DENSO Foundation donates over $1 million in grants to 24 colleges, universities

June 24, 2016
Funds support advancing education in skilled trades, active safety and robotics programs, student vehicle teams, learning labs and more.
Text books can only take you so far. But complement a student’s textbook knowledge with hands-on problem solving, troubleshooting, teamwork and technical work – now you have an engineer or technical expert ready to develop, improve and build technologies that will help our society. That’s what the DENSO North America Foundation believes. On Monday, June 20, 2016, the DENSO North America Foundation (DNAF) awarded more than $1 million to 24 colleges and universities across North America. Funds support advancing education in skilled trades, active safety and robotics programs, student vehicle teams, learning labs and more.

“The best learning experiences are when things don't work how you expected them to work, or how the text book explained,” said Doug Patton, president of the DENSO North America Foundation and executive vice president of Engineering at DENSO International America, Inc. “That’s why we want students to get their hands on technology. They need to get their hands dirty and figure out how things work, how to fix, test, and develop technology, how to innovate and think creatively.”
DNAF is the philanthropic arm of global auto parts supplier DENSO’s North American headquarters, DENSO International America, Inc. Since 2001, the DNAF has been dedicated to advancing the auto industry through grants to colleges and universities. The Foundation provides students with technology, tools and experiences similar to that of the professional workplace they’ll experience after graduation.
“The Foundation not only focuses on engineering programs, but also skilled trades and robots as these are becoming increasingly important in the automotive and technology industries,” said Mike Brackett, member of the DNAF Board of Directors and senior vice president at DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee. “Many students have an incorrect image of what manufacturing is today. It's very high tech, interesting and exciting! Through hands-on programs, students can find out if they excel in these much needed areas. These may be the same people who loved to tinker with cars, or take things apart and put them back together; however, until they obtain hands-on experience with robotics or skilled trades, they probably don’t know how they can translate these passions into a career.”
In addition to the Foundation’s efforts, DENSO also supports students one-on-one with its expertise through mentorship, connecting students with DENSO experts to give them a better idea of what being an engineer or technical professional means. DENSO supports programs around the country and the world such as FIRST Robotics, Project Lead the Way and Society of Automotive Engineering Collegiate Design Series as a part of this mentoring effort. DENSO also has an extensive co-op student program where students are given a high level of responsibility and gain real-world experience.   
Congratulations to the 2016 DNAF Grant Recipients
Arkansas Northeasteran College
Arkansas State University
California State University - Long Beach
Cleveland State Community College
Conestoga College
Kellogg Community College
Kettering University
Lawrence Technological University
Michigan State University
Michigan Technological University
North Carolina State
Northwestern University
Oakland University
Ohio State University
Pellissippi State Technical College
Tennessee College of Applied Technology
Tennessee Tech University
Trine University
University of Detroit Mercy
University of Kentucky
University of Michigan - Dearborn
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Western Michigan University
About the DENSO North America Foundation
A registered 501(c)3 corporate foundation, The DENSO North America Foundation is dedicated to helping students advance their education in engineering, technology and other related programs. Founded in 2001, the Foundation provides grants to colleges and universities throughout North America, helping our communities prosper through the development of a skilled and knowledgeable workforce. The Foundation also provides disaster relief grants through the American Red Cross to aid persons and communities in which DENSO Corporation operates. For more information, visit
About DENSO in North America
In North America, DENSO employs more than 23,000 people at 30 consolidated companies and affiliates. Of these, 25 are manufacturing facilities located in the United States, Canada and Mexico. In the United States alone, DENSO employs more than 15,000 people in California, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Arkansas. DENSO’s North American consolidated sales totaled US$9.9 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016. For more information, go to
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