries.

Mi has conducted extensive research and published more than 50 articles on power electronics, motor drives, and electric and hybrid vehicles. In addition to his position at UM-Dearborn, Mi is the director of educational activities and chair of the industrial and power electronics chapter of the IEEE Southeast Michigan section.

The e-conference, scheduled to last approximately two hours, has been planned for members of the IEEE region in northeastern Wisconsin but is open to IEEE members in Michigan. Groups interested in participating should contact the IEEE (Sat Basu, Region 4 technical activities chair) by email at satbasu@ieee.org or by phone (313) 235-6523.

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