Ford, UM-Dearborn create new summer internship program

July 21, 2017

The Ford Innovation Alliance’s Ford Faculty Internship is a new initiative to foster future research collaboration.

Focused on advancement, UM-Dearborn and Ford Motor Co. are partnering this summer to foster future research collaboration.

The Ford Innovation Alliance’s Ford Faculty Internship is a new initiative in the university’s longstanding relationship with the multinational automaker. The program invites a select group of faculty to work with Ford’s technical staff.

Five faculty were selected to participated in the program because their backgrounds fit Ford's top research priorities in automation, cyber security, software quality, data science and power electronics.

UM-Dearborn faculty participants are: Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor Stanley Baek, Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Associate Professor Yung-wen Liu, Computer and Information Science Associate Professor Brahim Medjahed, Electrical and Computer Engineering Associate Professor Hafiz Malik, and Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor Samir Rawashdeh.

Faculty participation in the summer internship program provides the opportunity to learn first-hand about current challenges in the auto industry and to apply their expertise to generating new and innovative solutions, said UM-Dearborn Campus Director for Research John Cristiano.

“These collaborations will provide the understanding and basis for the development of future proposals to the Ford Innovation Alliance. These projects fund research that benefits Ford and involve students who can be part of a talent pipeline to Ford,” he said. “In addition, the expansion of the network of faculty that have experience and personal connections within Ford and whose technical expertise can be leveraged by Ford on current and future research problems, serves to further deepen the relationship with UM-Dearborn.”

The program also helps build connections between UM-Dearborn faculty members and their colleagues in the automotive industry. The internship, which isn’t project based, has the goal to explore potential research topics with Ford collaborators who share common technical interests and network with the research community at Ford.

Amy Skehan, University Program Manager, External Alliances, Research and Advanced Engineering at Ford, said one of the strengths of the Ford Innovation Alliance is the depth of the relationships that have been created between researchers at Ford and the faculty.

“Ultimately, the goal for this partnership is for Ford researchers to develop new relationships with faculty experts at UM-Dearborn, leading to opportunities for Alliance projects that yield technological advancements vitally important to the evolving industry needs.”