Celebrating ECE

Aug 25, 2009

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm got a tutorial from the faculty and students of ECE and celebrated that a new electronics lab is coming to campus, thanks to federal stimulus money, during the Governor's visit to campus Aug. 19.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm came to campus Aug. 19 to celebrate with the faculty and students of Kettering University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE).  Members of the ECE department, and Kettering officials, greeted Gov. Granholm, showcased recent ECE research and activities and expressed appreciation for the $500,000 that is coming to the University from the federal stimulus money.  The funding is part of $1 billion+ that is coming to Michigan from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Special guest at the event was ECE Professor James Gover, who is the author of Kettering's part of the successful proposal that brought the $500,000 to campus.  Kettering will share in a grant that was awarded to the University of Michigan for the creation of 10 courses on hybrid electronics, batteries and green power. Two laboratories will be developed to support graduate and undergraduate courses, some of which could begin as soon as winter semester.    

Governor Granholm had an opportunity to speak with several Kettering faculty and students about their research in areas such as hybrid vehicle battery technology and LED lighting.  Commenting afterward, Governor Granholm said she wants Michigan to become a national leader in green technologies and alternative energy.  “This is really what the strategic plan of Michigan is all about,” she said.  “We decided that Michigan would be the epicenter of advanced battery technology.  It is a huge deal for jobs.  What a great day for our future – we are all partners in building this state we love so much to be something spectacular,” she added.

 Kettering President Stan Libertysaid the Kettering’s participation in the project is a symbol of the strength that mid-Michigan brings to the state.  “Kettering is pleased to partner with the University of Michigan and the federal government on the advanced laboratories and courses needed to educate tomorrow’s workforce.  Michigan’s university partners will train the next generation of workers in these new technologies."

“We at Kettering are delighted to receive stimulus funding for electric drive vehicle battery and component manufacturing,” said Dr. Michael Harris, Kettering’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “We will partner with other institutions of higher education and with industry to continue our advanced work in education and applied research in the field. This award is a testimony to the capacity of our faculty.”


Dr. James Gover, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said the stimulus money will help in the creation of a new hybrid vehicle power electronics laboratory that will upgrade the teaching of three currently existing hybrid vehicle/power electronics courses at Kettering.  Additionally, the funding will develop two new hybrid vehicle courses, he explained.

“When completed, the State of Michigan will have several universities with leading-edge hybrid vehicle education programs and research facilities.  Hopefully,” said Gover, “this will lead to plug hybrid vehicles assembled in Michigan with the batteries, power electronics, IGBT switches and electric machines all manufactured in our state.” 

Watch video coverage from the Governor's visit.

Read an overview of Michigan’s advanced battery technology.