The 10 Best Automotive Engineering Schools in the US

3. Lawrence Technological University (Southfield, MI)

Lawrence Technological University
Steven Gordon, Don Ridler Fieldhouse, marked as public domain

Located in one of the nation’s industrial and technological hubs, Lawrence Tech has numerous automotive partners. The school has ties to the industry as it was founded where Henry Ford perfected the moving assembly line. Today, Lawrence Tech is known for its strong research and development capabilities. 

The Automotive Engineering Institute extends the school’s capabilities to reach corporations and the government. This symbiotic relationship benefits the entire field of ground vehicle applications. By working alongside the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Transportation, Lawrence Tech conducts research on automobile designs for various terrains.

Automotive engineering students participate in national competitions such as Formula SAE, Baja Sae, and Supermileag, consistently ranking among the top-performing teams. By working in a group with other engineering students, the Baja team designs and builds an off-road vehicle that can navigate rough terrain. Undergraduates are responsible for the entire design process, from concept to racing. 

2. Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA)

Georgia Tech University
Disavian, Centennial Research Building, CC BY 2.5

Georgia Tech students, alumni, and faculty have made their mark on the automotive field since the beginning of the program. Jim Downing is known for engineering the Head and Neck Support device used in NASCAR races to prevent fatal crashes. Another alumnus, Bob Osiecki, is known for designing a winged race car that set a world speed record.

The courses that Georgia Tech students take in creative design, system dynamics, fluid mechanics, and more enable engineers to succeed in their future careers. In addition, automotive engineers take core classes such as computing, humanities, and scientific subjects to be a well-rounded professional.

By exploring the development, manufacturing, and environmental challenges that come with automotive engineering, Georgia Tech research is constantly innovating. The Manufacturing Institute is focused on various research topics, from the life cycle environmental impact of tires to activity-based costing in automotive technology.

1. Kettering University (Flint, MI)

Kettering University
Kettering University campus photos Flint, Michigan by Pop Mod Photo photographer Ryan Garza

At Kettering University, the Mobility Services and Automotive Engineering Design concentrations provide a deeper understanding of vehicles’ mechanical, electrical, and computer systems. As a result of the top-tier curriculum, graduates are prepared to be leaders and entrepreneurs. Alumni have become founders and CEOs of well-known companies such as General Motors and the Indy Motor Speedway.

Kettering houses a number of labs, including e-Design, e-Manufacturing, Energy Systems Lab, Crash Safety Center, Advanced Engine Research Lab, and DENSO International Dynamic Systems Design Studio. Students have the opportunity to select courses to create a customized program of labs and classes that match their career goals.

The Vehicle Design Project provides undergraduates with an engineering project that represents automotive challenges faced in the industry. By setting measurable goals, students learn valuable problem-solving, communication, and research skills. The project results in a final presentation and written report to explain their thought process and results.

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