COOKEVILLE – The announcement of new electric vehicle production and battery facilities as Ford Motor Company expands into Tennessee is exciting for Tennessee Tech University researcher Pingen Chen, Ph. D., who has been working on the development of electric vehicle technology.
“The goal of Tech’s electrical vehicle program is to develop a workforce for a rapidly changing industry,” Chen stated.
Chen established the Automotive Powertrain and Emissions Control Laboratory at Tech, focusing his research on various automotive systems including electric vehicles. Chen has also served as an expert voice as the university developed its vehicle engineering program.
“That is very unique in the state of Tennessee and the nation, developing a workforce to serve the rapidly changing automotive sectors,” Chen said. “It’s to not only serve in the conventional vehicle sector, but also the electric vehicle sector as well as automated and connected vehicle sectors.”
In the next five to 10 years, the economy of Tennessee has been projected to grow in these areas and Tech graduates will have the knowledge and resources to fill the industry need for an experienced workforce.
Between his electric vehicle research and automated and connected vehicle research, Chen keeps his students on the right track for learning and experiencing the cutting-edge technology in the automotive industry.
“As we experience the global warming issues and to fight energy crisis, electric vehicles have become big players in the automotive industry,” Chen explained. “I have adapted myself from conventional vehicle-related research to electric vehicle-related research. My goal now is to understand how an electric vehicle can impact society through fuel saving and diverse fuel resources.”
According to Chen, “Electrical vehicles are becoming the future in mechanical engineering and there has been a mega shift from the conventional vehicle to electrical arenas. Along with these improvements, the advancement of vehicular technology provides a solution to help alleviate the ongoing climate change problem.”
Chen looks forward to working with this new technology and its potential to produce more opportunities for Tennessee Tech students and alumni.