Purdue teams up with DENSO to teach undergraduates about autonomous vehicles - Department of Computer Science - Purdue University Skip to main content

Purdue teams up with DENSO to teach undergraduates about autonomous vehicles


In the field of autonomous vehicles, Purdue University researchers are making advancements every day in engineering, manufacturing, data science, and more. Thanks to a grant from leading mobility supplier DENSO, Purdue will soon be bringing these advancements into undergraduate classrooms.

autonomous vehicle

The project is called Undergraduate Student 4.0: A Convergent Training Program for Autonomous Connected Mobility Networks.  “It’s based on Industry 4.0, the new industrial revolution we’re currently experiencing in the realm of connectivity and autonomy,” said Ajay Malshe, R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and principal investigator of the project.

“For autonomous vehicles to succeed, many disciplines need to merge," said John Sutherland, Fehsenfeld Family Head of Environmental and Ecological Engineering, and one of the co-principal investigators of the project.  "Mechanical engineering and manufacturing, sustainability, sensor technology, and computer science and cybersecurity... we plan on integrating all these subjects into the curriculum at the undergraduate level.”

“Cooperation is the key,” said co-principal investigator Dongyan Xu, Samuel D. Conte Professor of Computer Science, and Director of the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS).  “We have many strategic partners, across academic disciplines and across industries.”

"Our interdisciplinary team aims to create learning modules that focus on multiple aspects of autonomous vehicles," said Z. Berkay Celik, Assistant Professor in Computer Science, and co-principal investigator.  "This includes hardware and software infrastructure, smart manufacturing, sustainability, cybersecurity, and the social implications of how autonomous vehicles will operate."

"In addition to classroom development, the project will invite prominent industry and professional society guest speakers," added Malshe, "and will also focus special attention on engaging underrepresented minority students."

They are aiming for a soft launch in the spring 2021 semester, followed by more robust offerings in fall 2021.  “Now is the time for students to get involved in this industry,” said Xu.  “That’s why we’re reaching out beyond engineering, and promoting these classes to other schools like Agriculture, Polytechnic, Science, and more.”

Purdue is working with leaders in the autonomous industry, such as Luminar, to bring new content to the classroom. Luminar is an autonomous sensor and perception technology company that has rapidly adopted more than 40 industry partners, including 12 of the top 15 automotive companies. 

This grant is part of $1.5 million of STEM education grants from DENSO's philanthropic division, DENSO North America Foundation, to 13 North American colleges and universities, designed to develop a skilled and knowledgeable workforce, now and in the future. “We are so thankful to DENSO for partnering with Purdue, enabling our students to get their foundations in this emerging worldwide industry,” said Malshe.


Writer: Jared Pike, jaredpike@purdue.edu, 765-496-0374

Source: Ajay P. Malshe, amalshe@purdue.edu


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DENSO is a $47.6 billion global mobility supplier that develops advanced technology and components for nearly every vehicle make and model on the road today. With manufacturing at its core, DENSO invests in its 221 facilities in 35 countries to produce thermal, powertrain, mobility, electrification, & electronic systems, to create jobs that directly change how the world moves. The company’s 170,000+ employees are paving the way to a mobility future that improves lives, eliminates traffic accidents, and preserves the environment. Globally headquartered in Kariya, Japan, DENSO spent 9.9 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020. For more information about global DENSO, visit https://www.denso.com/global.

In North America, DENSO is headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, and employs 27,000+ engineers, researchers and skilled workers across 51 sites in the U.S, Canada and Mexico. In the United States alone, DENSO employs 17,700+ employees across 14 states (and the District of Columbia) and 41 sites. In fiscal year ending March 31, 2020, DENSO in North America generated $10.9 billion in consolidated sales. DENSO is committed to advancing diversity and inclusion inside the company and beyond – a principle that brings unique perspectives together, bolsters innovation and pushes DENSO forward. Join us, and craft not only how the world moves, but also your career: densocareers.com. For more information, go to https://www.denso.com/us-ca/en/.


Last Updated: Nov 1, 2023 4:26 PM

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