The Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR) group within the Office of Development at Clemson University is dedicated to building and maintaining long-term relationships that benefit your company as well as the University and its students. The Corporate Connections newsletter is a quick update on some of the partnerships.
Dr. Charles K. Watt, interim dean of the College of Business and Behavioral Science was a founder of the Scientific Research Corporation in 1988 and served as its CEO until 1998. A professor in Clemson’s School of Materials Science and Engineering, Watt also is the founding director of Clemson’s new Watt Family Innovation Center, to be located on the west campus, where interactive learning facilities will use 21st-century technology to enhance collaboration across university disciplines.
Watt served as a faculty member and research director at Georgia Tech and as senior executive in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the U.S. Navy. He also worked for Bell System and with Bendix Corporation. In addition to Scientific Research Corporation, Dr. Watt has been instrumental in founding and operating two advanced technology companies, including Electronic Systems Support.
Watt earned his bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Clemson in 1959. He has also earned degrees from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and George Washington University. He has served on Clemson’s Research Foundation Board, and the President's Advisory Council and as chairman of Utah State University’s Research Foundation Board of Trustees, Emory University’s Graduate School Advisory Council and George Washington University’s SEAS National Advisory Council.
A member of numerous professional associations, he has served as president and chairman of the board of directors for the International Test and Evaluation Association, chairman of a Department of Defense national committee on technology transfer, a member of the oversight board of the National Textile Center and a member of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Chairman's Club.
Watt is a senior member of IEEE, Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Xi, and he frequently lectures at universities, professional societies and chamber of commerce meetings on technology trends and their impact on society. He has received the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Distinguished Service Award, a Commendation for Special Service to the U.S. Congress on Telecommunications, a George Washington University Alumni Achievement Award, the International Test and Evaluation Association (ITEA) Allen R. Matthews Award. He has been honored as a Clemson Alumni Fellow, received the Alumni Distinguished Service Award and was inducted into the Thomas Green Clemson Academy of Engineers and Scientists.
Toyota Technical Center, the North American research and development arm of Toyota Motor Corp., will sponsor the sixth-generation Deep Orange vehicle prototype designed and conceived by automotive engineering students at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR).
Deep Orange 6 is hands-on, project-based learning. Graduate automotive engineering students work to create and manufacture a new vehicle prototype during their course of study.
“The students’ task is to develop a utility/activity vehicle concept that not only expands Toyota’s model range, but addresses important issues, such as creating desirability and relevance among youth consumers,” said Paul Venhovens, who leads the Deep Orange program and is the BMW Endowed Chair in Automotive Systems Integration at CU-ICAR.
Throughout this process, Clemson students work directly with carmakers, suppliers and entrepreneurs to develop and implement novel ideas in partnership with the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calf.
“Innovation is a high priority for Toyota and this project is an excellent opportunity to involve the engineers of tomorrow in some of the key challenges of today,” said Jeff Makarewicz, vice president of the Toyota Technical Center Corporate Strategy Office in Ann Arbor, Mich. “We are honored to partner with Clemson and look forward to seeing their fresh and innovative ideas."
Clemson University officials broke ground on Friday, March 28, 2014, to start construction of the four-story, 70,000-square-foot Watt Family Innovation Center to be built behind the R.M. Cooper Library. The building is made possible in part by a gift from the Watt family of Kennesaw, Ga.—Charles and his wife, Linda; son, Steve, and his wife, Pam; and son, Mike, and his wife, Kim.
“This center will be an incubator of innovation for our students, faculty and industry partners,” said Clemson President James P. Clements. “We are so grateful to Charles Watt and his family for making it possible. Clemson is one of the best universities in the country because gifts like this make it possible for us to provide a top-notch learning environment for our students.”
Clemson alumnus and benefactor Charles Watt said, “We want to create an intellectual center that will prepare a new generation of scholars who can take ideas from concept to the marketplace. This will be a place to demonstrate and enable education, discovery and innovation.”
For more information, read Clemson University officials break ground for innovative, high-tech academic building.