CU-ICAR to graduate first PhD in Automotive Engineering this week

Nearly twenty years ago, when BMW made its committment to South Carolina, some visionaries predicted it would be just the first of many changes that the automotive industry would make in the Upstate.

On Thursday, another milestone in that transformative process will be reached when
John Limroth receives the first-ever PhD in Automotive Engineering from Clemson's ICAR program, based in Greenville:

John Limroth of Austin, Texas, will graduate Dec. 17 with Clemson University’s first automotive-engineering Ph.D.

Clemson launched its automotive-engineering program in 2006 at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) campus. Until fall 2009 it was the only automotive-engineering Ph.D. program in the United States listed in Peterson’s, a well-known guide to colleges and universities. The Clemson automotive-engineering program graduated nine master’s degree students in 2009. Limroth is the first to graduate with a Ph.D.

“We are very proud of John Limroth and this milestone for our automotive-engineering program,” said Tom Kurfess, Limroth’s adviser and professor and BMW Chair of Manufacturing in the mechanical engineering department at Clemson. “Our program is interdisciplinary and our students are from a wide variety of engineering and science backgrounds. They live, eat, sleep and breathe automotive engineering. We are a highly focused group that addresses systems engineering with a specific focus on the automobile. All of our courses use the automobile as our educational platform.”

Mr. Limroth has already begun work for Michelin. While he is one of the first ICAR graduates to go to work a South Carolina-based company, he won't be the last. The ability of ICAR to produce executive-track employees presents the long-term potential to make the Palmetto State even more attractive to the automotive industry.

This news should also give Clemson fans a little something to be proud of. In the wake of their recent thrashing by the Gamecocks, they could probably use some good news right about now.

Back in 2007, we talked about the importance of this program, and are pleased to see it bearing its first fruit. Dr. Limroth has our heart-felt congratulations for his accomplishment, and our appreciation for his part in helping South Carolina take another step forward in its efforts to be a competitive player in the global economy of the 21st Century.

But before his leaps into his new job, we hope he gets a couple of weeks off to enjoy some family time with his wife and kids - they've earned it.

2 Response to "CU-ICAR to graduate first PhD in Automotive Engineering this week"

  1. John Limroth 7/1/10 15:38
    Hi Earl. Just ran across your blog post and wanted to say thanks for the kind wishes. I didn't take much time off as I was ready to get back to work - but was able to spend some time with the family over the holidays. Best regards...
  2. Earl Capps 7/1/10 19:20
    Wow, I'm amazed to hear from someone I write about - even more than it's not from their lawyer or they don't want to kill me.

    Thanks for stopping by and congrats again. You helped SC make history.

    Drop me an email sometime and let's keep in touch.

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