LTU students in design contest for WardsAuto User Experience Conference

SOUTHFIELD – WardsAuto is collaborating with Lawrence Technological University (LTU) to hold the first WardsAuto User Experience Student Design Competition this fall.

Students from three LTU transportation and industrial design classes are submitting their fall semester projects to the competition, which asks them to design a new vehicle or product for an existing brand, focusing on features that will heighten the user’s satisfaction with the experience.

Students are already well under way with their projects, which they previewed to WardsAuto on Sept. 18.  Their concepts cover everything from knowledge sharing to safety enhancements, with a strong emphasis on qualities of life that are important to millennials and generation that follows – a group born after 2000 and variously known as Generation Z, Centennials, or iGeneration.

The student work will be spotlighted during the WardsAuto User Experience Conference, to be held Thursday, Oct. 5 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. The event’s Center Stage Discussion will feature Keith Nagara, director of LTU’s transportation and industrial design programs; LTU adjunct faculty member Emilio Feliciano, a user experience designer at FCA who has been involved with high-profile projects such as the Chrysler Portal concept; and Anushka Ghatia, a student competing in the program.

“The students are in the early stages of their conceptual and design work, but already we’re seeing some amazing ideas being fleshed out,” said Drew Winter, director of content for WardsAuto. “It’s always exciting for us to see the next generation of designers and engineers give their takes on where the auto industry is headed, and we can’t wait until we see their finished designs.”

The final work of the LTU students will be judged by a panel of automotive designers and engineers in December, and winners will be announced on

Registration for the WardsAuto User Experience Conference is open at

WardsAuto has served the auto industry’s information needs for more than 90 years and is based in Southfield. It is part of London, England-based Informa, a global academic publisher, business intelligence provider, and corporate exhibition organizer. More at

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