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Volkswagen Group of America and University of Tennessee, Knoxville accelerate research collaboration

Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWGoA) and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT) plan to accelerate their research collaboration. Building on the program’s initial success, both partners aim to kick off more than 10 new joint research projects through 2025, introduce more Ph. D. fellowship and internship positions with Volkswagen, establish dedicated guest lectures with Volkswagen senior experts, and create additional UT student engagement programs starting in October 2023.

VWGoA and UT formed their research collaboration in January 2020, together with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The collaboration gave rise to Volkswagen’s Innovation Hub on UT’s Research Park at Cherokee Farm in Knoxville. This technology unit is focused on advanced research in automotive lightweight structures, sustainable materials, and electric mobility, with interdisciplinary teams across Volkswagen researchers, UT faculty, doctoral and undergraduate students.

During a fellowship, the Ph. D. students are seamlessly integrated in the company and share their time as Volkswagen employees while working on their dissertations. They can be located at the Innovation Hub Knoxville, Volkswagen’s Engineering and Planning Center (EPC), or the Battery Engineering Lab (BEL) in Chattanooga.

VWGoA, the UT System, and UT Knoxville and UT Chattanooga are also working to develop a strategic roadmap for a comprehensive partnership involving expanding research, educational and internship opportunities in Knoxville and Chattanooga.


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