Below is a Ford Motor Company news release announcing its donation to Purdue University. Links also are provided to background information from Purdue outlining the types of research Ford's financial support helps make possible.
Ford Motor Company donates
The donation will create the Perception Based Engineering (PBE) Laboratory, where researchers will test people's reactions to such things as visual stimuli, sound, temperature and touch. This will aid manufacturer design of engineering and automotive systems for new products. The researchers involved will represent two schools within engineering in addition to psychological sciences and audiology and speech sciences.
"Ford Motor Company is strongly committed to being the global consumer company of the future. Education and experience are the two best tools for preparation," said Wayne Booker, Vice Chairman, Ford Motor Company. "We recognize and encourage Purdue's educational leadership that is so vital to the 21st century's global business community."
The Ford donation also supports interdisciplinary research in robotic assembly systems used in manufacturing and an expansion of laboratory space for the Robot Vision Lab, an ongoing research facility in which Ford previously has invested money and technology.
"On the cusp of the 21st century, applied interdisciplinary research, especially in these still-emerging fields, is one of the keys to a productive future," said Purdue President Martin C. Jischke. "We appreciate Ford's commitment to our research and to our students. Ford and Purdue University make a great team."
The perception-based engineering lab will be part of the Ray W. Herrick Laboratories in the School of Mechanical Engineering. Researchers will be able to control sound, vibration, lighting, temperature, humidity and air quality, simulating realistic environments such as the inside of a car or a workplace. Sixteen faculty members are expected to use the new lab, which should be operational in three to four years. It also will provide research opportunities and training for graduate students. Conditions in the lab will be adjusted to suit many types of research.
"Researchers are interested in how people perceive and are affected by engineered products," said Patricia Davies, an associate professor of mechanical engineering who helped spearhead the effort to raise money for the new lab. "We also are interested in how people perform in environments filled with engineered products, and so we customize the design of the products for the environments in which they are being used. Understanding people's responses will help us create products and environments where people can work well and enjoy themselves."
With this pledge, Ford has committed almost $9 million for Purdue between 1999 and 2004. Last year, Ford gave a $3.8 million donation to Purdue for minority scholarships, the Krannert New Building Campaign and NVH Center of Excellence. Over the past decade, Ford's contributions to Purdue total more than $14 million.
Related web site:
Background research information from Purdue
PHOTO CAPTION 1:
Wayne Booker, a Purdue University alumnus and vice chairman of Ford Motor Co., sits in a chair designed to convey directional information. Booker signals his response to a sequence of vibrations emitted from the chair's back. Assisting in the demonstration, designed to show practical applications of perception-based engineering technology, are, from left, Patricia Davies, associate professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering, Lynne A. Slivovsky, a Purdue doctoral engineering student, and Hong Tan, associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. During a news conference today (1/24) Ford announced a $5 million pledge to further Purdue's research in perception-based engineering and robotics. Innovations such as the chair could alert drivers to potential hazards or give pilots vital directional information to help prevent accidents. (Purdue University News Service Photo by Nick Judy)
PHOTO CAPTION 2:
Wayne Booker, a Purdue University alumnus and vice chairman of Ford Motor Co., receives an autographed commemorative Rose Bowl football from university President Martin C. Jischke. Booker joined Jischke today (1/24) to announce Ford's $5 million pledge to Purdue for interdisciplinary research in perception-based engineering and robotics. (Purdue University News Service photo by Nick Judy)
PHOTO CAPTION 3:
Patricia Davies, associate professor in Purdue University's School of Mechanical Engineering, explains perception-based engineering research during a news conference today (1/24) to announce a $5 million pledge from Ford Motor Co. At left, Avinash Kak, a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, waits to discuss how Ford's funding will help continue his work in robotics. (Purdue University News Service photo by Nick Judy)