• CAAT Webinars

    Instructor Roundtable: Electrifying the Automotive Classroom

    August 19, 2021

    Ben Cruz, Director, and Nelson Kelly, Assistant Director of the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology at Macomb Community College (MCC), joined Curt Ward, NACAT President, Justin Morgan, Chair of Automotive Technology at Sinclair Community College, and Ken Mays, Professor of Automotive Technology at Central Oregon Community College, to share their experiences of delivering education on electric vehicles. They explained how they got from concept to delivery, overcoming many challenges along the way. A question and answer session is included.

    Learning Objectives:
    The goal is for the audience to understand:

    • Why electrify the classroom
    • What are the standards
    • How to incorporate into the curriculum

    Target Audience:
    The target audience is community college and high school automotive educators.

    Ben Cruz
    Ben Cruz Director CAAT

    Benigno (Ben) Cruz, is Director of the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT) at Macomb Community College (MCC).

    Prior to joining CAAT on July 1, 2019, Ben was a Senior Engineering Group Manager responsible for the GM Climatic Wind Tunnels and the HVAC Laboratories. He was responsible for vehicle development and validation testing in wind tunnels capable of replicating extreme environments and drive conditions for validation testing. Ben Retired from GM March 29, 2019.

    Ben also had past assignments at GM Mexico where he was responsible for construction, staffing and start up of a Proving Ground in Mexico. Ben also had an assignment as Engineering Development Manager at the Desert Proving Ground in Arizona.

    Ben Holds a B.S.E. from Arizona State University, and an MBA from University of Phoenix.

    Nelson Kelly
    Nelson Kelly Assistant Director CAAT

    Nelson Kelly is Assistant Director, Energy and Automotive Technology, for the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT) at Macomb Community College. He is responsible for technology assessments, curriculum development oversight, managing seed funding contracts and materials, and conducting periodic webinars and outside presentations. Those curriculum materials in emerging automotive technologies such as electrified powertrains, connected and automated vehicles, and lightweighting are disseminated via CAATs web site to educate automotive technicians in the latest automotive advancements that contribute to increasing the energy efficiency and reducing the environmental impact of vehicles.

    Prior to joining CAAT, he was a research scientist for 35 years at the General Motors Research and Development Center in Warren, Michigan. From 2000 to 2012 he developed solar-powered systems for the generation and compression of hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles and the direct DC charging of battery electric vehicles. After joining Macomb Community College, he taught three new courses in the Electric Vehicle Development Technician program. Each of the courses was developed and taught for the first time at Macomb Community College.

    Nelson has a B. S. degree in Chemistry from Miami University (Ohio) and a Ph. D. in Physical Chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University.

    Curt Ward
    Curt Ward NACAT President

    Curt Ward brings over 35 years of talent, experience and automotive knowledge to his work. Curt is an automotive professor at Joliet Junior College. He has co-authored two textbooks with James Halderman for Pearson Education and has presented at numerous conferences across North America.

    Curt has an Associates of Applied Science in Automotive Service Technology from Southern Illinois University. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Organizational Communications from North Central College. He earned his master’s degree in Adult Education at the University of Phoenix.

    Curt is an ASE Master Automotive Technician and “L1” Advanced Engine Performance certified. He is also certified in “F1” Alternate Fuels, “A9” Light Vehicle Diesel Engines and “G1” Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair.

    Ken Mays
    Ken Mays Professor Automotive Technology COCC

    Ken Mays has been teaching courses in COCC's Automotive Technology Program for 25 years and has directed the program since 1998. It is a joy, he says, to see what students do with their knowledge and experience.

    His favorite courses to teach are those that encompass an array of scientific principles, mixed with mechanical and electrical applications. I especially enjoy the areas of ignition, fuel injection, computer controls and emissions that tie together into diagnostic routines, says Ken. These areas are a challenge, and I enjoy working with students on these complex situations.

    Ken was instrumental in initiating the formation of a nonprofit consortium that includes seven other community colleges. The mission of this group is to improve the growing auto tech readiness gap and improve continuing education opportunities for technicians.

    Justin Morgan
    Justin Morgan Chair Automotive Technology SCC

    Justin Morgan is the Chairperson of Automotive Technology at Sinclair Community College.

    He has a Master's degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from the University of Dayton, and a Bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.


    T3e Webinar: Preparing Students for Careers that Use New Transportation Technologies

    February 27, 2019

    Robert Feldmaier, Director of the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology at Macomb Community College (MCC), will present on automotive technology information provided to future automotive technicians at MCC. Mr. Feldmaier will relate how the rapidly changing automotive technologies, including the new technology that will be added to Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to improve driver and passenger safety, continuously present challenges to educators.

    Learning Objectives:
    The goal is for the audience to understand:

    • Why there is such interest in autonomous vehicles
    • How the technology works
    • What the remaining challenges are
    • How this affects education

    Target Audience:

    The target audience includes educators, anyone employed in the autonomous vehicle industry and related industries, those involved in government and policy related to autonomous vehicles, and any practitioners interested in an overview of autonomous vehicles and how it relates to today’s technical education.

    Robert Feldmaier
    Robert Feldmaier Director

    Mr. Feldmaier is the director of the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT) at Macomb Community College. Prior to joining the CAAT in August 2012, Mr. Feldmaier was an independent automotive consultant advising companies such as ABB, ECOtality, and Ducker Worldwide. He also served as a chief engineer at Tesla Motors from October 2008 to July 2009, where he was responsible for Model S.

    Mr. Feldmaier retired from Chrysler Corporation in 2008, where he was a chief engineer for 22 years. His responsibilities included total product and program management for his product lines, managing $1.5 billion in program spending. He led the electric vehicle program for three years, creating the EPIC minivan. Later as minivan chief engineer, he led the Stow ’n Go seat program. In his last assignment, he put the first Chrysler hybrid electric vehicles into production. Mr. Feldmaier also worked at Volkswagen for seven years.

    Mr. Feldmaier holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from Wayne State University. He is on the Purdue Alumni Association Board of Directors. He is a registered Professional Engineer and a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, where he serves on several electric vehicle committees. He sits on the Michigan Alliance for Greater Mobility Advancement Governing Board, the Macomb Community College Automotive Technology Advisory Board, the Wayne State University Technology School Industry Advisory Council, and the United Methodist Church Pension and Health Care Board.


    Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles: The Other Electric Vehicle

    August 23, 2016

    When most people think about electric vehicles they envision a vehicle with batteries and electric motors. However, there is another type of electric vehicle in which the electricity does not come from a battery but instead comes from a fuel cell. The fuel cells being considered for vehicle applications use hydrogen to store the chemical energy that is converted to electricity for the electric motors. Many major manufacturers have programs to develop hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), but the lack of a hydrogen fueling infrastructure has dramatically slowed their introduction in the United States, as well as the rest of the world. This webinar describes how proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells use hydrogen gas to generate electricity, compares PEM fuel cells to batteries and internal combustion engines, and highlights recent exciting developments in FCEV for sale in the United States. A wide range of opinions exist in the automotive industry as to the best route to electrification, however it is unclear whether any electrification route will significantly displace the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine in the near future. The strengths and weaknesses of standard internal-combustion vehicles and the different types of electrified vehicles with respect to the environment, energy-efficiency, and convenience are highlighted in this webinar.


    Nelson Kelly
    Nelson Kelly Assistant Director

    Dr. Nelson A. Kelly is the Assistant Director of CAAT. He began at that position in October 2015. He also developed and taught three new courses as part of an Electric Vehicle Development Certificate program that began in January 2013 at Macomb Community College. Prior to that he was employed at General Motors Research and Development Center, working in the areas of environmental science, vehicle emissions, and renewable energy, including electrolytic hydrogen generation, storage, and dispensing to FCEV. He has authored approximately 60 technical articles, 15 patents, and most recently, a book chapter on hydrogen production by water electrolysis.

    John Frala
    John Frala Instructor
    Rio Hondo

    John C. Frala, MAED, Accredited Alternative Fuels Associate of Science degree by Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE)
    S.T.E.M. level, Higher Education with a focus on renewable/sustainable technologies.
    4 year BA degree in Automotive Technology offered Fall 2017
    NSF/ATE grant funded #1501735 Alternative Fuels technician program.
    First/Second Responder training, stationary and transit.
    Specialties: Alternative Fuels Education, CNG,LNG,LPG,Bio fuels, Electric Vehicles, Fuel Cell Vehicle technology, Hydrogen fuel development, mobile Solar Electric vehicle charging and Green vehicle applications. Stationary Hydrogen Fuel cell power generation and back-up power storage systems.


    The Technology of Automated & Connected Vehicles

    Aug 26, 2015

    Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT) of Macomb Community College hosted a webinar on August 26, 2015, entitled “The Technology of Connected, Automated, and Self-Driving Vehicles.” Many of the technologies required to enable automobiles to be self-driving and connected in multiple ways to other vehicles, the cloud, and roadside infrastructure, are already here, and will become even more complex and advanced in coming years.

    The webinar laid out the basic definitions and concepts needed to understand the remarkable changes coming as automobiles become more like robots and also essential elements of the ever-growing “network of everything.” The webinar was presented in four sections:

    1. Doug Fertuck, Assistant Director for Energy and Automotive Technology, Macomb Community College, presented an overview of the affected industries and of the technologies, including definitions of the many new associated terms.
    2. Bob Feldmaier, Director of CAAT, summarized the latest views of these technologies by industry leaders.
    3. Miguel Hurtado, PhD, of Valeo North America, a multinational supplier of automotive systems and components, covered the perspective of a major industry technology company.
    4. The webinar concluded with a discussion by the presenters of the skills that will be required by technicians in the field of automated and connected vehicles.
    Bob Feldmaier
    Robert Feldmaier Director, CAAT
    Doug Fertuck
    Doug Fertuck Assistant Director
    Miguel Hurtado
    Miguel Hurtado, PhD Technology Transfer Liaison

    The webinar provided time to answer any questions you may have about these technologies and to discuss how you may access or develop curriculum to prepare students for careers in these industries.

    Industry Presenter:

    Dr. Miguel A. Hurtado
    System Engineer – Advanced Driving Assistance Systems
    Valeo Comfort and Driving Assistance Systems

    Dr. Miguel A. Hurtado is Systems Engineer of Advanced Driving Assistance projects for Valeo’s Comfort and Driving Assistance (CDA) Business Group in North America. In this role, he proposes solutions to diverse complex problems requiring analytical and quantitative techniques. He also supports camera monitor systems per North America regulations, statistical sensor fusion applications, and automated parking systems initiatives.

    In his previous assignment as R&D Engineer, Dr. Miguel A. Hurtado supported technology transfer of Camera Monitor Systems Technology, sensors, and automated parking system between Valeo Europe (Germany, France, and Ireland) and Valeo North America. Prior to joining Valeo North America, he held various positions within Valeo Germany in Bietigheim where he started as Product Engineer for Switches and then moved to sensors and radars. He grew to research and radar engineer, developing his technical knowledge and then became Business and Technology Analyst as part of the team leading the Camera Monitor System Initiative and Intuitive Driving.

    Dr. Miguel Hurtado holds a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University. He also holds a M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a M.S. in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management, where he is a fellow of the MIT Leaders for Global Operations Program (MIT LGO). He also graduated from from Télécom ParisTech. (Paris, France) with a Master’s degree in Digital Signal and Image Processing. Dr. Miguel Hurtado received a B.S. in EE from Universidad de las Américas Puebla, Mexico.

    Valeo is an automotive supplier, partner to all automakers worldwide. As a technology company, Valeo proposes innovative products and systems contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions and to the development of intuitive driving. In 2014, the Group generated sales of €12.7 billion ($16.7 billion) and invested over 10 percent of its original equipment sales in research and development. Valeo has 133 production sites, 50 research and development centers and 15 distribution platforms and employs 78,500 people in 29 countries throughout the world. Valeo is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange and is a member of the CAC 40 index.

    For more information about the Valeo Group and its businesses, please visit valeo.com.


    The Future of Automotive Technology:
    Keeping Your Curriculum Up-to-Date

    October 2, 2014

    Energy! Safety! Emissions! The economic and societal impact of the automotive industry on these issues is vast. Automotive technology is changing rapidly in response to these concerns. Is your curriculum preparing students to be ready to work in these advanced technologies?

    The subject of this webinar, presented by the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT) was how the CAAT can support keeping your automotive, electronics, and IT curricula up-to-date. The CAAT’s recent renewal through 2017 as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Center includes changes in its technical scope, adding new technologies: vehicle lightweight design and automated vehicles. These presentations documented the need for improved curricula in these technical areas. The CAAT also continues to focus on vehicle electrification and propulsion systems. In addition, the webinar included highlights from the 2014 CAAT Conference, held earlier this year, which addressed the future of automotive technology as presented by several well-known industry experts.

    As part of the webinar, we solicited proposals to apply for the additional seed funding the CAAT now controls to develop curricula in these subjects. The seed funding portion of the agenda included brief presentations from two current seed funding project developers so that potential applicants can understand better the types of projects suitable for seed funding support.


    Bob Feldmaier
    Robert Feldmaier Director CAAT
    Sherri Doherty
    Sherri Doherty Assistant Director CAAT
    Doug Fertuck
    Doug Fertuck Assistant Director CAAT
    Charles Standridge
    Charles Standridge Prof & Associate Dean
    Shannon Williams
    Shannon Williams Career Technical Education
    Utica Community Schools

    Seed Funding Presenters:

    Charlie Standridge is the assistant dean of the Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing at Grand Valley State University. He is leading the CAAT Seed Funding Grant, “Educational Modules Concerning Processes for Remanufacturing, Repurposing and Recycling of Batteries.” In addition, he is principal investigator on a related grant funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation and by the Michigan Department of Transportation investigating remanufacturing, repurposing, and recycling of lithium-ion batteries used in vehicles. He is also providing research leadership on a U.S. Department of Energy grant investigating the wind energy potential in Lake Michigan using floating laser wind sensor technology. He teaches in the energy area as well as production operations. As assistant dean, he is responsible for student advising and K-12 outreach activities. He received his undergraduate degree in computer science from Washington University in St. Louis and his graduate degrees in industrial engineering from Purdue University.

    Shannon Williams has been a teacher in Utica Community Schools for 11 years. In her 11 year span she has spent 9 years in the classroom teaching Career & Technical Education (CTE) courses such as Microsoft Office, Website Development, Accounting, Finance, and Business Law. As a classroom teacher, Shannon routinely developed curriculum for her content area as well as served as the CTE department chair. In 2012, Shannon was asked to move into the position as CTE Teacher Leader. In this capacity she oversees all curriculum, resources, and budget items associated with CTE for Utica Community Schools. This encompasses 44 teachers, 16 career pathways, 4 high schools, and one satellite building. Shannon has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s degree in business administration.


    Preparing Technicians for Careers in Advanced Mobility

    April 17, 2014 / 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

    This FREE webinar discussed how the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT), a National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Center, provides curricula in advanced automotive engineering technology for middle-skill technicians by:

    • Working closely with industry to identify future education and training requirements
    • Funding projects to develop new curricula demanded by industry
    • Housing and disseminating the latest curricula to schools


    Bob Feldmaier
    Robert Feldmaier Director, CAAT
    Doug Fertuck
    Doug Fertuck Assistant Director, CAAT
    Sherri Doherty
    Sherri Doherty Assistant Director, CAAT