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Automotive industry reps to meet at WMU

June 1, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Automotive companies from around the region will gather on the Western Michigan University campus Friday, June 9, to learn more about how computer simulation can help them boost competitiveness.

Hosted by the University's Center for Advanced Vehicle Design and Simulation, the CaViDS 2006 workshop is set to run from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the Parkview Campus. The event is by invitation only, with invitations having been extended to automotive manufacturers across Southwest Michigan.

Formed earlier this year, CAViDS aims to provide breakthrough applied computer simulation technology and knowledge to the automotive industry, especially in the areas of vehicle design and analysis. The center is the industry "window to WMU," according to its director, Dr. William Liou, professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering.

An introduction to the center and WMU faculty, the workshop will feature presentations on current research initiatives under way and cutting edge technology available through the engineering college. More than 60 participants are expected from all size companies, and they have been asked to share their immediate and long-term technology needs in such areas as engineering analysis, computer modeling and simulations.

"We've seen an incredible outsourcing of labor-intensive manufacturing jobs," said Liou. "To help prevent that from happening in knowledge-based jobs like engineering and design, we want to leverage to university's intellectual resources to help companies stay competitive. We've worked with automotive companies for many years, but this is an effort to move forward more cohesively and coherently."

Liou added that one of the most important workshops objectives is to form an industrial consortium within CAViDS. "This is a unique opportunity for automotive companies in the area to focus the University's applied research resources to match their current and future needs," said Liou. "That will make everyone involved more successful."

Dana Corp. and Eaton Corp., two frequent University partners in research and other projects, will both display their wares during the event, in the form of three massive truck trailers that sport their latest technologies and innovations.

For more information or to request an invitation to the event, those interested should contact Dr. William Liou at william.liou@wmich.edu or (269) 276-3430.

Media contact: Jessica English, (269) 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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