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Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR)

Center for Automotive Design and Development



Award Amount

$5 million

External Funding Above Match

$10 million

Research Focus

Focuses on the research and design of advanced powertrains for internal combustion engines and hybrid and electric vehicles, along with lightweight design and materials, functional integration and structural dynamics for vehicles.

University Partner

Clemson University

Private Sector Partner

Timken Company, Hertz Corporation, and Duke Energy

CU-ICAR is a worldwide automotive/motor sports research and development campus where university, industry, and government organizations can engage in synergistic collaboration. It is strategically located in Greenville, SC, on the Interstate 85 corridor and in the rapidly growing Southeastern automotive and motorsports region. At CU-ICAR, Clemson University offers the nation’s first PhD in automotive engineering.
This Center researches and advances the fields of vehicular design and development, methodologies and tools for optimizing the design and control of complex vehicle systems. Timken SmartState Endowed Chair Zoran Filipi and his team place particular emphasis on advanced and alternative power trains, including the research of novel engine concepts, alternative fuels, hybrid electric and hydraulic propulsion systems, and a broader area of vehicle electrification.

The approach of the Center for Automotive Design and Development relies on deep insight from scientific experiments to develop predictive multi-physics models as building blocks for system design and optimization. Integrated system simulation tools are used to explore the paradigm-shifting potential of new concepts. Finally, the advanced simulation methodologies and sophisticated experimentation are brought together in the component-in-the-loop and powertrain-in-the-loop facility, so that novel hardware designs can be investigated in the lab under real-world conditions.

Non-state funding has been secured from the Timken Company, which provides automotive industry products and solutions based on friction management and power transmission. The Timken Company is a leading global manufacturer of highly engineered bearings, alloy steels, and related components and assemblies. The technologies and products are an essential part of equipment for power generation, transmission and control. Dr. Filipi's team is working on developing new projects with Timken and a number of other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers aimed at providing solutions for future transportation systems that are capable of addressing the challenges related to energy security and the environment. 

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