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WMU and Eaton open hybrid testing lab

Oct. 7, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Battery and hybrid electric vehicle drive testing in West Michigan took a significant leap forward today, as Eaton Corp. and Western Michigan University formally opened the new CAViDS Hybrid Electric Applied Research Lab.

Housed in WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the unique new lab is designed to be one of Michigan's premier battery and hybrid electric vehicle drive testing facilities. The lab is part of WMU's celebrated Center for Advanced Vehicle Design and Simulation--CAViDS.

The total cost for the lab's development and first year of operation comes in at just over $1 million, with the majority of that support coming from Eaton. The new facility will provide a location where the hybrid electric drive business group at Eaton and WMU's engineering college can collaborate to promote innovative ideas and research solutions for challenges associated with commercial and military hybrid drives.

According to Dr. William Liou, professor of mechanical engineering and director of WMU's CAViDS, the focus of the new lab will be on systems integration--looking at how well things work when they are put together in the same vehicle.

Launched in 2006, CAViDS was formed at WMU to provide breakthrough applied computer simulation technology and knowledge to the vehicle industry in the area of vehicle design and analysis. Eaton is a charter member of the CAViDS consortium, along with Dana Corp.; L-3 Communications; MANN+HUMMEL USA; the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center in Warren, Mich., which is known as TARDEC; and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is located in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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