Honda Research America contributes to success of Denman Undergraduate Research Forum, recognizes work of CAR student

Posted: February 28, 2014

With the 2014 Denman Undergraduate Research Forum just a few weeks away, Honda Research America (HRA) reflects on its support of the program and gears up for participation again this year. In a recent internal newsletter, InSight, the industry partner describes its belief in the investment of education and features the work of Center for Automotive Research student, Luke DeBruin, advised by Marcello Canova.


Making a Difference – [Ohio State's] Denman
By Jim Sotak

At HRA, we believe the impact of investing in education is profound. Education results in raising income, improving health, promoting gender equality, mitigating climate change, and reducing poverty.

For this reason, HRA enthusiastically supports a variety of educational initiatives. One such initiative began in 2009, when HRA began to support The Ohio State University Denman Undergraduate Research Forum.

The Denman Forum, commonly known as the Denman, was created in 1996 to recognize Mr. and Mrs. Denman’s long-time support of the OSU community.  The Denman Forum is a cooperative effort of Ohio State’s Undergraduate Research Office, University Honors & Scholars Center, and Office of Research that seeks to showcase outstanding student research and encourage all undergraduates to participate in research as a value-added element of their education. The event highlights outstanding student innovation and enables students to present the culmination of their research in a unique forum, providing an opportunity to engage with members of academia and industry.

Research areas include agriculture, psychology, social & behavioral science and biological sciences.  Engineering makes up the second largest researched category with 15.9 percent (107 entries) of student participation in 2013.

HRA helps to make this event possible by providing a donation to support the annual forum.  Additionally, HRA associates from across the organization volunteer their time to attend the Denman, engage with students and judge topics related to the automotive industry.

Students interested in participating in the Denman choose a mentor, develop a research topic, and then spend up to two years investigating their research theme.   Ohio State student Luke DeBruin, winner in the automotive category for his research titled Energy and Feasibility Analysis of Gasoline Engine Start/Stop Technology, said, “The Denman provided a unique opportunity that allowed me to share what hands-on engagement in the laboratory taught me about and the current and future technologies in the automotive industry.   It was exciting to be judged by industry leaders and this experience has opened a lot of doors for me.”  Marcello Canova, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and DeBruin’s mentor added, “The Denman is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students to push their own boundaries and to engage industry in fruitful discussions on a variety of technical topics. Such an open exchange of ideas between students and industry leaders is a unique feature of this forum.  I can’t say enough about Honda’s contribution in the planning and organization of this event.”

HRA associate Lara Minor, director of Honda/OSU Relations, has actively supported the Denman for several years.  Minor’s favorite aspect of the Denman is the inspiration she receives by engaging with the many enthusiastic and talented Ohio State students involved in the event.  Minor said, “The level of quality and innovation the students bring to the research is impressive, and the Denman provides the students a forum to engage with industry that would not otherwise be possible.”

In addition to our interest in investing in education, HRA takes advantage of meeting so many new and talented students.  Daniel Saltzmann, an engineer in the HRA-O MR1, originally met Mark Kralevich, an HRA-O MR2’s manager, while a student presenting at the Denman.  Mark said, “We were so impressed with his work that it was an easy decision to bring him into our Honda family.”

The 19th annual Denman Forum is scheduled for Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at Ohio State.  For more information on the event [for Honda employees], or to discuss participation, please contact Lara Minor.


Thank you to Honda Research America for sharing this story.