Automotive Interprofessional Projects (IPRO®) Program at Illinois Institute of Technology 2005-01-3465
The Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Interprofessional Projects (IPRO®) Program engages multidisciplinary teams of students in semester-long projects, with a total of thirty to thirty-five different projects offered every semester. This program greatly contributes to IIT's signature undergraduate education experience, with each interprofessional course delivering a team-oriented, project-based requirement within the undergraduate curriculum. Among its many benefits, each interprofessional course offers students the opportunity to integrate the education and research environment of the university to tackle real-world problems. In the process, students get the chance to develop and emerge from the experience with maturity, confidence, and valuable professional skills that are highly sought after in the workplace, simultaneously preparing them for the realities of today's global, highly-competitive environment . One such interprofessional project series, advanced automotive power systems, introduces students of various disciplines to the increasing role of electrical systems in emerging automotive platforms. This IPRO project offers them a smart, hands-on approach to numerous research and technology applications of more electric cars (MEC). Increasing use of electrical power to drive automobile subsystems, which historically have been driven by a combination of mechanical and hydraulic power transfer systems, is seen as a dominant trend in advanced automotive power systems today. This trend manifests itself through the MEC concept, which requires highly reliable, fault-tolerant, and cost-effective electrical systems. This paper describes the significance of the IPRO program at IIT to its undergraduate students and introduces one such project series focused to the applications of electrical systems in advanced automobiles.