DENSO Sponsors University of Michigan
Last-Mile Mobility Competition, Participates in Fall Engineering Fair – Master of Business Administration students in the Ross School of Business explored new business models for last-mile delivery robots –

Sep. 12, 2019 News Releases

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (Sept. 12, 2019) – In July, DENSO, the world’s second largest mobility supplier, sponsored a last-mile mobility competition at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. The company challenged participating Master of Business Administration students to propose new ideas about how to best approach the rapidly emerging space of last-mile delivery robots. By sponsoring the competition, it not only supported DENSO’s commitment to spurring innovation, but also provided the company a unique opportunity to help mentor and support tomorrow’s workforce.

DENSO’s collaboration with the University of Michigan does not end there, as it will participate in the SWE/TBP Fall Engineering Fair on September 16 and 17, 2019, at the EECS Atrium and BBB Atrium on the University of Michigan’s North Campus.

For the competition, 14 teams comprised of 70 students were briefed about last-mile mobility’s growing importance and DENSO’s increasing interest in the space, such as with its recent investment in Bond Mobility, a micromobility services provider. Teams were then tasked with:

  • Analyzing and assessing emerging business opportunities in the autonomous delivery industry;
  • Developing 1-2 business ideas focused on business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) services that generate recurring revenues; and
  • Devising a business strategy and corporate action for implementation.

“Working with the Ross School of Business on this competition allowed us to do two things we’re passionate about at DENSO,” said Pat Bassett, vice president of DENSO’s North American Research Engineering Center. “First, it drove creative thinking from fresh perspectives, which is key to our R&D strategy. Second, it offered these bright students real-life examples of how they could apply their talents to an exciting career in mobility.”

A judging panel of two Ross School of Business professors and four DENSO employees chose two winners. The winning teams were selected for their unique approaches, which yielded tech-forward concepts centered on optimized fleet management and autonomous waste collection.

“Case study competitions allow our students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real-world scenarios,” said Patricia Russo, managing director of the Part-Time MBA Programs at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “Working with DENSO is particularly exciting because it forces our students to think beyond the technology of today and to what the future of mobility will look like with advancements around autonomous and connected vehicle technology.”

At the SWE/TBP Fall Engineering Fair, DENSO Representatives will be at the James and Anne Duderstadt Center, table DC-18, where they will offer attendees insight into the rewarding careers possible at DENSO in software engineering, cyber security, research and development, strategic operations and more.

For those interested in joining a team that aims to reshape mobility through collaboration, safety and sustainability, please visit: In its recruiting and workforce development efforts, DENSO is committed to advancing diversity and inclusion within technical fields – a principle that brings unique perspectives to the table, accelerates innovation and improves the organization overall.

In addition to attracting top talent, DENSO continuously seeks new collaboration partners, such as research institutions and startups, as it continues to push mobility forward.


DENSO is a $48.3 billion global mobility supplier that develops advanced technology and components for nearly every vehicle make and model on the road today. With manufacturing at its core, DENSO invests in its 221 facilities in 35 countries to produce thermal, powertrain, mobility, electrification, & electronic systems, to create jobs that directly change how the world moves. The company's 170,000+ employees are paving the way to a mobility future that improves lives, eliminates traffic accidents, and preserves the environment. Globally headquartered in Kariya, Japan, DENSO spent 9.3 percent of its global consolidated sales on research and development in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019. For more information about global DENSO, visit

In North America, DENSO employs 27,000+ engineers, researchers and skilled workers across 51 sites in the U.S, Canada and Mexico. In the United States alone, DENSO employs 17,700+ employees across 14 states (and the District of Columbia) and 25 sites. Headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, in fiscal year ending March 31, 2019, DENSO in North America generated $10.9 billion in consolidated sales. Join us, and craft not only how the world moves, but also your career. For more information, go to

About Michigan Ross

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a vibrant and distinctive learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today's dynamic global economy. The Ross School of Business' mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improves business and society.

Ross is consistently ranked among the world's leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the BBA, MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening, Online, and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Management, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.