The College of Engineering and Computer Science created the Institute for Advanced Vehicle Systems to conduct applied research in product design, development and manufacturing of advanced vehicle systems. The Institute's focus is body, interior, chassis and electrical/electronic systems design and engineering as well as the creation of innovative design, engineering and manufacturing processes and methods.
The Prechter family's World Heritage Foundation began supporting programs in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the UM-Dearborn more than a decade ago. Heinz Prechter, philanthropist and founder of the ASC was an exceptional friend of the college and for years provided insight, guidance, and support that helped shape the direction of the school. He had a vision that CECS would become a leader in creating new systems for manufacturing and automotive industries. That vision became a reality with the creation of the Institute for Advanced Vehicle Systems (IAVS). Since then IAVS received additional funding and support from leading companies and institutions including DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors, ArvinMeritor, BorgWarner, Visteon, and Lear, and the American Plastics Council.
The State of Michigan provided $22 million to construct a new engineering building for IAVS. The new building opened in the fall of 2006. IAVS houses laboratories, offices, conference rooms, an auditorium, and other facilities. It expands IAVS' capabilities and offers industry the chance to have a specialized lab there that provides a low-risk and accessible environment for research benefiting students, faculty, and their own engineers.