GREENVILLE, S.C. — One of the world's foremost professional associations will meet in South Carolina next year when the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) holds a prestigious first-of-a-kind conference in the Upstate.
IEEE chose Greenville over Austin, Texas, Detroit, San Francisco and Washington for its 2012 International Electric Vehicle Conference.
From March 4-8, 2012, more than 1,000 people are expected to attend the major automotive event, and Clemson University will play a central role hosting the conference and supporting the technical programs.
Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) automotive engineering professor Joachim Taiber is the conference chairman, and CU-ICAR will host certain technical sessions and special events. Main conference activities will be held at Greenville's TD Convention Center.
"The world's leading automakers are developing electric-powered vehicles in collaboration with utilities and information technology companies," Taiber said. "We anticipate representatives across the sustainable mobility ecosystem — from companies like General Motors, Ford, Nissan, BMW, Volkswagen, General Electric and Duke Energy — will participate in this conference."
The conference will address key trends in technology, engineering and deployment of electric vehicles and related infrastructure solutions.
Presenters will include manufacturers, vehicle component and infrastructure suppliers, utilities, telecommunications providers, corporate executives, educators, legislators and venture capitalists, among others.
Attracting such a high-profile conference to the Upstate is an opportunity to showcase South Carolina's leading research and development capabilities and demonstrate the ability to provide a supplier base for electric vehicle manufacturing, said Suzanne Dickerson, director of international business development at CU-ICAR.
The Greenville area is home to a significant automotive industry cluster, including BMW Manufacturing Co., Michelin USA and German transmissions manufacturer ZF Group, which last year announced a $350 million expansion of its facility in Laurens County.
Tier 1 suppliers blanket the state, creating jobs from the Upstate to the Port of Charleston.
And electric bus-maker Proterra operates a temporary assembly plant in Greenville where it builds the world's first fast-charge electric transit buses. The company will lease 25 acres in CU-ICAR's Technology Neighborhood Three where it plans to build a permanent 240,000-square-foot facility. The company anticipates it will invest $68 million and create 1,300 jobs in Greenville County over the next seven years.
Proterra's corporate partnership with Clemson represents another hugely successful public-private economic development partnerships at CU-ICAR. In less than a decade, the 250-acre CU-ICAR research campus off Interstate 85 has generated more than $215 million in funding commitments and created more than 500 jobs.
The heart of the campus is the 90,000-square-foot Carroll A. Campbell Jr. Graduate engineering center, which houses the nation's first automotive engineering Ph.D. program.
"The IEEE conference will again showcase CU-ICAR on the international stage and the strength and potential of South Carolina's automotive industry," said Bob Geolas, CU-ICAR executive director and Clemson University associate vice president for economic development.
Insistute of Electrical and Electronics Engineeers
IEEE has 406,000 members in more than 100 countries, including 235,000 members in the United States.
International Electric Vehicle Conference
Conference sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are available. For information, contact Lee Stogner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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