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VW, UTK expand three-year-old partnership
The plans call for more than 10 new joint research projects through 2025, more Ph.D. fellowship and internship positions at Volkswagen, dedicated guest lectures with Volkswagen senior experts, and additional student engagement programs starting in October.
More exciting news on the mobility front.
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) and Volkswagen Group of America Inc. have announced plans to accelerate their longstanding research partnership through new programming.
Building on the program’s initial success of executing more than 25 joint research projects over the last three years, both partners plan to kick off more than 10 new joint research projects through 2025, introduce more Ph.D. fellowship and internship positions at Volkswagen, establish dedicated guest lectures with Volkswagen senior experts, and create additional student engagement programs starting in October.
“The future of mobility is happening in Tennessee — and it’s happening now,” said UTK Chancellor Donde Plowman in a news release. “That’s why we are grateful to partner with a global industry leader like Volkswagen to bring together the real-world experience of the industry and the expertise of our state’s flagship research institution. Together we are developing the technologies that will transform the automotive industry and build the workforce of the future. We are excited about the new opportunities ahead.”
The long-standing partnership was formalized in 2020 with the establishment of the Volkswagen Innovation Hub Knoxville, located on the UT Research Park at Cherokee Farm, and recently celebrated its third anniversary. Teams within the hub are developing composites for car body parts that are lighter yet stronger and paper-based materials for interior designs; advancing vehicle electrification, including new wireless charging concepts; and creating upcycling concepts and processes for materials conventionally deemed nonrecyclable, such as fiber-reinforced composites.
“We are leveraging the ingenuity and innovation of the Tennessee Valley,” said Pablo Di Si, President and Chief Executive Officer of Volkswagen Group of America, who recently moved to Chattanooga. “Through our great partnership with the University of Tennessee, we are driving Volkswagen’s vision to build more sustainable transportation for all. Additionally, engaging with leading research institutions in Tennessee and across the United States also helps to source engineering talent for Volkswagen.”