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Udpa Named To Council On Future Mobility And Electrification

Someone driving a smart car

Satish Udpa, University Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and former Acting President of Michigan State University, has been appointed to the Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer made the announcement on Oct. 22, 2020.

The 10-member council will work to ensure Michigan continues to be the world leader in future mobility, including autonomous and connected vehicle technology, electric powertrain technology and charging infrastructure, and shared and transit mobility options.

“Today’s announcement builds on progress we’ve made this year to cement our status as a hub for innovation and opportunity in the mobility sector, including the launch of the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification and our efforts to build the road of the future between Detroit and Ann Arbor,” Governor Whitmer said.

College of Engineering dean Satish Udpa. It is a headshot and he is wearing a brown suit.

University Distinguished Professor Satish Udpa will serve in a state leadership role within the mobility ecosystem.

“In Michigan, where the health of our workers and our economy are directly tied to the health of our auto industry, we will continue engaging in forward-looking policies to remain on the cutting edge of mobility and electrification growth in the state. Since I was sworn in as governor, we have brought in historic investments to our auto plants, creating more than 12,000 Michigan jobs. I will continue working closely with everyone who wants to grow our workforce and economy,” she added.

On Feb. 25, 2020, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-2 creating the Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification, housed within the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), to replace the Council on Future Mobility, which was abolished under the order. The council will serve in an advisory capacity to LEO and the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, the governor, and the legislature, providing annual recommendations on changes in state policy. In doing so, the council will work to ensure Michigan continues to be an epicenter of future transportation solutions around mobility and electrification.

“The strength of Michigan’s mobility ecosystem is the collaboration that you find happening all across the state, as technology continues to evolve and transportation options grow,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “We work together to solve real problems for our residents, our businesses and our communities and to advance our state’s technology and the automotive landscape in a way that also has the potential to improve the quality of life for countless individuals in Michigan.”

The council will consist of the directors from the Departments of Labor and Economic Opportunity, Transportation, Insurance and Financial Services, State Police, Treasury, Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, the chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission and the 10-member council.

Udpa, of Okemos, is appointed to represent business, policy, research, or technological leaders in future mobility for a term commencing Oct. 22, 2020, and expiring Oct. 22, 2021.

He served as MSU acting president from January to September 2019 while a search for a new university president was underway. Prior to that, he served MSU as executive vice president for administration from 2013-2019. He joined MSU in 2001 as a faculty member in the College of Engineering, was appointed chairperson of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and then dean of the College of Engineering.

He is a fellow and editor for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He holds a bachelor’s degree and post grad diploma in electrical engineering from J.N.T. University in Hyderabad, India, and a master’s degree and PhD in electrical engineering from Colorado State University.

Two other Spartans are joining Udpa on the council:

Cory Connolly, of Detroit, is the vice president of policy at the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from MSU. Connolly is appointed to represent business, policy, research, or technological leaders in future mobility for a term commencing October 22, 2020, and expiring October 22, 2022.

Jeffrey A. Dokho, of Huntington Woods, is the research director for the United Auto Workers American Labor Union. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from MSU. Dokho is appointed to represent business, policy, research, or technological leaders in future mobility for a term commencing October 22, 2020, and expiring October 22, 2022.

“Today’s announcement on the Council of Future Mobility and Electrification serves to further solidify the state’s progressive mobility initiatives,” said Trevor Pawl, Michigan’s Chief Mobility Officer and head of the state’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification. The office coordinates the state’s mobility strategy across governmental entities and industry partners, and will coordinate mobility and electrification policy recommendations from the council.

“Our office is ready and eager to work alongside these exceptional council members to develop and implement meaningful mobility policy for the state of Michigan that will impact generations of Michiganders to come – with safer, cleaner, and equitable mobility solutions,” Pawl added.

Story courtesy of State of Michigan.

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