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General Motors and the University of Michigan smart materials and structures collaborative research laboratory
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Paper Abstract

The field of Smart Materials and Structures is evolving from high-end, one-of-a-kind products for medical, military and aerospace applications to the point of viability for mainstream affordable high volume products for automotive applications. For the automotive industry, there are significant potential benefits to be realized including reduction in vehicle mass, added functionality and design flexibility and decrease in component size and cost. To further accelerate the path from basic research and development to launched competitive products, General Motors (GM) has teamed with the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan (UM) to establish a $2.9 Million Collaborative Research Laboratory (CRL) in Smart Materials and Structures. Researchers at both GM and UM are working closely together to create leap-frog technologies which start at conceptualization and proceed all the way through demonstration and handoff to product teams, thereby bridging the traditional technology gap between industry and academia. In addition to Smart Device Technology Innovation, other thrust areas in the CRL include Smart Material Maturity with a basic research focus on overcoming material issues that form roadblocks to commercialism and Mechamatronic System Design Methodology with an applied focus on development tools (synthesis and analysis) to aid the engineer in application of smart materials to system engineering. This CRL is a global effort with partners across the nation and world from GM's Global Research Network such as HRL Laboratories in California and GM's India Science Lab in Bangalore, India. This paper provides an overview of this new CRL and gives examples of several of the projects underway.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 April 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6527, Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2007, 65270U (11 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.715334
Show Author Affiliations
Diann Brei, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Jonathan Luntz, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
John Shaw, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Nancy L. Johnson, General Motors Corp. (United States)
Alan L. Browne, General Motors Corp. (United States)
Paul W. Alexander, General Motors Corp. (United States)
Nilesh D. Mankame, General Motors Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6527:
Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2007
L. Porter Davis; B. K. Henderson; M. Brett McMickell, Editor(s)

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