Hyundai signs MOU with UC Berkeley and UC Davis to establish ‘Hyundai Center of Excellence’

MOU kicks off first project of ‘Hyundai R&D Global Frontier’ program designed to cultivate its brightest R&D engineers, create next-gen automotive technology

Other projects in the program include collaboration with Applus IDIADA, Ricardo, AVL,StanfordUniversity

Sept. 2, 2012 – Hyundai Motor Group, South Korea’s biggest automotive group, signed a memorandum of understanding with two of America’s greatest research universities – University of California, Berkeley and University of California, Davis — to establish the ‘Hyundai Center of Excellence.’

The MOU ceremony launches the first collaboration project in Hyundai’s larger R&D joint research and professional development program, called ‘Hyundai R&D Global Frontier.’ This long-range program is designed to strengthen Hyundai Motor Group’s fundamental R&D competency by working with the world’s leading universities and companies.

“Collaboration with top-tier partners will accelerate our technology development to go beyond the level of global premium carmakers,” said Vice Chairman Woongchul Yang, head of Hyundai Motor Group’s R&D Division. “Based on such advanced technologies, we will develop world-class vehicles that convey Hyundai’s own philosophy as well as its distinctive emotions.”

Vice Chairman Yang, UC Berkeley College of Engineering Dean S. Shankar Sastry, and UC Davis College of Engineering Dean Enrique J. Lavernia attended the ceremony inBerkeley,California, on August 31.

Hyundai is improving its R&D on an organizational level and the Hyundai R&D Global Frontier program is a key element of the effort. Hyundai R&D is also revolutionizing its talent recruitment and professional development programs. For example, the Hyundai Global Top Talent Forum established last year changes the way applicants are interviewed and nurtured throughout their careers. Hyundai’s Research Fellow Program provides a track for outstanding senior research engineers to become executive-level research fellows in specific areas of technical expertise.

The first project of the Hyundai R&D Global Frontier Program establishes Hyundai Center of Excellence at UC Berkeley and UC Davis, world leaders in automotive engineering and technology research. Through this initiative, select Hyundai engineers will join top researchers at both universities to work on vehicle dynamics and integrated vehicle safety systems. The Center ofExcellencewill conduct research projects aimed at making Hyundai vehicles safer, better-handling, and more fun to drive.

“The center we are establishing between Hyundai Motor Company and UC Davis is an outstanding model for industry-university partnerships,” said Enrique J. Lavernia, Dean of theCollegeofEngineeringat UC Davis. “This is a fantastic opportunity for our campus to further develop our research leadership in the transportation field, as demonstrated by the achievements of our notable faculty.”

“Our best faculty will work closely with Hyundai’s best engineers to create the car of the future,” said S. Shankar Sastry, Dean of theCollegeofEngineeringat UC Berkeley. “This is a very fruitful partnership, drawing upon next-generation thinking about information systems, communications, and design as well as automotive technology.”

The Hyundai R&D Global Frontier program aims to raise R&D competitiveness at an organizational level by immersing its best engineers in the world’s best research institutions from six months to two years to conduct advanced research and development.

Each R&D engineer will be given research assignments to produce technological innovations that will be incorporated into future Hyundai vehicles.

The Hyundai R&D Global Frontier project launches with research projects in eight automotive fields including ride and handling, NVH (noise, vibration and harshness), crash-worthiness, Advanced Safety Vehicle (ASV) technologies and advanced material technologies. This year Hyundai will collaborate with 22 industry leaders in business and academia.

Business partners include Spain-based Applus IDIADA, U.K.-based Ricardo and Austria-based AVL. Hyundai will also work with elite research institutions, including UC Berkeley, UC Davis, andStanfordUniversity.

Hyundai R&D Global Frontier partners were chosen carefully: The business partners have deep experience enhancing the performance of leading premium automakers. TheCaliforniauniversities enjoy close ties toSilicon Valleyand its history of developing cutting-edge technology. Hyundai Motor Group plans to expand the number of partners and fields of research under the Global Frontier program over the next few years.

About Hyundai Motor

Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Co. has grown into the Hyundai Motor Group, with more than two dozen auto-related subsidiaries and affiliates. Hyundai Motor — which has six manufacturing bases outside of South Korea including the U.S., China, India, Russia, Turkey and the Czech Republic — sold 4.06 million vehicles globally in 2011. Hyundai Motor, which employs over 80,000 worldwide, offers a full line-up of products including small to large passenger vehicles, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Further information about Hyundai Motor and its products is available at

About the UC Berkeley College of Engineering

UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering is recognized globally for its research and educational excellence, consistently ranking among the top three engineering colleges in the United States. The college’s 4,600 students gain leadership skills through research internships, study and field work abroad, and other opportunities to practice experiential learning and teamwork. A full-time faculty of more than 200 professors, many of them affiliated with more than 40 multidisciplinary research centers, advance discovery and innovation in fields ranging from energy engineering and nanomaterials to synthetic biology.

About the UC Davis College of Engineering

Founded in 1962, theCollegeofEngineeringat UC Davis has awarded more than 20,000 graduate and undergraduate degrees. The college has more than 200 faculty. Our global industry and government partners include many from Silicon Valley, the Bay Area and theSacramentoregion. Annual research expenditures at theCollegeofEngineeringtotal more than $90 million (2010-11). UC Davis Engineering is consistently ranked among the Top 20 U.S. public university engineering programs (U.S. News & World Report 2011). Further information about the UC Davis College of Engineering is available at