Hyundai Center of Excellence dedicated at UC Berkeley

June 12, 2013 by Karen Rhodes, Berkeley Engineering

The Hyundai Center of Excellence in Integrated Vehicle Safety Systems and Control was dedicated on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering. Officials from Berkeley Engineering and Hyundai Motor Group formally opened the center during ceremonies in Hesse Hall.

Professors Karl Hedrick and Francesco Borrelli, along with Dean Shankar Sastry and Woongchul Yang of Hyundai, dedicate the Hyundai Center of Excellence at UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering. (Photo by Preston Davis)

“Here, our best faculty are working with Hyundai’s best engineers to design the car of the future,” said S. Shankar Sastry, dean of engineering at UC Berkeley. “We are proud to have Hyundai as partners in this effort.”

Hyundai, the largest automotive group in South Korea and the fourth-largest in the world, signed a memorandum of understanding in August 2012 with UC Berkeley to establish the center. A parallel effort is underway at UC Davis.

“This is a great opportunity to combine Hyundai’s mastery of the art of automotive engineering with Berkeley’s strong history as the world’s preeminent institution in the control and optimization of dynamic systems,” said J. Karl Hedrick, professor of mechanical engineering and co-director of the center along with Francesco Borrelli, associate professor of mechanical engineering.

“Even after just six months, this collaboration is yielding innovative designs and technologies for vehicles that are optimized to be safe to drive, fuel-efficient and high-performance,” said Hedrick.

Seven Hyundai engineers are currently at UC Berkeley to conduct research. Hyundai is providing financial support for graduate student researchers and has also provided a fuel cell electric vehicle for use in research.

“This center will not only train our engineers but also spur the excitement and passion of engineering students at UC Berkeley by giving them exposure to industry,” said Woongchul Yang, vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group and head of the R&D division. “I have no doubt that the best control engineers will be produced through this joint effort – engineers who will take great leadership in developing more intelligent and safer vehicles.”