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Business, engineering students learn, network at Michigan’s first Auto Summit

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Business, engineering students learn, network at Michigan’s first Auto Summit

More than two dozen Oakland University business and engineering students joined original equipment manufacturers, suppliers, government and non-profit organizations, and academic institutions at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s (DRC) first-ever Michigan Automotive Summit at Cobo Hall last week.

The action-packed agenda included high level speakers who highlighted Michigan’s automotive capabilities and expertise, discussed industry growth opportunities, and touched on the necessity to capitalize on – and maintain – the state’s role as the epicenter of the global automotive industry.

As guests of the DRC, Oakland University students heard from keynote speakers Michigan Governor Rick Snyder; President and CEO, Center for Automotive Research, Jay Baron; and President, Michigan International Speedway Roger Curtis. They also took part in panel discussions focused on research and development, career opportunities for young professionals in the auto industry, and Michigan’s business climate.

“The Automotive Summit was an excellent event which allowed me network with countless automotive manufacturers and suppliers,” says Trpko Blazevski, information technology major. “It also provided great insight on emerging technologies such as vehicle-to-vehicle communications for safety and how the automotive industry is bouncing back.”

OU students also participated in a leadership lunch session featuring General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson, and a post-event networking featuring Nigel Francis, senior vice president, Automotive Industry Office, Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

“Thanks to the Detroit Regional Chamber Oakland University students got a chance to attend a significant event in Michigan where they heard from high-level executives about issues critical to the automotive industry and our state,” says Janell Townsend, associate professor, marketing, who coordinated the student participation with the DRC.

“The Automotive Summit showed there is true commitment from the industry leaders to continue to build on recent successes,” says Chrysler Project Manager and MBA student John Borth. “We are looking towards a brighter future with new challenges in the areas of safety, mileage and future technologies.”