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Detroit Green

As previously mentioned [1] by AIA Executive Director Malcolm A. Kline, federal funding of higher education often drives the latter’s priorities.

No surprise, then, that Wayne State University’s [2] new degrees in electric-driven vehicles are “funded by a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy,” according to Jake Lingeman on Autoweek.com [3].

“The programs are scheduled to launch in the fall,” he writes this May. “They are a bachelor of science in electric transportation technology, a master’s of science in electric-drive vehicle engineering, and a graduate program in electric-drive vehicle engineering.”

“WSU started its alternative-energy technology program in 2000 and sees it as an important focus going forward.”

According to the University’s website, the Department of Energy grant came from stimulus funds.

“An increase in consumer demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles and the auto industry’s efforts to comply with the 2020 CAFE standards have created a sense of urgency for electric-drive vehicle education,” states the May 6 press release [4]. “In addition, the U.S. auto industry is developing vehicle propulsion systems that will reduce emissions today and provide a platform for further technological advances in the future.”

Corporate Average Fuel Economy [5] (CAFE) standards are a Congressional creation.

The Recovery.gov website lists [6], for the January 1 through March 31 period, the WSU “project” as “Less Than 50% Completed” with 4.13 “Jobs Created”: a technician, two research assistants, one adjunct professor and a principal investigator [7].

The adjunct professor, Dennis A. Corrigan, has worked at WSU since 2008, according to his faculty page [8]. One research assistant listed, Dr. Kapila Wadumesthrige, as well as the principal investigator [9] Ka (Simon [7]) Ng, both appear on this 2008 scholarly paper [10] which associates them with WSU. And the former can be seen listed as WSU staff in this 2007 web page archive [11].

Craig DiMaggio, the other research assistant, is listed [12] on another faculty member’s page as a coauthor for two November 2009 papers.

The grant was awarded on December 30, 2009, according to Recovery.gov.

Bethany Stotts is a staff writer at Accuracy in Academia [13].