University Adjusts Automotive Technology Program to Focus More on Plug-In Vehicles; Starts Hands-On Education


Students Work on Donated Smith Electric Truck

Students Work on Donated Smith Electric Truck

With plug-in vehicles quickly gaining popularity, several universities across the nation are updating educational programs to include the plug-in.

Working on a Plug In

Working on a Plug In

The latest to follow this path is the University of Central Missouri (UCM).

UCM has modified its Department of Automotive Technology Management program to keep pace with the emerging electric vehicle technology.

UCM’s program is focused mainly on repairing and maintaining vehicles, but there’s some advanced machinery there now that can be utilized to run a full battery of tests on plug-ins.

Jack Ireland, an instructor in the UCM Automotive Technology Department, states:

“They actually get to do some trouble shooting and functional tests and things like that with the car.”

Of course, tests can’t be conducted without vehicles.  In steps Smith Electric, who donated one of its electric trucks.  Matt Smith of Smith Electric says donating the truck makes sense in more ways than one:

“This is a development vehicle so it helps us in our research and development for future trucks current trucks.  We’ve had opportunities we wouldn’t have had without them and vice versa.”

UCM’s program is a full four-year degree deal, so we’re sure it’s rather extensive in its coverage of all things automotive, but it’s obvious from this statement made by Bobbie Bradley, a junior at UCM, that the focus is now on electrics:

“The future is electric hybrid propulsion and that’s one thing this school is geared towards.”

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2 Comments on "University Adjusts Automotive Technology Program to Focus More on Plug-In Vehicles; Starts Hands-On Education"

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What would you say to a university who is looking at Fuel Cell technologies as a field of study? Wasting time or doing good? I kind of think it is wasting time unless they can develop a fuel cell which can convert hydrocarbons (gasoline) into energy without burning it. I believe the University of Maryland is working on that.

I followed a 18-wheeler this morning hauling Liquid Hydrogen. Followed it carefully, of course, but wondered if that really would be a viable way to transport H2 to stations for re-fueling? The energy contained in a truck full of liquid H2 seems to be comparable to a truck full of gasoline – however, costs at least 2 times as much per Gallon-equivallent.

Our company hires a lot of new college graduates for programming positions. It astounds me how few schools teach Internet programming skills — even basic ones. I’m glad to see at least one college that is paying attention to current industry trends!