The World’s Newest Automotive Design School Graduates their first Students!

While the world of automotive design has been busy working on the next great car, a private university in a Detroit suburb has been quietly getting ready to graduate the newest automotive designers.  Not only are these students graduating, but they are having a party and you are all invited (details after the jump).  But before I tell you the details of that top-secret program (and party), let me give you an update of some other great local happenings.  Next week  Tuesday, May 3rd, auto designers from the Detroit area will be competing for The Spinelle(TM) Cup.  If you work for an OEM and haven’t registered yet be quick because race space is severely limited.  Also, if you haven’t already marked it on your calendar, this Saturday, April 30th is the inaugural moped & bike race at the Dorais Park Thunderdrome!  Lots of great things happening in The D over the next several days, it seems spring may have actually arrived.

So just to review; Saturday April 30th is ThunderDrome, Tuesday May 3rd is Designer Night at the Races(TM) and Thursday, May 5th is the Lawrence Tech 2011 Transportation and Industrial Design Show.  Yes, you heard it right; LTU (Lawrence Technical University) now has a full Transportation Design Program and will be graduating its first 4 students next month.  And if you wish to attend their Senior Show, consider this your personal invitation.  Details and a map can be found here.  If you are interested in the soon-to-be-graduates, here’s a little background info to whet your appetite.

Dragonfly concept from Ben Graf

Originally from Sebewaing, MI (click this link to see where it is – don’t be embarrassed, I didn’t know where it was either), Ben Graf is the founder of LTU’s student IDSA Chapter.  Ben also was the lead designer for LTU’s Formula SAE entry.  Ben’s work can be reviewed on his Coroflot site.

Jason Falenski's Sidewinder Concept

Jason Falenski from Berkeley, Michigan is the brains behind the awesome Fordson Sidewinder concept.  This concept was based on the original 1929 Fordson Snow Machine.  While Henry Ford’s original design was basically a tractor on pontoons to aid maneuverability in the snow, Jason’s design is capable of working on sand, mud, snow, and even water.  If you haven’t seen the video, you should check it out here.  Jason has extensive work experience at Ford and returned to school to add a Bachelor’s Degree in Transportation Design to his four Associates Degrees.

Chris Nichols, Electric Motorcycle Concept

Another student graduating is Chris Nichols, who is fresh off his second place in the recent Steel Wheels Design Competition.  Chris interned last summer at Chrysler where he had the chance to experience the product development process at their Technical Center.  Chris previously worked on the Wounded Artist Project, and you can see him describe his military vehicle concept in this video.

Interior concept from Taylor Manuilow

Last but not least is Taylor Manuilow, another Michigan resident.  Taylor comes from a whole family of artists, and grew up getting creative (and messy).  Taylor originally planned to pursue a career in anthropology, until she read an article about industrial design and hasn’t looked back yet.  Check out her sketches on her blog or visit her website.  So if you are interested in seeing their work in person, come to the show:

If you are interested in seeing more of these students’ work, click here.  And check back next week for the results from Designer Night at The Races #19!

About Frank Schwartz

Frank Schwartz is the founder of CarFriend.me and Advanced Automotive Consulting Services, partner in The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment and serial entrepeneur. A long time automotive enthusiast, Frank started reading car magazines at the age of 8 and has spent 30+ years working inside the automotive industry. In his spare time Frank races with the Sports Car Club of America, spends time working on his numerous project cars and supports many local charities.
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2 Responses to The World’s Newest Automotive Design School Graduates their first Students!

  1. Brian Baker says:

    Looking forward to seeing the final work form the students at Lawrence Technological University’s new design program!
    B.B.

  2. Pingback: Top 10 – The Year in Review | thesupplierblog

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