Friday, October 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Revved up: Hyundai engineers head to UCD

Woong-chul Yang, vice chairman of research and development at the Hyundai Motor Corp., and UC Davis professor emeritus Don Margolis tour the new Hyundai Center of Excellence in Vehicle Dynamic Systems and Control during Tuesday's ribbon-cutting event on campus. Yang earned his doctorate from UCD in 1986 and studied under Margolis, among other engineering professors. Margolis and professor emeritus Dean Karnopp will co-direct the center. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | June 12, 2013 |

UC Davis and Hyundai Motor Corp. on Tuesday turned the ignition on the first-ever corporate-funded center on campus.

The world’s fourth-largest automaker will send eight of its engineers at a time to learn and carry out research, much like graduate students, support student research and give students a chance to rub elbows with professionals.

The company has made a three-year commitment to the project, dubbed the Hyundai Center of Excellence in Vehicle Dynamic Systems and Control.

“The goal is twofold: to operate an academic-training program and conduct research projects designed to make Hyundai vehicles safer, better-handling and more fun to drive,” said Enrique Lavernia, dean of the College of Engineering, at a ribbon-cutting inside Bainer Hall.

Hyundai will spend $940,000 on the center in its first year, including the renovation of office space and a conference room.

The first group of company engineers arrived in January. They’ll be on campus until October.

“I would like to say that this is only the beginning, and that the Hyundai-Kia Motor Company will provide continued support to make this center as successful as possible and to leave a very solid milestone for great partnership between industry and academia,” said Woong-chul Yang, vice chairman of the company’s research and development division.

“I believe that this center will not only train our engineers, but spur the excitement and passion of engineering students at UC Davis by giving them exposure to industry.”

Yang earned his doctorate from UCD in 1986. Returning to Davis is “really emotional,” he said.

“I’m so proud and excited to have this event at the place I got my Ph.D. under the guidance of professor Dean Karnopp and professor Don Margolis, who made me who I am now,” Yang said.

Karnopp and Margolis, both professors emeritus, will co-direct the center. Assistant professor Jae Wan Park and Zac Sabato will act as associate directors.

The presence of the company engineers is a boon to the department of mechanical space engineering, which is home to 32 full-time faculty, 150 graduate students and 350 undergraduates.

Said Lavernia: “I cannot over-stress the significance of such industry involvement with higher education, which grants our students and faculty real-world engagement, helps our graduates become better employees, fast-tracks laboratory research to commercial production and ensures that our academic curriculum more precisely serves the needs of the economy and society.”

Hyundai builds hybrid, fuel cell and electric cars, so as problems emerge with new technology, faculty and students will be able to work alongside the company’s engineers to solve them.

The college’s Institute for Transportation Studies works with a who’s who of major auto manufacturers on sustainable transportation issues, but the number of engineers Hyundai has sent to campus is something new.

Its engineers also will be able to get to know engineers from other companies on the “neutral ground” of the campus, Lavernia said.

“There’s a recognition (on the part of industry) that there’s a big need for engineering students and faculty and staff. I think companies are starting to realize that they need to come to the universities,” he said.

The college is currently in talks with an aerospace company about a similar initiative.

Such arrangements also should be a plus for student recruitment. “They see the name, they see the space and they want to work in it,” Lavernia said.

Not that the College of Engineering is sorely in need of help in that regard: This year, it attracted about 11,000 applications for 720 freshman slots and 1,500 for 175 transfer slots.

The campus plans to add 5,000 students by 2020. Because engineering students make up about 16 percent of students, the college likely will make up a similar proportion of new faculty hires, Lavernia said.

A bigger task ahead will be remodeling and adding buildings and other infrastructure, for which state funding has dried up. That’s where corporate partners like Hyundai are likely to play an increasing role, he said.

“That’s the greatest challenge for us and for the campus,” Lavernia said.

— Reach Cory Golden at cgolden@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8046. Follow him on Twitter at @cory_golden

Comments

comments

Cory Golden

Cory Golden

The Enterprise's higher-education and congressional reporter. http://about.me/cory_golden
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Courageous Thompson tapped for cycling shrine

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    UC researchers: How low-water can our landscapes go?

    By Katie F. Hetrick | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Testimony begins in Winters murder trial

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    A-Z: Downtown Davis is the place to celebrate

    By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: C1

     
    Hong Kong protesters to vote on staying in streets

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Cloud business lifts Microsoft’s quarterly results

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Scientists work to save endangered desert mammal

    By Kat Kerlin | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Host families needed for students and teachers from Mexico

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Halloween Dance set Friday for teens

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Yoga and chanting workshop planned

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Downtown menu: coffee, boba tea, dessert

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: C3

     
    Day of the Dead folk art class set

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Flea Market planned Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Enjoy A Taste of Capay at historic ranch

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Red-hot tunes set at Blues Harvest

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Learn how to fill a cornucopia with flowers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Video highlights Props. 1 and 2

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    ‘Homeopathy at Home’ program planned

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Celebrate origami at Davis library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Garden sale and open house features water-wise demos

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C4

    Meet Poppenga at dog park Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Bay Bridge art project needs $4 million to keep shining

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Weir honored, a year early

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Explorit: Poison-proof your home with free lecture

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A6

    For a good cause

    By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A6

     
    Americans, internationals make connections

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    Sutter auxiliary seeks volunteers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    School board hopefuls discuss homework policy

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

    Project Linus seeks donations

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Walkers welcome to join Sierra Club outings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    The magic is long gone

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    What’s next with Ebola?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    More theories on the abstention

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Rights beget responsibilities

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Water returns to its source

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    A solution to the drought

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Experience nature’s treasures

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Subs have other concerns

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    Bump, set, playoffs: Blue Devil girls clinch spot in postseason

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggies expect a bonny meeting in Sacramento

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    DHS footballers take on Pleasant Grove

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Bye No. 2 comes at perfect time for nicked-up UCD

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Shhh. Are Aggie women BWC’s best-kept secret?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    UCD roundup: Preseason awards roll in for Aggie hoopster Hawkins

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sharks suffer from road woes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘St. Vincent:’ Quite a character

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Rumpledethumps to play at Village Homes Performers’ Circle

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    DMTC plans ‘My Fair Lady’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    Czech Philharmonic Orchestra to perform

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Calling all artists for upcoming show

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Business

     
    Car Care: Five things to ask yourself when shopping for a new vehicle

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

    .

    Obituaries

    Lewis Melvin Dudman

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Ann Foley Scheuring

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, October 24, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B3