Kennesaw State Receives Grant to Cultivate Innovation in Automotive Industry

KENNESAW, Ga. | Jul 17, 2019

Funds will aid program to train future engineers

Kennesaw State University was recently named among a handful of universities nationwide to receive a grant from DENSO, the world’s second largest mobility supplier, for a program designed to cultivate industry-ready engineers.
The $30,000 grant, which is made possible by the company’s philanthropic arm, DENSO North America Foundation (DNAF), is one of 26 grants awarded to colleges and universities in 2019. The donations are part of DENSO’s broader efforts to cultivate tomorrow’s workforce and prepare young thinkers to lead a new era of innovation.
Grants were awarded to programs focused on design, materials management, mechanical and electrical engineering principles, thermodynamics, robotics and more. With the grant, the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology will purchase new state-of-the-art equipment, such as LiDAR devices and other robotics, to incorporate into its new makerspace. Led by Kevin McFall, interim chair of Kennesaw State’s Department of Mechatronics Engineering, and Mohammed Aledhari, assistant professor of computer science, students will be tasked with creating a series of step-by-step tutorials on how to use the equipment and discover novel applications for the technology.
“This creates a massive opportunity for our students to explore topics like autonomous vehicles beyond what is typically offered in the mechatronics engineering curriculum,” McFall said. “What we hope is that this will show our students the practical applications of their studies while also providing the automotive industry with a steady pipeline of work-ready engineers.”
DNAF has supported STEM education through grants at colleges and universities since 2001, enabling students to access tools, technology and experiences that better prepare them for technical careers after graduation. DENSO education grant proposals are invite-only and evaluated based on technical merit, student experience, and alignment with industry needs.
“Investing in tomorrow’s workforce is critical to ensuring we have individuals who are equipped to help DENSO fulfill its vision of creating software and products that enhance safety and reduce environmental impact,” said Bill Foy, senior vice president of Engineering at DENSO and a DENSO North American Foundation board member. “Through these grants, we hope to create a generation of innovators who inspire new value for the future of mobility.”

—Travis Highfield

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit