Automotive Education and Research

The Center for Automotive Research at Stanford is primarily an industry affiliates program with the mission to bring academia and industry together. Students are an important part in creating the future of individual mobility be it by generating new ideas, researching the existing, or envisioning the future. Therefore, CARS encourages students on all levels to get engaged with automotive thinking.


Internships and Full-Time Positions

Below is a list of job opportunities from CARS affiliates. The listings are in chronological order and will be kept for 3 months. Please get in touch with the respective contact persons referenced in the listing to inquire about these positions.

Automotive Related Classes at Stanford University

Below is an overview of automotive related classes at Stanford in alphabetical order. Please contact the respective instructors or see Axess for more information.

AA 116N: Electric Automobiles and Aircraft
Transportation accounts for nearly one-third of American energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and three-quarters of American oil consumption. It has crucial impacts on climate change, air pollution, resource depletion, and national security. Students wishing to address these issues will need to reconsider how we move, finding sustainable transportation solutions. This course will provide an introduction to the issue, covering the past and present of transportation and its impacts; examining alternative fuel proposals; and digging deeper into the most promising option: battery electric vehicles. Energy requirements of air, ground, and maritime transportation; design of electric motors, power control systems, drive trains, and batteries; and technologies for generating renewable energy. Two fun opportunities for hands-on experiences with electric cars. Prerequisites: Introduction to calculus and Physics AP or elementary mechanics.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DBEngrAppSci | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Enge, P. (PI)

COMM 165N: Cars: Past, Present, and Future
Focus on the past, present and future of the automobile, bridging the Humanities, Social Sciences, Design, and Engineering. Focus on the human experiences of designing, making, driving, being driven, living with, and dreaming of the automobile. A different theme will be featured each week in discussion around a talk and supported by key readings and media. The course is informed by history, archaeology, ethnography, human-technology interaction, mechanical engineering, and cognitive science. Preference to freshmen.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Nass, C. (PI) ; Shanks, M. (PI)

COMM 168: Experimental Research in Advanced User Interfaces (COMM 268, COMM 368, ME 468)
Project-based course involves small (3-4) person teams going through all parts of the experimental process: question generation, experiment design, running, and data analysis. Each team creates an original, publishable project that represents a contribution to the research and practicum literatures. All experiments involve interaction between people and technology, including cars, mobile phones, websites, etc. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
Terms: Aut, Win | Units: 1-5 | Repeatable for credit | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Nass, C. (PI)

CS 210A+B: Software Project Experience with Corporate Partners
Two-quarter project course. Focus is on real-world software development. Corporate partners seed projects with loosely defined challenges from their R&D labs; students innovate to build their own compelling software solutions. Student teams are treated as start-up companies with a budget and a technical advisory board comprised of instructional staff and corporate liaisons. Teams will typically travel to the corporate headquarters of their collaborating partner, meaning some teams will travel internationally. Open loft classroom format such as found in Silicon Valley software companies. Exposure to: current practices in software engineering; techniques for stimulating innovation; significant development experience with creative freedoms; working in groups; real-world software engineering challenges; public presentation of technical work; creating written descriptions of technical work. Prerequisites: 109 or 110.
Terms: Win+Spr | Units: 3-4 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Borenstein, J. (PI)

CS 231A: Introduction to Computer Vision
(Formerly 223B) An introduction to the concepts and applications in computer vision. Topics include: cameras and projection models, low-level image processing methods such as filtering and edge detection; mid-level vision topics such as segmentation and clustering; shape reconstruction from stereo, as well as high-level vision tasks such as object recognition, scene recognition, face detection and human motion categorization. Prerequisites: linear algebra, basic probability and statistics.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-4 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Li, F. (PI)

ENGR 105: Feedback Control Design
Design of linear feedback control systems for command-following error, stability, and dynamic response specifications. Root-locus and frequency response design techniques. Examples from a variety of fields. Some use of computer aided design with MATLAB. Prerequisite: EE 102, ME 161, or equivalent.
Terms: Win, Sum | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DBEngrAppSci | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Okamura, A. (PI)

LAW 488: Legal Aspects of Autonomous Driving
Self-driving cars and trucks are rapidly entering the mainstream. They raise key legal and policy questions, which this seminar explores through source materials (from case law to treaties), academic scholarship, and industry speakers. Topics include state and federal regulation, public and private standards, liability and insurance, privacy and security, and social norms. Because the course is intended to meaningfully advance-rather than to merely present-legal analysis of this emerging technology.
Terms: Aut | Units: 2-3 | Grading: Law Honors/Pass/R credit/Fail
Instructors: Smith, B. (PI)

MATSCI 303: Principles, Materials and Devices of Batteries
Thermodynamics and electrochemistry for batteries. Emphasis on lithium ion batteries, but also different types including lead acid, nickel metal hydride, metal air, sodium sulfur and redox flow. Battery electrode materials, electrolytes, separators, additives and electrode-electrolyte interface. Electrochemical techniques; advanced battery materials with nanotechnology; battery device structure. Prerequisites: undergraduate chemistry.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Cui, Y. (PI)

ME 113: Mechanical Engineering Design
Capstone course. Mechanical engineering design is experienced by students as they work on team projects obtained from industry or other organizations. Prerequisites: 80,101,112, 203. Enrollment priority to ME majors.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DBEngrAppSci | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Staff, 1. (PI)

ME 116: Advanced Product Design: Formgiving
Small- and medium-scale design projects are carried to a high degree of aesthetic refinement. Emphasis is on form development, design process, and model making. Prerequisites: ME 115B, ARTSTUDI 260.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DBEngrAppSci | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Burnett, W. (PI)

ME 185: Electric Vehicle Design
This project based class focuses on the design and prototyping of electric vehicles. Students learn the fundamentals of vehicle design in class and apply the knowledge as they form teams and work on projects involving concept, specifications, structure, systems, integration, assembly, testing, etc. The class meets once a week to learn about the fundamentals, exchange their experiences, and coordinate between projects. The teams of 3-5 will work on their projects independently.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Beiker, S. (PI) ; Gerdes, J. (PI)

ME 216A: Advanced Product Design: Needfinding
Human needs that lead to the conceptualization of future products, environments, systems, and services. Field work in public and private settings; appraisal of personal values; readings on social ethnographic issues; and needfinding for a corporate client. Emphasis is on developing the flexible thinking skills that enable the designer to navigate the future. Prerequisites for undergraduates: 116 and 203, or consent of instructor.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-4 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Patnaik, D. (PI)

ME 216B: Advanced Product Design: Implementation
Summary project using knowledge, methodology, and skills obtained in Product Design major. Students implement an original design concept and present it to a professional jury. Prerequisite: 216A.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-4 | Repeatable for credit | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Burnett, W. (PI) ; Staff, 1. (PI))

ME 218A: Smart Product Design Fundamentals
Lecture/Lab. Team design project series on programmable electromechanical systems design. Topics: transistors as switches, basic digital and analog circuits, operational amplifiers, comparators, software design, state machines, programming in C. Lab fee. Limited enrollment.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4-5 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Carryer, J. (PI)

ME 218B: Smart Product Design Applications
Lecture/lab. Second in team design project series on programmable electromechanical systems design. Topics: user I/O, timer systems, interrupts, signal conditioning, software design for embedded systems, statecharts, sensors, actuators, noise, and power supplies. Lab fee. Limited enrollment. Prerequisite: 218A or passing the smart product design fundamentals proficiency examination.
Terms: Win | Units: 4-5 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Carryer, J. (PI)

ME 218C: Smart Product Design Practice
Lecture/lab. Advanced level in series on programmable electromechanical systems design. Topics: inter-processor communication, system design with multiple microprocessors, architecture and assembly language programming for the PIC microcontroller, controlling the embedded software tool chain, A/D and D/A techniques, electronic manufacturing technology. Team project. Lab fee. Limited enrollment. Prerequisite: 218B.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4-5 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Carryer, J. (PI)

ME 220: Introduction to Sensors
Sensors are widely used in scientific research and as an integral part of commercial products and automated systems. The basic principles for sensing displacement, force, pressure, acceleration, temperature, optical radiation, nuclear radiation, and other physical parameters. Performance, cost, and operating requirements of available sensors. Elementary electronic circuits which are typically used with sensors. Lecture demonstration of a representative sensor from each category elucidates operating principles and typical performance. Lab experiments with off-the-shelf devices.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-4 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Kenny, T. (PI)

ME 227: Vehicle Dynamics and Control
The application of dynamics, kinematics, and control theory to the analysis and design of ground vehicle behavior. Simplified models of ride, handling, and braking, their role in developing intuition, and limitations in engineering design. Suspension design fundamentals. Performance and safety enhancement through automatic control systems. In-car laboratory assignments for model validation and kinesthetic understanding of dynamics. Limited enrollment. Prerequisites: ENGR 105, consent of instructor.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Gerdes, J. (PI)

ME 236: Tales to Design Cars By
The feature of storytelling facilitates iterative project work in an evolving collaborative development and experience in the class designed to use a variety of narratives-verbal, non-verbal, cinema, and sound- to consider what people do in cars. Personal action and affect is examined through a parallel of real, non-fiction, fiction, fantasy and other narrative depictions of car behavior to in-class experiments and design challenges, with implications for car design and user interface. Stories attached to an idea or a discovery, are considered through movies, design challenges, short prototypes, and media presentations with a new web application.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | Repeatable for credit | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Karanian, B. (PI)

ME 250: Internal Combustion Engines
Internal combustion engines including conventional and turbocharged spark ignition, and diesel engines. Lectures: basic engine cycles, engine components, methods of analysis of engine performance, pollutant emissions, and methods of engine testing. Lab involves hands-on experience with engines and test hardware. Limited enrollment. Prerequisites: 140.
Terms: Aut | Units: 1-5 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Edwards, C. (PI)

ME 302: The Future of the Automobile
The objective of this course is to develop an understanding for the requirements that go into the design of a highly complex yet easy-to-use product, i.e. the automobile. Students will learn about very different interdisciplinary aspects that characterize the automobile and personal mobility. In the first half of the quarter, the class will discuss different design parameters for everyone's favorite car and thereby realize certain characteristics and conflicts. In the second half of the quarter, guest speakers from academia and industry will share their vision regarding the future of the automobile and how design challenges are addressed within their respective organizations. At the end of the quarter, students will have developed a broader understanding of the intertwined technology - environmental - human - business - legal aspects that will shape the future of the automobile.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr | Units: 1 | Repeatable for credit | Grading: Satisfactory/No Credit
Instructors: Beiker, S. (PI) ; Gerdes, J. (PI)

ME 310A-C: Project-Based Engineering Design, Innovation, and Development
Three quarter sequence; for engineering graduate students intending to lead projects related to sustainability, automotive, biomedical devices, communication, and user interaction. Student teams collaborate with academic partners in Europe, Asia, and Latin America on product innovation challenges presented by global corporations to design requirements and construct functional prototypes for consumer testing and technical evaluation. Design loft format such as found in Silicon Valley consultancies. Typically requires international travel. Prerequisites: undergraduate engineering design project; consent of instructor.
Terms: Aut-Spr | Units: 4 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Cutkosky, M. (PI) ; Leifer, L. (PI)

ME 316A-C: Product Design Master's Project
For graduate Product Design or Design (Art) majors only. Student teams, under the supervision of the design faculty, spend the quarter researching master's project topics. Students are expected to demonstrate mastery of design thinking methods including; needfinding, brainstorming, field interviews and synthesis during this investigation. Masters projects are selected that involve the synthesis of aesthetics and technological concerns in the service of human need. Design Institute class; see Prereq: ME216A, ME313, ME 311
Terms: Aut-Spr | Units: 2-6 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Burnett, W. (PI) ; Kelley, D. (PI) ; Klebahn, P. (PI)

STRAMGT 574: Strategic Thinking in Action - In Business and Beyond (II)
This five-session 2-point Bass seminar will involve students (maximum 18) in analyzing the emerging global electric automotive industry by focusing on: (1) The electric automotive industry in the U.S. and Europe, (2) the electric automotive industry in Japan and Korea, and (3) the electric automotive industry in China. We will each time examine the strategies of the key automotive companies as well as that of the government and other key players such as infrastructure providers. The purpose of the seminar is to help students sharpen their skills in identifying facilitating and impeding forces of strategic change, and in assessing and estimating the direction and rate of strategic change. While the instructors will provide relevant pre- readings related to these topics, students will be expected to complement these materials with their own research of theoretical and empirical sources. They will also be expected to help structure the discussion and move it forward toward conclusions. Students will organize into three teams each focused on one of the regions and prepare a five-to-ten page group report of their most important findings and conclusions that extend current knowledge.
Units: 2 | Grading: GSB Letter Graded
Instructors: Burgelman, R. (PI) ; Beiker, S. (SI)

URBANST 167: The Automobile and the City
This course will examine the impact of the automobile on urban development and the social life of the modern city from three perspectives. First, as Auto-Utopia: a look at the golden age of automobiling during the early and late 20th century when the private car and the truck expanded the full range of opportunities for the ecdonomy and for both urban and rural residents of the modern world. Second, Auto-Dystopia: an examination of the negative impacts of the automobile that emerged in the late 20th and early 21st centuries in regard to safety, congestion, pollution, sustainability, and the development of a monoculture of the automobile in urban transportation. And third, Auto-Futures: a look at the ways that urban society -- both in the developed world and in the emerging economies of Asia, Africa, and Latin America -- will plan for and manage a multi-modal transportation system (walking, cycling, transit, and the achievement of a better jobs/housing balance) in which the automobile will be one of many options and will serve both private and public needs
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Stout, F. (PI)