B-E-T student team travels to India

Published: May 15, 2008 2:30:01 PM
Media Contact: Sally Credille, src0007@auburn.edu, 334.844.3447

Computer-aided-design of an infortainment sys

A computer-aided-design of an automobile "infortainment system" that includes an automotive sound system, such as an AM/ FM receiver and MP3/ CD player; GPS system; USB and SD card reader; and a screen.

Seniors in the Business-Engineering-Technology (B-E-T) minor Carrie Haywood, supply chain management, and Justin Gorman, chemical engineering, participated in this year's joint U.S.-India student project team. Along with mechanical engineering students Prateek Jain and Mukul Mittal of the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi, Haywood and Gorman worked on an "infotainment system" for use in automobiles produced for U.S. and Indian markets.

B-E-T students

Haywood and Gorman (seen on the left), and the two students from IIT-Delhi meet with a manager at the Delphi plant near New Delhi. Lall (standing on the right) oversees the gathering.

Before their face-to-face meeting in March and April, the student team members used videoconferencing, e-mail and Google Chat every week for several months while living 11 time zones apart. Haywood, Gorman and Pradeep Lall, project supervisor and professor of mechanical engineering, visited IIT-Delhi in April to meet with their Indian team members in order to complete the project. The four students worked together for a week and toured several auto assembly and auto parts manufacturing companies around New Delhi. They met top- and middle-management employees to discuss the auto industry in India and to gather information about the nature of automotive infotainment systems needed for the country's automobile market.

B-E-T students in front of the Taj Mahal

While in India, the B-E-T student team took time to travel 100 miles from New Delhi to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal.

"Justin and I are immensely thankful to the program and its donors for this opportunity to work with students abroad, and for the broadened employment opportunities it has created for us both," said Haywood.

Each year, as part of the curriculum, several B-E-T students are selected to receive this rare opportunity to develop new products and businesses with a team of students at a foreign university. Through generous gifts from those who value the B-E-T program, the Thomas Walter Center - a joint effort of the colleges of business and engineering - is able to offer the program and provide the team with necessary funding for travel as part of its B-E-T team project. The B-E-T minor is open to all engineering and business students. Seven senior professors from five different departments within the two colleges offer specially designed courses that make up the program. For additional information on the B-E-T program, visit: http://www.eng.auburn.edu/center/twc/BET/