Issue: Aug 2006


Timken and Clemson University Announce Endowed Chair for International Center for Automotive Researc



by Steve Barclay

The Timken Company and Clemson University today jointly announced that Dr. John C. Ziegert will hold The Timken Chair in Automotive Design and Development at the Carroll A. Campbell Graduate Engineering Center at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR).

In this role, Ziegert will lead research initiatives in analysis and design of precision machining for automotive applications, and coordinate collaborative research and development projects between the university's research and development resources and Timken's on-site engineering group. Ziegert currently holds the Ebaugh Chair in mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Florida and is the president of Tetra Precision Inc., a Florida-based metrology company.

Timken has announced that it will contribute $3 million to an endowment to support the graduate program at CU-ICAR. With this endowment, Timken becomes a founding member jointly with co-founders and endowment contributors BMW, a German-based automaker, and Michelin, a French-based tire company. Clemson has been approved for $5 million in state funds through the Research Centers of Economic Excellence Act to help support the Timken chair.

Located on a 250-acre site in Greenville, S.C., the CU-ICAR facility is designed as a global center of academic and industry expertise in automobile manufacturing, safety and powertrain development.

"John brings a valuable mix of industry experience and academic leadership to the endowment," said Jacqui Dedo, president of Timken's Automotive Group. "We look forward to working with John to combine the knowledge and innovation of our on-site Timken associates with that of Clemson's R&D community to develop friction management and power transmission solutions that will transform not only the automotive industry, but other industrial markets as well."

"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to join the CU-ICAR team, and am grateful for the generous support of The Timken Company for this chair," said Ziegert. "I look forward to close collaboration with Timken and all of the CU-ICAR partners. Because of the significant investments and visionary thinking of Clemson, the state of South Carolina, and the CU-ICAR corporate sponsors, we have the opportunity to create a truly world-class automotive research and education facility, while developing a highly trained automotive engineering workforce."

Ziegert earned a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering at Purdue University, an M.S. from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island. He started his career as a project engineer at General Motors and has held academic appointments at the University of Hawaii, Brown University, Roger Williams University, the University of Rhode Island and the California Institute of Technology. He joined the University of Florida faculty in 1990.

"John is a top flight engineer and a real pleasure to have on our team," said Dr. Thomas R. Kurfess, holder of the BMW Chair in Automotive Manufacturing and director of the Carroll A. Campbell Jr. Graduate Engineering Center at CU-ICAR. "Heads are going to turn. He's one of the best electro- mechanical systems designers I know and a great team leader. He is an ideal example of what a CU-ICAR faculty member should be in terms of leadership, mentoring junior faculty and students and setting the bar for high-quality research and education."

As a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and past- president of the American Society for Precision Engineering, Ziegert has received many national awards, including the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, which recognizes outstanding young faculty in the fields of science and engineering. He has authored or co-authored more than 80 journal and conference papers, holds three patents, with three more currently pending, and has completed more than $7 million in externally sponsored research grants and contracts at the University of Florida.

At the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research, public and private partners work with the university to develop the technologies, processes and workforce of the future. Anchoring the research center is the Campbell Graduate Engineering Center, which will focus on systems integration -- the increasing complex interaction of electrical, digital and mechanical technologies in automobiles and many other manufacturing platforms.

The Timken Chair in Automotive Design and Development is one of four endowed chairs that will form the academic core of the CU-ICAR project. Clemson is scheduled to begin its new Ph.D. degree program in automotive engineering with an emphasis on systems integration in the fall of 2006 and a M.S. degree program the following year.

Since the groundbreaking, CU-ICAR has generated more than $215 million in investments and pledges from the state of South Carolina, the Clemson University Real Estate Foundation and major industry partners including BMW, Michelin, SAE International, Sun Microsystems and Timken. By summer 2007, the first phase of development - Technology Neighborhood I - will be complete, accounting for more than 500 new jobs. About The Timken Company


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