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

Automotive Manufacturing



Award Amount

$5 million

External Funding Above Match

$15.9 million

Research Focus

To reinvent the vehicle production system through developing processes inspired by car designs (transitioning from design-for=Manufacturing thinking to Manufacturing-for-Design), and augmenting existing process capital through smarter model-based control and applying energy fields to overcome material limitations. The guiding goals of this research are to improve productivity, reduce downtime, enhance quality, and more effectively integrate the human to the emerging digital information network.

University Partner

Clemson University

Private Sector Partner 


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.
The SmartState chair in Automotive Manufacturing leads the efforts of CU-ICAR to develop novel micro-electromechanical systems technologies for manufacturing as well as to improve the efficiency of manufacturing large, complex objects.

Scientific discoveries include the development of an apparatus that simulates the effects of contaminants, soil, and lubrication on rotating machinery such as gears, wheels and fan blades.

In 2010, this Center began working with American Titanium Works to build a team to study up-armored civilian vehicles using titanium armor rather than steel armor. Since inception, this Center has received more than $1.8 million in federal and private research funding.

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