Hyundai Research Agreement with UC Davis, UC Berkeley Kicks Off Long-Term Partnership With Leading Universities, Companies

– Hyundai signs MOU with UC Berkeley and UC Davis to establish ‘Hyundai Center of Excellence’

– MOU kicks off first project of ‘Hyundai RD Global Frontier’ program designed to cultivate its brightest RD engineers, create next-gen automotive technology

– Other projects in the program include collaboration with Applus IDIADA, Ricardo, AVL, Stanford University

September 2, 2012 – Hyundai Motor Group, South Korea’s biggest automotive group, signed a memorandum of understanding with two of America’s greatest research universities – University of California, Berkeley and University of California, Davis — to establish the ‘Hyundai Center of Excellence.’

The MOU ceremony launches the first collaboration project in Hyundai’s larger RD joint research and professional development program, called ‘Hyundai RD Global Frontier.’ This long-range program is designed to strengthen Hyundai Motor Group’s fundamental RD competency by working with the world’s leading universities and companies.

“Collaboration with top-tier partners will accelerate our technology development to go beyond the level of global premium carmakers,” said Vice Chairman Woongchul Yang, head of Hyundai Motor Group’s RD Division. “Based on such advanced technologies, we will develop world-class vehicles that convey Hyundai’s own philosophy as well as its distinctive emotions.”

Vice Chairman Yang, UC Berkeley College of Engineering Dean S. Shankar Sastry, and UC Davis College of Engineering Dean Enrique J. Lavernia attended the ceremony in Berkeley,California, on August 31.

Hyundai is improving its RD on an organizational level and the Hyundai RD Global Frontier program is a key element of the effort. Hyundai RD is also revolutionizing its talent recruitment and professional development programs. For example, the Hyundai Global Top Talent Forum established last year changes the way applicants are interviewed and nurtured throughout their careers. Hyundai’s Research Fellow Program provides a track for outstanding senior research engineers to become executive-level research fellows in specific areas of technical expertise.

The first project of the Hyundai RD Global Frontier Program establishes Hyundai Center of Excellence at UC Berkeley and UC Davis, world leaders in automotive engineering and technology research. Through this initiative, select Hyundai engineers will join top researchers at both universities to work on vehicle dynamics and integrated vehicle safety systems. The Center of Excellence will conduct research projects aimed at making Hyundai vehicles safer, better-handling, and more fun to drive.

“The center we are establishing between Hyundai Motor Company and UC Davis is an outstanding model for industry-university partnerships,” said Enrique J. Lavernia, Dean of the College of Engineering at UC Davis. “This is a fantastic opportunity for our campus to further develop our research leadership in the transportation field, as demonstrated by the achievements of our notable faculty.”

“Our best faculty will work closely with Hyundai’s best engineers to create the car of the future,” said S. Shankar Sastry, Dean of the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley. “This is a very fruitful partnership, drawing upon next-generation thinking about information systems, communications, and design as well as automotive technology.”

The Hyundai RD Global Frontier program aims to raise RD competitiveness at an organizational level by immersing its best engineers in the world’s best research institutions from six months to two years to conduct advanced research and development.

Each RD engineer will be given research assignments to produce technological innovations that will be incorporated into future Hyundai vehicles.

The Hyundai RD Global Frontier project launches with research projects in eight automotive fields including ride and handling, NVH (noise, vibration and harshness), crash-worthiness, Advanced Safety Vehicle (ASV) technologies and advanced material technologies. This year Hyundai will collaborate with 22 industry leaders in business and academia.

Business partners include Spain-based Applus IDIADA, U.K.-based Ricardo and Austria-based AVL. Hyundai will also work with elite research institutions, including UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and Stanford University.

Hyundai RD Global Frontier partners were chosen carefully: The business partners have deep experience enhancing the performance of leading premium automakers. The California universities enjoy close ties to Silicon Valley and its history of developing cutting-edge technology. Hyundai Motor Group plans to expand the number of partners and fields of research under the Global Frontier program over the next few years.

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