The U.S. Department of Energy is looking to dish out up to $5 million in funds to Graduate Automotive Technology Education (GATE) Centers of Excellence. GATE Centers, which have been established at universities and colleges throughout the U.S., focus on educating the next generation of engineers in developing and commercializing advanced automotive technologies.

This time around, the DOE is looking to fund GATE Centers with graduate level engineering programs offered in these four areas of automotive technology:
  • Advanced combustion engines
  • Lightweight materials
  • Advanced energy storage
  • Advanced hybrid propulsion and control systems
Energy secretary Steven Chu summed up the goal of the DOE's GATE program in a statement:
Given the challenge and the enormous economic opportunities in clean energy, it's time for America to do what we do best: innovate. With educational investments like the GATE Centers, our future scientists and engineers will gain the expertise to develop and deploy the next generation of advanced vehicle technologies, helping to ensure America has the workforce we need to win the future.
Applications for DOE funding must be submitted through Grants.gov prior to April 18th.

[Source: U.S. Department of Energy]
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DOE Announces Up to $5 Million to Support the Next Generation of Advanced Automotive Designers and Engineers

February 16, 2011

Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced up to $5 million in funding to support Graduate Automotive Technology Education (GATE) Centers of Excellence. The GATE Centers will focus on educating a future workforce of automotive engineering professionals who will gain experience in developing and commercializing advanced automotive technologies. Today's announcement supports the administration's goal of increasing American economic competitiveness by focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education to support job growth and put the nation on the path to out-educate and out-innovate the rest of the world. The funding will also help to achieve President Obama's ambitious goal of putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015-which would reduce America's dependence on foreign oil and lead to a reduction in oil consumption of about 750 million barrels through 2030.

"Given the challenge and the enormous economic opportunities in clean energy, it's time for America to do what we do best: innovate," said Secretary Chu. "With educational investments like the GATE Centers, our future scientists and engineers will gain the expertise to develop and deploy the next generation of advanced vehicle technologies, helping to ensure America has the workforce we need to win the future."

The GATE Centers of Excellence will provide graduate level inter-disciplinary education in critical automotive technology areas including:

* Advanced Combustion Engines
* Lightweight Materials
* Advanced Energy Storage
* Advanced Hybrid Propulsion and Control Systems.

The goal of the GATE Centers for Excellence is to overcome technology barriers to the development and production of cost-effective, high-efficiency vehicles for the U.S. market. The awards will fund curriculum development and expansion, in addition to student fellowship opportunities for graduate engineering degrees in critical automotive technologies. Award eligibility is restricted to U.S. colleges and universities and university-affiliated research institutions with accredited graduate engineering programs.

See more information on DOE-sponsored GATE Centers for Excellence. A description of the solicitation, eligibility requirements, and application instructions can be found on the FedConnect website under Reference Number DE-FOA-0000442. Applications must be submitted through Grants.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on April 18, 2011.

DOE's Vehicle Technologies Program is focusing on meeting tomorrow's transportation challenges with an integrated portfolio of advanced vehicle and fuel research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities. For more information on the Vehicle Technologies Program, please visit the Vehicle Technologies Program website.

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