Engineering students from HFC and UM-Dearborn collaborate on national 3-year “Battery Workforce Challenge”

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Three engineering students in a classroom sitting on the ground working on an engineering project together.

Stellantis Senior VP Micky Bly explains career opportunities for students

Stellantis, Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, the U.S. Department of Energy, and other government and industry partners are sponsoring this competition, which began this fall and will conclude in the spring of 2026. Its purpose is to challenge universities and vocational schools nationwide to design, build, test, and integrate an advanced EV battery pack into a Stellantis vehicle.

“HFC and UM-Dearborn are teaming up to execute the competition requirements and help to prepare a diverse workforce for future battery engineering and manufacturing careers. Participation of our students in this competition will allow them to work on real-world problems and learn the intricacies and technologies that are associated with complex problems,” said HFC Pre-Engineering Director Dr. Hassan Mohseni Nameghi. “HFC has collaborated with UM-Dearborn on a variety of partnerships over the last several years. These initiatives have not only provided research opportunities for HFC students, they have also allowed for a smooth transfer to UM-Dearborn to continue their education.”

Fostering a diverse team environment

Dr. Xuan “Joe” Zhou, UM-Dearborn associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, is looking forward to this partnership between the neighboring educational institutions.

“UM-Dearborn will team up with HFC to execute the competition requirements, helping to prepare a diverse workforce for future battery engineering and manufacturing careers,” said Zhou. “This competition holds diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as a top priority and will integrate initiatives throughout all aspects of this program and will establish program requirements that foster a diverse team environment.”

Zhou will supervise the UM-Dearborn team members, while Nameghi, BEPD Project Manager Kenny Nichols, and Detroit Promise Campus Success Coach Reco Spencer will supervise the HFC team members. Seven members of the Engineering Club and three members of the Animation, Comics, and Gaming Club comprise the HFC team.

"Seeing our student groups invigorated about participating in the Battery Workforce Challenge gives us great confidence that we are headed in the right direction,” said Nichols. “Our students are very excited about our new programs and the lab being built, so they have access to the equipment and training necessary for them to learn and participate in these types of activities. This will be a fun learning experience that will help them build their résumé and give them work experience that employers are looking for."

For questions or more information, contact Nameghi at 313-317-1746 or