Lawrence Tech wins Ford contest
Friday, December 3rd, 2010
Seniors Taylor Manuilow and Chris Nichols in the transportation design program at Lawrence Tech have won the $1,000 top prize in this year’s UDM/Ford Innovation Contest to develop ideas for the vehicle interior of the future.
Second and third place went to teams from Villanova University and the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Each team submitted a video of up to three minutes.
Manuilow and Nichols are members of the first class to enroll in the transportation design degree program in the College of Architecture and Design, and they studied interior design as juniors during the 2009-10 academic year.
They submitted plans for using computer programming to enhance the driving experience. The challenge was to find computer functions that would make being in the vehicle more enjoyable while not diverting attention from the road, according to Nichols.
“Basically people want their computer in their car, but that can be too distracting for driving,” Nichols said.
The feedback they received from people in the industry helped Manuilow and Nichols improve the ideas they submitted to the Ford competition, according to Keith Nagara, the director of the transportation design program.
“Getting industry feedback to student proposals is an important part of our educational approach,” Nagara said.
Nichols and Manuilow also presented their winning video at Ford’s global executive meeting in November.
During the spring term Manuilow will be an intern with French automaker Peugeot in Paris, and Nichols will intern with Volkswagen in Germany.