In yet another indication of the growing connect between industry and academia, global automotive technology supplier Valeo has set up a Centre of Excellence (CoE) at the Vellore Institute of Technology’s (VIT) Vellore campus.
The French supplier had last year inked an MoU with VIT Vellore for the project, with an aim to support students and research scholars in automotive research, especially in the areas of powertrain, safety, power electronics and infotainment.
The state-of-the-Art facility was inaugurated last week by Pierre Lebrun, VP, Group Electronics Expertise and Development Services, Valeo; Jaji Vijayaraman, mechanical R&D director, Group Electronics Expertise and Development Services, Valeo India and Dr Anand A Samuel, vice-chancellor, VIT. Also present were Dr S Narayanan, pro-vice chancellor, VIT; and Dr Vasudevan R, dean, School of Mechanical Engineering, VIT.
The CoE, spread across 1,800 square feet, showcases Valeo's products and technologies encompassing powertrain systems, thermal systems, visibility systems and autonomous driving to help expose students to current and futuristic mega trends. The CoE will be utilised by research scholars and students for experimentation and testing of their projects and computational studies.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Valeo Centre of Excellence, Ashok Belani, Group president and managing director, Valeo India, said, “Innovation is in Valeo’s DNA. Our focused efforts and investments in R&D have led us to become a leading global automotive technology player. In India, Valeo wants to tap into the vast engineering talent pool and their bright minds for innovative ideas that can address the emerging mobility needs across the globe. Our teams are working closely with the students across the country to identify and nurture new ideas to develop workable solutions to address industry specific needs."
“I am happy that this Center of Excellence at VIT will provide the students and research scholars experiential learning opportunities. I am confident that this exposure combined with effective mentoring from Valeo’s in-house experts will help them to become industry-ready professionals, by the time they step out of the university,” added Belani.
Dr Anand A Samuel, vice-chancellor, VIT, said, “This is a great initiative towards integrating University and Industry and will benefit the students in understanding the industry processes and they will get an opportunity to work on live problems of industry and solve.”
Five joint research projects currently underway
Valeo has initiated joint research projects on emerging technologies along with VIT and the teams are working on five projects currently. The company is also working closely with the University to launch a joint certification course on Mechatronics and an exclusive curriculum for the Master’s program.
The company’s R&D division has recruited close to 60 engineers from the mechanical, electronics & communications, electrical & electronics and embedded electronics streams and management graduates from VIT in the past five years.
Valeo, which has been present in India since two decades, currently has eight production sites, one global R&D centre, five distribution platforms, and one front office to serve clients. Valeo employs over 5,000 people in India, of which nearly 50 percent are engineers.