The Institute for Advanced Vehicle Systems (IAVS) is an institute within the College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS). It consists of a director and an administrative assistant and is joined by faculty and students who participate in the activities of IAVS when their research interests are congruent with those of IAVS. IAVS funds and conducts applied research in advanced vehicle systems in the areas of product development and manufacturing.
The institute's focus is on "systems," especially those related to the design, development and manufacturing of complex vehicles. The goal of IAVS is to conduct research related to body and chassis systems, manufacturing processes, and integration with powertrain systems.
IAVS is wrapping up its first "driving project", the creation of a Low Mass Vehicle (LMV). Over thirty LMV research projects have been conducted including four still in process. Other IAVS research projects include the development of parametric models for advanced vehicle design, human factors research using the IAVS driving simulator, and the development of thermal spray technology and tools for rapid prototyping.
The Institute was created directly as a result of the vision of Heinz Prechter. The Institute for Advanced Vehicle Systems was established through a grant of $500,000 from the World Heritage Foundation--The Prechter Fund. Since then other companies and organizations have provided additional funding to support the work of the Institute.
Part of Heinz Prechter's goal was to create partnerships among universities worldwide. Through the support of the World Heritage Foundation IAVS created Prechter Fellowships for New Manufacturing at Aachen University, the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and the College for Creative Studies (CCS). There have been three World-Heritage Fellows to date, one each from Aachen University in Germany, UM-Dearborn, and the College for Creative Studies.
IAVS and CCS have conducted cross-disciplinary automotive design classes, known as the Automotive Design Studio. The purpose of the Automotive Design Studio is for engineering and industrial design students to learn and work together in a project-focused team environment and gain hands-on experience in the advance design of major vehicle systems.