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The Maryland Center for Automotive Research and Testing (MCART) and the University of Maryland entered an Educational Partnership Agreement with the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) in Aberdeen, Maryland in April. Present at the April agreement signing ceremony at the ATC were University President C.D. Mote, Jr., Dean of the School of Engineering Naramin Favardin, and Chair and Professor of Mechanical Engineering Avram Bar-Cohen in addition to ME faculty Greg Schultz, Professor Balakumar Balachandran, Associate Professor Linda Schmidt, and Professor Edward Magrab. Also present were Brian Darmody and Rae Grad of the Office of the President of UMD.

The agreement will aid UM students by encouraging and enhancing study in automotive engineering and test technologies. As of mid-April, up to five students, including two each from Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, will be hired to assist research and development at the ATC through the agreement. An additional part of this agreement awarded Professor Balakumar Balachandran $125,000 to carry out research at the ATC to help provide guidance in the areas of rigid body dynamics, controls, and develop requirements and specifications for ATC's proposed Vehicle Durability Simulator (VDS).

MCART is managed by ME lecturer Greg Schultz, who teaches the ENME 489V Vehicle Dynamics course, and is the advisor for the Formula One SAE racing team and mini Mini Baja vehicle project, which are part of the ENME 408 course.

The agreement recognizes the importance of education to the future and economic well-being of the nation, as well as the importance of the resources of the ATC to business, industrial, and educational institutions in Maryland and the United States.

Under the partnership, MCART will:

Provide access to people, data, programs and facilities;

Be a virtual resource for automotive engineering, testing, research, education, and technology demonstration;

Provide the opportunity for participation in collaborative research in the disciplines mentioned above.

Following the signing, the visitors were given a demonstration of the roadway simulator, the largest automotive simulator for vehicle dynamics in the world. After the simulation the tour proceeded to the Munson Test Area, an automotive field test area consisting of 9 miles of roadways and test courses encompassing 150 acres.



April 15, 2005


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