Innovation & Design

Conceptual Collaborations


Students from Detroit's College for Creative Studies and University of Michigan have unveiled the results of the 18th annual American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) summer automotive design internship. Three engineering students joined three transportation design students to produce concept vehicles that targeted either Generation X, Baby Boomers and the Millennial generation.

The concept vehicles embody leading-edge steel technology utilizing a flexible platform. The design students learned about the concerns of the engineers, and the engineers learned how to support new design ideas. The concepts evolved through two distinct perspectives to create a harmony of product concept and mechanics. Each student had the opportunity to collaborate in the production of a car and learn about the 'rapid to market' concept.

Sathish Dhandapani, Alex Alequin, Carrie Fodor, Aditya Rajderkar, Byung Cho, Sungchul Choi.

Throughout the internship, AISI scheduled field trips for the students to demonstrate behind-the-scenes steelmaking and vehicle manufacturing. Field trips to steel mills, stamping plants, engineering facilities and design studios provided opportunities to witness the various production stages involved in creating a vehicle. With guidance from AISI steel-applications specialists and professional automotive designers, students learned the design and engineering potential of steel to increase their understanding of how to work with the material.

"The AISI internship allows the students to experience working with flexible manufacturing processes and materials to meet the design requirements shaped by the automotive industry," said Bryon Fitzpatrick, chairman, Transportation Design for CCS. "Students gain a breadth of knowledge in new steel applications and incorporate design elements that can be used to meet future needs such as safety, affordability, and fuel efficiency."

Cadillac Entourage - a sport luxury sedan

Designed by Alex Alequin and engineered by Sathish Dhandapani.

Cadillac Entourage

Baby Boomers are known as the wealthiest, best-educated and most sophisticated of buyers. The exhilaration of freedom and adventure is seen in their love for the water. This is the group that can afford to have a yacht. Using this as inspiration, the Entourage concept brings together the Boomers' desire for luxury and their love of the water. Alex explains: By implementing high-strength steels strategically around the greenhouse, I was able to provide safe protection for the passengers while maintaining the unique design aesthetics that promote the wants of the Baby Boomers. With the advancements in high-strength steels, I was able to wrap around a two-layer hydroformed steel structure for the upper. It gave me the freedom to design a glass upper that frees the passengers of unnecessary structures and confinement."

Land Rover Carver

Designed by Byung Cho and engineered by Sungchul Choi.

Land Rover Carver

Inspired by extreme sports, the Carver fits the lifestyle of Generation Y - a vehicle that captures the personality of this group; a vehicle that conveys adventure and performance, even while stationary. Strength, safety, and the versatility of advanced high-strength steels transform this crossover into a full all-terrain vehicle. Stamped advanced high-strength steels increase the dent resistance of the body panels. Under the body panels lies a hydroformed high-strength main body frame, giving the Generation Y owner peace of mind when it comes to crash performance and safety. The exposed raw materials of the body frame, seen throughout the vehicle, provide design versatility. The roof rack serves as both form and function. The Generation Y owner is able to utilize the space and the steel rack increases the safety and roof crush standards. The exposed steel would be hydroformed high-strength steel, laser-welded to increase the maximum strength, and would be coated to give a brushed-steel finish.

Volvo Stal Concept

Designed by Carrie Fodor and engineered by Aditya Rajderkar.

Volvo Stal Concept

Safety takes priority for Generation X. Carrie explains "I wanted my vehicle to illustrate how safety could be applied to a future vision without sacrificing creativity, design or fun. My design incorporated a solid structure boasting fluidity, simplicity and honesty - a 'less is more' stylistic design." With a purely electric powertrain package, along with the light weight and recyclability of the advanced high-strength steels, this vehicle accommodates the environmentally conscious Generation X consumer. The hydroformed frame structure reduces weight and cost of manufacturing by consolidation of components and accomplishes the same functionality with less material. The laser-welded blanks are used to improve the strength and rigidity of the body and door panels.


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