Major national and international trends are stimulating the growth in electromechanics. Energy and environmental concerns are stimulating activities to improve air quality and increase efficiency. CEM responded with research R&D in both the transportation and in the electricity utility sectors. For example, we are working to improve hybrid cars, trucks, busses, and trains. In the electric utility area, the deregulation of the electric utility industry is opening opportunities for alternative energy sources, such as fuel cells, wind turbines and microturbines, as well as in energy storage. The existing grid is aging, opening the door to new modes of electricity transmission and generation.
As technology advances are becoming increasingly important, the global business climate increasingly rewards companies that are lean, nimble and quick to market. This is not an environment that rewards large corporate investment in research and development. Companies that prosper in this environment tend to import technology effectively and quickly convert technical advances to profits. In the U.S., the source of this technology is increasingly research universities like the University of Texas at Austin. Moreover, the Center for Electromechanics is well positioned to help develop needed technology, as it is the largest and most comprehensive university-based electromechanics research and development facility in the U.S.