Honda and Ohio State partnership to strengthen focus on mobility innovation

Posted: January 27, 2016

Honda and The Ohio State University today announced a new strategic direction for the partnership they have built during the last 28 years, with a sharpened focus on innovations in the mobility industry that will create new value for society.

Joanna Pinkerton

The strengthened partnership agreement also establishes a new management structure led by co-directors—representing Honda and Ohio State. Honda companies involved in the partnership with Ohio State include Honda R&D Americas, Inc., Honda of America Mfg., Inc. and Honda North America, Inc.

Mike Wiseman, director of the material research division at Honda R&D Americas in Raymond, Ohio, and Joanna Pinkerton, former chief operating officer at Ohio State’s Center for Automotive Research, will serve as co-directors of the new partnership.

“Honda is continually looking toward the future and establishing relationships with like-minded organizations that aspire to strengthen our communities while creating value for society,” said Frank Paluch, president of Honda R&D Americas. “We have a long-standing and very successful partnership with The Ohio State University and this new era of collaboration will focus and elevate our teamwork to achieve new breakthroughs in transportation research and establish a global benchmark for academia-industry partnerships in mobility.”  

The agreement between the two organizations strengthens an already successful partnership. Honda’s support of Ohio State research includes more than $50 million in endowments for the university—generated through a collaborative involvement at the Transportation Research Center (TRC) in East Liberty, Ohio. Honda also recently announced a commitment of $5 million to launch Ohio State’s Simulation Innovation and Modeling Center (SIMCenter) to develop and further strengthen computational engineering tools for all aspects of vehicle design and manufacturing.

Example of SIMCenter work: computational fluid dynamics simulation of cooling airflow to a brake system

“Partnerships like our long-standing collaboration with Honda are fundamental to Ohio State’s land-grant mission and integral to improving the lives of our citizens,” said Caroline Whitacre, vice president for research at Ohio State.  “Accelerating this partnership will enable us to explore innovative technologies and services and deliver practical solutions that will help shape the future of mobility, while enriching the educational experiences of our students.”

Pinkerton has worked in public, private and academic organizations, including service at the Ohio Department of Transportation under the last two administrations where she focused on mobility solutions for industry. Since joining Ohio State in 2012, she has served as the chief operating officer at the Center for Automotive Research, one of the College of Engineering’s largest research enterprises.

Wiseman, a materials research and product application expert who joined Honda in 1987, has been in his current role since 2012, leading a team that creates strategic vision for automotive frame research at Honda R&D Americas.

Categories: CollegeResearch