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

Automotive Systems Integration



Award Amount

$5 million

External Funding Above Match

$5 million

Research Focus

Automotive diagnostics and prognostics, sustainable mobiltiy, concepts, methods and tools. Deriving a simple, flexible energy management control strategy for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

University Partner

Clemson University

Private Sector Partner

BMW, Mazda, GM, and others

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.
Systems integration, the testing of vehicle systems and their components to ensure efficient and safe operation, is the unique focus of CU-ICAR’s research and education efforts. The graduate engineering program is designed to meet the complex needs of the worldwide automotive industry and ultimately of consumers by conducting cutting-edge research into the process of integrating the many systems and people that result in the automobile of today and of the future.

Leaders at BMW and their supplier companies have noted an industry-wide need for systems integration engineers. In order to serve this critical need, BMW committed itself as the major nonā€state partner for this endowed chair, which serves as the linchpin of the CU-ICAR faculty positions.

SmartState Chair Dr. Paul Venhovens’ research concentrates on the following six areas: sustainable mobility; safer mobility; diagnostics and prognostics; vehicle architectures; concepts, methods and tools; and Deep Orange.

The Deep Orange project allows CU-ICAR graduate students to create a vehicle from scratch over the course of two years, from blank sheet to market aspects to review of quality-related elements to a physical prototype launch, validation and evidence book. The pilot project produced a “GenY Cool” automobile, an extended-range electric vehicle with a novel seating concept and open-architecture infotainment system designed specifically for the millennial market segment.

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