DENSO Foundation Awards Grant to AState’s Engineering Dept.

JONESBORO – The DENSO North America Foundation has presented grants to 22 higher education institutions across the country, including Arkansas State University’s Department of Engineering.

The DENSO Foundation provides the grants to help better prepare students to join the manufacturing industry’s growing skilled trade workforce.

Dr. Shivan Haran, associate professor of mechanical engineering at A-State and director of the program, will direct the work to be funded by a $50,000 grant to the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Technology.

Industries use automation and control devices and systems to run various aspects of manufacturing and production, according to Haran.  The demand is growing rapidly for engineers who can design, manufacture and operate this equipment.

“The mechanical engineering program is in the process of developing a robotics and controls lab in order to facilitate student learning in these areas,” Haran said in his project proposal.  “The aim of the lab is for students to develop and increase their knowledge and understanding of automation, robotics and control systems in industry.”

In addition to making engineering graduates more prepared for the job market, A-State is helping industry meet its need for more engineers who are well qualified in automation and controls.

Arkansas State has been partnering with one of DENSO’s U.S. manufacturing facilities in Osceola for several years, with students filling internships and professional positions.  This is the third consecutive year the DENSO Foundation has made a grant to engineering education at A-State.

“This type of project-based and hands-on learning allows the engineering students to understand basic concepts in robotics and controls, design, assembly and programming,” Haran added.  “Throughout the lab classes, the students will work in groups to solve engineering problems related to the project at hand.”

Supporting the communities DENSO serves and providing resources for the next generation of technical workers to succeed are core to DENSO’s success, according to Doug Patton, president of the DENSO North America Foundation and executive vice president of engineering at DENSO International America, Inc. To fulfill these promises, DENSO’s philanthropic arm – the DENSO North America Foundation (DNAF) – funds programs each year that provide hands-on learning opportunities in areas from robotics and thermodynamics to design and materials development.

“Innovation throughout the manufacturing industry will continue to produce more growth opportunities for students in skilled trades and technical fields,” Patton continued.

The proposal process for these education grants is by invitation only, and all proposals are evaluated based on technical merit, student experience, and alignment with industry needs.

A registered 501(c)3 corporate foundation, the DENSO North America Foundation is dedicated to helping students advance their education in engineering, technology and other related programs. Founded in 2001, the Foundation provides grants to colleges and universities throughout North America, helping communities prosper through the development of a skilled and knowledgeable workforce.

DENSO Corp., headquartered in Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, is a leading global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics and information and safety. Its customers include all the world’s major carmakers. Worldwide, the company has more than 200 subsidiaries and affiliates in 38 countries and regions (including Japan) and employs more than 150,000 people.  The company employs more than 23,000 people at 30 consolidated companies and affiliates across the North American region, including Osceola.

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