DENSO’s office space at U-M’s North Campus Research Complex.

Building on their Master Research Agreement and their Mcity Leadership Circle membership, automotive technology company DENSO co-located at the University of Michigan in 2017 to work side by side with U-M researchers and students. In addition to new research projects, this arrangement has supported new Multidisciplinary Design Program projects and created 18 new paid summer internships for undergraduate, Master’s and Ph.D. students.

“This has been an amazing opportunity to first learn from and then work with industry and see how we  can use that knowledge in practical situations. We do projects in class, but they are in a controlled environment. Here, the problems we face are new and don’t have a set answer. We collaborate and work together and learn so much at DENSO,” shares Bhavika Jalli, a masters student in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Before establishing their lab, the company sometimes struggled when recruiting summer interns for their Southfield office. By co-locating at U-M, DENSO was able to easily fill 18 internship positions and rotates interns between Ann Arbor and Southfield by providing a daily shuttle for the students.

Rajesh Malhan, DENSO’s Director of North American Research & Development says, “DENSO’s goal is to provide students with the opportunity to have a holistic experience. DENSO provides high computing power, gives students the chance to think of new ideas, develop new algorithms, test them in a driving simulator, and implement them in a vehicle at Mcity. Our focus here is on running strong student programming.”

In addition to the student engagement, the DENSO lab has also supported collaborations with Michigan Medicine, the College of Engineering, and U-M Transportation Research Institute.