From GameAbove: GameAbove funds research engineer position at Eastern Michigan University to expand focus on autonomous vehicle technologies

3-year, $500,000 gift to GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology to foster public-private collaborations and transform mobility landscape

Photo illustration of a person's hands around a digital image of an autonomous vehicle

YPSILANTI, Mich. – GameAbove today announced a $500,000 gift to the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) to fund a senior research engineer position and expand exploration for the advancement of autonomous, connected-vehicle technologies and mobility solutions.

The donation will enable the senior research engineer over a three-year period to expand and align curriculum, lead connected-vehicle research, and prepare students for future jobs in a rapidly expanding marketplace. Additionally, the new position strengthens EMU’s opportunities to work with industry partners and create research projects for real-world solutions and applications. The senior research engineer will lead a team of faculty and students to collaborate directly with private companies and the American Center for Mobility (ACM) on autonomous vehicle projects.

“Southeast Michigan is fast becoming a dynamic hub for advancements in mobility and all forms of autonomous vehicle development. Engineering is at the heart of connected vehicles, so it is natural that a university like Eastern Michigan houses a key research position in this field,” said Khalid Walton, a GameAbove advisory board member. "With our continued focus on rising technologies such as cybersecurity for connected and autonomous vehicles and select aviation specialties, the addition of this position is another step forward in having these dynamic programs recognized nationally as the best in the country."

The research position follows similar contributions by GameAbove to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the greater Southeastern Michigan region. This includes a recent $5 million gift to the University’s College of Engineering and Technology as it opens a renovated building, as well as making available to EMU faculty, students and alumni the GameAbove Capital $50 million impact fund. Leading autonomous vehicle companies, such as Perrone Robotics and Local Motors, are either expanding research operations into the region or looking to EMU for collaborations.

“We are very grateful for the ongoing commitments by GameAbove to our college, our students and our programs. This senior engineer position will play a critical role to both inspire our students as well as develop the level of collaboration with private industry that results in real-world solutions,” said Mohamad Qatu, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology. “The future of urban mobility and driverless technologies will come to life at EMU.”

GameAbove, a dynamic group of EMU alumni, provides a wholistic and next-generation approach to support Eastern Michigan, to stimulate contributions from other alumni and enterprises, and to foster new ideas and additional strategic planning for a University with a rich history that has graduated tens of thousands of successful students.

About GameAbove
At GameAbove, our primary focus is to help shape, inspire and support the current and future students of Eastern Michigan University by reaching new heights in learning through transformation and inspiration in the educational experience. Together, we will strive for that next level of success with a GameAbove all others. The GameAbove family of organizations will also help improve the higher education experience by exploring and supporting the use of innovative financial models to sustain universities, creative giving within the community, enhancing the campus environment, elevating athletics, and promoting pioneering academic programs.

Media contact for GameAbove:
Denis Wolcott, 213-200-1563,

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 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; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; 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.

May 24, 2021

Written by:
Denis Wolcott

Media Contact:
Denis Wolcott