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'Critically Important': Michigan Mobility Institute, Wayne State University Partner On Advanced Mobility Curriculum

Dustin Blitchok

The Michigan Mobility Institute expects next-generation driving technology — autonomy, electrification, connectivity —  to create 100,000 jobs in the mobility sector in the coming decade. 

The organization announced the world’s first advanced mobility education curriculum for the sector Tuesday in partnership with Wayne State University’s College of Engineering in Detroit. The aim: to teach the skills that will be needed for those 100,000 jobs.

The organizations said in a joint Tuesday announcement that they’ll begin developing programming to power mobility careers in the months ahead. 

“In bringing industry and academia together, we can accelerate workforce development, upskilling programs and post-secondary degrees,” Michigan Mobility Institute Executive Director Jessica Robinson said in a statement. 

Building Next-Generation Mobility In The Motor City

The Michigan Mobility Institute and Boston Consulting Group concluded that the national demand could outstrip supply by six times for engineering graduates with the skills required for mobility careers.

Kim Trent, the chair of the Wayne State Board of Governors, said in a statement that the partnership with the Michigan Mobility Institute could help extend Detroit’s 100 years of history in mobility innovation into the 21st century and beyond. 

“I couldn’t be more thrilled that the futurists behind the Detroit Mobility Lab and the Michigan Mobility Institute have chosen Wayne State as their partner. This Institute will make our university a world leading center for cutting-edge thinking and leadership for this critically important emerging sector.”

Wayne State’s College of Engineering offers a graduate certificate in cyberphysical systems, a program in electric drive vehicle engineering and a newly developed master of science degree in data science and business analytics. 

“Together we are poised to create something very special as we embark on a shared mission to create the premiere institution focused on educating the mobility engineer of the future,” Farshad Fotouhi, the dean of the College of Engineering and computer science professor, said of the Michigan Mobility Institute partnership. 

‘The Tools To Build And Win’ 

When Benzinga last spoke with Chris Thomas, the president and co-founder of the Detroit Mobility Lab, he said Detroit and Michigan were just as — if not more — important than Silicon Valley in the development of next-generation mobility. 

In the less than a year since the organization’s mobility talent effort launched, it’s become clear that both employers and educators understand the need to come together, Thomas said in Tuesday’s announcement. 

“Now is the time for leadership, and we feel privileged to be at the forefront of equipping the mobility engineer of the future with the tools to build and win.”

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Photo courtesy of Wayne State University. 

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