Waterloo research into safer, lighter, greener vehicles receives government and industry support

Friday, February 22, 2013

WATERLOO, Ont. (Friday, Feb. 22, 2013) – A research project at the University of Waterloo that will lead to lighter automotive components that will be stronger in a crash was among the initiatives that received funding from Automotive Partnership Canada (APC) announced today.

"The University of Waterloo is home to some of the most innovative automotive research taking place in North America," said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president & vice-chancellor of Waterloo. "The kind of support announced today helps researchers make vehicles that are safer, more fuel efficient and with minimized emissions."

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), was at Waterloo today to announce five new research projects that will receive a total of $21.4 million in APC support.

Professor Michael Worswick of the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at Waterloo is affiliated with the Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research (WatCAR), and leads the Waterloo project that received support today. The research will result in the development of ultra-high-strength car components involving the hot stamping of boron steels to improve resistance in side and front-end crashes. The project received $1.1 million from APC today, including $605,000 from the Government of Canada and the rest in financial and in-kind support from Honda R&D Americas, Magna International, ArcelorMittal Dofasco and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation.

"Hot stamping is currently used in the automotive B-pillar, or door post, between the front and rear seats, which provides protection during side impact," said Professor Worswick. "What we are doing is seeking to produce hot-stamped components with what we call tailored properties, where some areas of the part are strong to provide protection, while others are more pliable to help dissipate the crash energy and reduce vehicle weight."

Professor Amir Khajepour, of the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at Waterloo and WatCAR, also received funding today from APC. The joint research project with Simon Fraser University is investigating refrigeration and air conditioning for service vehicles that would produce fewer emissions. Waterloo's portion of the APC funding for that project is approximately $1 million.

Established in 2009, Automotive Partnership Canada (APC) will provide $145 million in research funding over five years to support significant, collaborative R&D activities that will benefit the entire Canadian automotive industry. This initiative is a partnership between five federal research and granting agencies under the Industry Canada umbrella.

About the University of Waterloo

In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, as home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, please visit www.uwaterloo.ca.

About the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports almost 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding approximately 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging over 2,400 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.




Media contact:

Pamela Smyth

Media Relations Officer

Communications & Public Affairs

University of Waterloo




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