MSU automotive research in Detroit


(bass guitar, upbeat lead guitar, drums) – Detroit. It’s not called the
Motor City for nothing. Automobiles are important here. To help keep driving Detroit
and America into the future, Michigan State University
researchers are exploring ways to make cars lighter
and more fuel efficient in the most historic area
of Detroit, Corktown. – This location is particularly convenient because of the access to
the highways and so forth. And plus this whole area is booming, and so we’re excited to be a part of that. – [Jen] These engineers
specialize in composite materials, lightweight materials that
are combined with a plastic that binds them together
making them even stronger. Think of a carbon fiber golf
club or a tennis racquet. – You start looking at
applications in vehicles, if you can reduce the
weight of the vehicle by 50 to 60 percent, which
our studies have shown, you can expect great
improvements in efficiency as a result of that. – [Jen] Because of its expertise, a few years ago, MSU
was tapped to be part of The Department of Energy funded Institute for Advanced Composites
Manufacturing Division. MSU is the lead partner for
the Vehicle Technology Area. – Well, because of the
long term investment that MSU has made in composites, we had a very deep and
wide pocket of expertise that covered everything
from the atomic level to the macroscopic level. – What we’re doing in this facility is helping scale up
technology from what might be typical in a laboratory environment, which means we can make,
let’s say, a lift gate or a fender or a hood or
something of that magnitude that a commercial partner can actually put on a vehicle and test it. – And in order to do that, you need some not only the expertise, but also some advances in the area, and that’s what we’re all about. – [Jen] And automobiles
are just the beginning. What will be created
in this facility could have applications in a variety
of industries in the future.