Text books can only take you so far. But complement a student’s textbook knowledge with hands-on problem solving, troubleshooting, teamwork and technical work – now you have an engineer or technical expert ready to develop, improve and build technologies that will help our society.
That’s what the DENSO North America Foundation believes. On Monday, June 20, 2016, the DENSO North America Foundation (DNAF) awarded more than $1 million to 24 colleges and universities across North America. The funds will be used to support advancing education in skilled trades, active safety and robotics programs, student vehicle teams, learning labs and more.
“The best learning experiences are when things don’t work how you expected them to work, or how the text book explained,” said Doug Patton, president of the DENSO North America Foundation and executive vice president of Engineering at DENSO International America Inc. “That’s why we want students to get their hands on technology. They need to get their hands dirty and figure out how things work, how to fix, test and develop technology, how to innovate and think creatively.”
DNAF is the philanthropic arm of global auto parts supplier DENSO’s North American headquarters, DENSO International America Inc. Since 2001, the DNAF has been dedicated to advancing the auto industry through grants to colleges and universities. The foundation provides students with technology, tools and experiences similar to that of the professional workplace they’ll experience after graduation.
“The Foundation not only focuses on engineering programs, but also skilled trades and robots as these are becoming increasingly important in the automotive and technology industries,” said Mike Brackett, member of the DNAF board of directors and senior vice president at DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee. “Many students have an incorrect image of what manufacturing is today. It’s very high tech, interesting and exciting! Through hands-on programs, students can find out if they excel in these much needed areas. These may be the same people who loved to tinker with cars, or take things apart and put them back together; however, until they obtain hands-on experience with robotics or skilled trades, they probably don’t know how they can translate these passions into a career.”
In addition to the foundation’s efforts, DENSO also supports students one-on-one through mentorship, connecting students with DENSO experts to give them a better idea of what being an engineer or technical professional means. DENSO supports programs around the country and the world such as FIRST Robotics, Project Lead the Way and Society of Automotive Engineering Collegiate Design Series. DENSO also has an extensive co-op student program where students are given a high level of responsibility and gain real-world experience.
Congratulations to the 2016 DNAF Grant Recipients:
• Arkansas Northeastern College
• Arkansas State University
• California State University – Long Beach
• Cleveland State Community College
• Conestoga College
• Kellogg Community College
• Kettering University
• Lawrence Technological University
• Michigan State University
• Michigan Technological University
• North Carolina State
• Northwestern University
• Oakland University
• Ohio State University
• Pellissippi State Technical College
• Tennessee College of Applied Technology
• Tennessee Tech University
• Trine University
• University of Detroit Mercy
• University of Kentucky
• University of Michigan – Dearborn
• University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
• University of Tennessee at Knoxville
• Western Michigan University