Partners in Education

Virginia Tech team photo

Members of the FSAE team at Virginia Tech credit VWGoA for providing them the financial support to help them continue to design formula-style racing cars.

Mechanical engineering students at Virginia Tech who are interested in pursuing careers in motorsports credit Volkswagen Group of America for moving them closer to their goals. VWGoA is a supporter of the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (FSAE) team and the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Series, both housed at Joseph F. Ware Jr. Advanced Engineering Laboratory on Virginia Tech’s campus in Blacksburg, Va. Read more »


The Vehicle Terrain Performance Lab at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech) received the first Volkswagen Faculty Innovation Grant in 2010. The lab’s mission is to improve vehicle system performance by studying the interactions between vehicles and terrain. Selected from five proposals submitted by Virginia Tech, Dr. John B. Ferris, associate professor, Mechanical Engineering Department, and his students will focus on developing modeling and simulation techniques for “Location-Aware Adaptation of Vehicle Dynamics” under the year-long grant. Dr. Ferris conducted research in vehicle dynamics and chassis development in the automotive industry for 15 years before becoming a faculty member at Virginia Tech. Read more »


Dr. Shirley C. Raines, President of the University of Memphis

Shirley C. Raines, President of the University of Memphis, comments about the University’s partnership with Volkswagen Group of America.

“Although our efforts on behalf of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education are already robust, the gift from Volkswagen Group of America makes it possible for our faculty to increase their work in introducing even more students, as well as other teachers, to those subjects.”


Congratulations to this year’s participants in the Volkswagen Distinguished Scholars Program! Only a few select students from Fisk University are awarded the opportunity to intern at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Volkswagen Chattanooga Operations. As part of this two-summer experience, students have access to state-of-the-art scientific facilities and equipment and complete research projects in automotive innovation. Visit for more information.

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Jennifer Lewis, a student from University of Tennessee, participates in the Volkswagen Distinguished Scholars Program at Oak Ridge National Lab

Undergraduate and graduates students, like Jennifer Lewis from the University of Tennessee, participate in cutting-edge automotive research projects under the mentorship of top engineers and scientists though the Volkswagen Distinguished Scholars Program. The summer research internships are offered to students from five select Tennessee universities in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory. With her research project, “The Perennial Question: Farmers’ Choices and the Biofuel Future,” Jennifer joined ten other distinguished scholars for the hands-on learning experience that also included weekly brown bag scientific seminars, a trip to our Chattanooga assembly plant and regular meetings with Volkswagen executives. “It’s been very interesting. I spend most of my day in the lab – which is a lot more fun than sitting in front of the computer.” The competitive application process begins the fall of each year.


When Marcus Robinson first tried to enroll at The Excel Institute, a provider of vocational training for at-risk youth and adults, he was told he would have to wait three months. The then 31-year-old told educators at the automotive training facility that he needed to start immediately — because he probably wouldn’t be alive in three months. “I was a hoodlum,” Robinson explained, “The things I was involved in, I would not have been around.” Today, Robinson is an automotive instructor at The Excel Institute. His life is moving in a completely different direction, and he credits Volkswagen Group of America for playing a major role in educating his own students. To date, our support has enabled 225 students to participate in the institute’s life skills program. Read more »