Eastern Michigan University joins American Center for Mobility in collaborative effort on education, workforce development

Newly formed ACM Academic Consortium of EMU, 14 other Michigan educational institutions will contribute to fulfilling needs for growing mobility industry

Eastern Michigan University joins American Center for Mobility in collaborative effort on education, workforce development
Eastern Michigan University joins 14 other Michigan educational institutions in partnership with the American Center for Mobility (ACM).
Pres Smith and Gov Snyder at AMC signing
From left, Wade Tornquist, associate provost & associate vice president for graduate studies and research; Mohamad Qatu, dean of the College of Technology; Gov. Rick Snyder; EMU alum and former U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater; EMU President James Smith.

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University is joining 14 other educational institutions across Michigan in partnering with the American Center for Mobility (ACM) in the creation of an Academic Consortium at ACM to train the next generation of high-tech talent at the state-of-the-art connected and automated vehicle technologies (CAV) facility in Southeast Michigan.

EMU President James Smith signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the consortium during a ceremony this morning at the ACM facility, located at Willow Run Airport.

“Eastern’s degree programs in information assurance and cyber security, among the most highly regarded in the state, will be an important component of the autonomous vehicle industry in the years ahead,” said Smith. “Our expanding efforts in related technologies such as mechanical engineering, virtual reality, deep-skilled robotics, and simulation and animation also will play a significant role.”

ACM and the Consortium will partner to create educational pathways to train and prepare students to support automated vehicle testing and implementation. The members will work together to identify workforce courses and training programs as well as recruitment opportunities, internships, co-op and work study programs for Academic Consortium students

EMU President James Smith signs a Memorandum of Understanding during a ceremony at the American Center for Mobility.

EMU will be joining the 14 other educational institutions in supporting the ACM's mission, with Mohamad Qatu, dean of the EMU College of Technology; and Wade Tornquist, interim associate vice president for graduate studies and research, serving as Eastern’s representatives to the Academic Consortium. 

The consortium is focusing on four areas – higher education, workforce development, Public & K-12 and research. Qatu and Tornquist are chairing the Public & K-12 group, with a key goal of tying ACM to economic development through outreach leading to STEM careers.

“We are proud to partner with Michigan’s world-class academic institutions to ensure we have the top talent needed to lead this automotive and technological innovation,” said John Maddox, president & CEO of ACM. “This first-of-its kind collaboration will solidify Michigan’s place as a global hub for CAV technologies and future mobility, as well as ACM as an incubator to address the specific needs of industry to drive the future of transportation.”

Eastern's degree programs in information assurance and cyber security will be an important part of the autonomous vehicle industry, says President Smith. 

Gov. Rick Snyder joined ACM and academic leaders Monday morning to celebrate the formation of the Academic Consortium as a major milestone in the state’s efforts to attract, retain and develop the workforce that will design and build the connected and automated vehicles of tomorrow.

“As the automotive industry continues to evolve, it’s critical for Michigan’s economy and our future that we have the best workforce possible to continue leading this reinvention,” Snyder said. “The Academic Consortium at the American Center for Mobility represents the exact convergence of talent and education necessary to keep Michigan at the forefront of the automated vehicle movement."

Members of the Academic Consortium include: Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Kettering University, Lawrence Technological University, Macomb Community College, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Oakland University, University of Detroit Mercy, University of Michigan, University of Michigan Dearborn, Washtenaw Community College, Wayne County Community College, Wayne State University, and Western Michigan University.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 22,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

About ACM
The American Center for Mobility is a non-profit testing, education and product development facility for future mobility, designed to enable safe validation and self-certification of connected and automated vehicle technology and future mobility, and to accelerate the development of voluntary standards. ACM is one of 10 U.S. DOT designated Automated Vehicle Proving Grounds in the U.S. ACM is also part of PlanetM, a collaborative that represents Michigan’s unique and vast ecosystem, connecting resources and opportunities for its consortium of members.

Made up of industry, government and academia, partners in PlanetM share the common goal of leading the development of smart solutions that will change the way people and goods are transported across all modes of transportation. To learn more about how Michigan is leading the transportation revolution or to become a member, visit the PlanetM website. To learn more about ACM, visit the Center for Mobility’s website.  

October 16, 2017

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Geoff Larcom