Ford Motor Company has formed strategic academic alliances twith two Chinese universities—Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA) and Shanghai Jiaotong University (SJTU)—to increase efforts on the research and development of automotive technologies. The alliances mark the first time that Ford has established formal academic partnerships with universities in China.
Both universities also announced the establishment of a “Ford Motor Company Professor’s Chair” to help facilitate and promote the automotive technology research programs and academic curricula.
NUAA has strong capabilities in the fields of aluminum sheet forming and diesel engine performance enhancement, which are instrumental in reducing vehicle weight and improving fuel efficiency. Ford intends to work with NUAA on furthering these programs, as well as helping develop technologies and identify solutions that promote environmental conservation.
Nanjing is also the site of Ford’s joint-venture operations, Changan Ford Mazda. Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Nanjing plant, Changan Ford Mazda Engine Co. and Ford Motor Research and Engineering (Nanjing) Co. will all benefit from the locally-based programs at NUAA, and the hundreds of researchers and engineers who are expected to actively participate in them before graduating.
Ford has tripled the number of NUAA graduates it recruits and employs from 2005 to 2007.
Ford has been working with SJTU since 1993, when the Ford China Research and Development Fund was established. Ford and SJTU launched the C3P lab in 1996, which has since made substantial technological contributions in the areas of advanced materials and manufacturing processes.
In 2006, SJTU became the second university outside the US to receive two University Research Program sponsorships from Ford Motor Company. Technical knowledge exchange, education and training are closely tied to collaborative projects between the two, and to date more than ten researchers from Ford have been appointed as guest professors by SJTU.