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Semiannual External Advisory Board meeting highlights CAR strategic partners

Friday, October 28, 2016 saw the participation of nearly 100 industry, government and academic partners in the Center for Automotive Research’s (CAR) semiannual autumn External Advisory Board meeting.

Held at CAR’s 930 Kinnear Road facilities, the core of the meeting included updates from CAR director Giorgio Rizzoni on research initiatives and recent accomplishments. Select staff also provided brief overviews on operations strategies, fiscal analysis, grants management and safety coordination. David B. Williams, dean of the College of Engineering, discussed investments in faculty across the college.

Strategic partners reviewed their interactions with the center and upcoming initiatives. Carla Bailo, Ohio State’s assistant vice president for mobility research and business development presented the Ohio Smart Mobility Initiative, while Mark-Tami Hotta, president and CEO of the Transportation Research Center, Inc. (TRC), provided news and updates from TRC. Meeting guests also heard from Annalies Corbin, president and CEO of new partner the PAST Foundation, which is committed to improving education by promoting transdiciplinary problem-based learning. PAST is located on Kinnear Road just down the street from CAR, and the two organizations aim to join forces to provide hands-on learning experiences for K-12 students and beyond. During the lunch break, guests were offered tours of the PAST laboratory facilities.

A perennial favorite, the morning’s presentations finished with seven student project teams talking about their work over the past year. A new project recently expanding its presence at CAR is the Underwater Robotics Team. Guests enjoyed learning about this team’s autonomous robots, as well as hearing a special report from Venturi Automobiles, the largest sponsor of the Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3. All of the teams are heavily supported by industry partners.

Rounding out the day’s activities was a panel discussion on Columbus: THE Smart City, featuring Carla Bailo; Joanna Pinkerton, co-director Honda-OSU Partnership; and Aparna Dial, deputy director of Department of Public Service, City of Columbus.

At the conclusion of the meeting, attendees were greeted by surprise guest Brutus Buckeye, the university’s famed mascot. This led the way for the beginning of the evening’s 25th anniversary celebration event.