McMaster, GM Canada to create engineering design and corrosion research centres

March 2, 2005

50th Anniversary

Pictured at today's announcement in front of a GM vehicle, from left, Mo Elbestawi, dean of engineering; Larry Di Ianni, mayor of Hamilton; Peter George, McMaster President; Al Green, vice-president personnel and operations for GM Canada; Tony Valeri, liberal MP for Stoney Creek; and Marie Bountrogianni, MPP for Hamilton Mountain. Photo credit: Chantall Van Raay

McMaster University and General Motors of Canada have partnered to establish two new automotive engineering centres -- the GM of Canada Centre for Engineering Design and the GM of Canada Centre for Corrosion Engineering Research.

"GM Canada sees McMaster as a key educational partner as we work together to enhance automotive innovation and commercializable R&D in Canada," said Al Green, vice-president personnel and operations for General Motors of Canada. "By linking universities, researchers, students and auto suppliers in a new Canadian Automotive Innovation Network, GM plans to strengthen innovation and competitiveness in Canada."

The establishment of the two centres is part of General Motors of Canada's broader $2.5 billion reinvestment in the company's Canadian operations. It represents the largest and most comprehensive automotive investment in Canadian history. Following agreements with the Ontario and federal governments, GM's "Beacon Project" investment will strengthen automotive engineering, R&D and manufacturing capabilities in Canada.

"GM and McMaster have a long history of partnering on automotive engineering research," said Peter George, President of McMaster. "Today's announcement acknowledges McMaster's leadership in the field of automotive R&D and is a significant step toward our vision of becoming the leading automotive engineering school in Canada."

GM's commitment to McMaster is valued at more then $60 million and includes computer-based design tools to help train a new generation of Canadian engineering students. The GM of Canada Centre for Engineering Design will be located in the new McMaster School of Engineering Practice and is scheduled to open in 2007. The GM of Canada Centre for Corrosion Engineering Research will be located at the new McMaster Innovation Park and is scheduled to open in 2006.

"Engineering design is at the core of innovation in the automotive and manufacturing sectors," said Mo Elbestawi, dean of engineering at McMaster. "It allows engineers to apply knowledge of materials, processes, information systems, and robotics to develop new products and processes. Through the GM Canada partnership, we will significantly expand our role in developing future generations of vehicles and engineers."

The new Centre for Engineering Design is one of three centres in the new McMaster School for Engineering Practice. The School for Engineering Practice, the first of its kind in Canada, provides a focus for state-of the-art research and interdisciplinary education initiatives in three key areas of engineering practice: engineering and public policy, engineering entrepreneurship and innovation, and engineering design. The Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation was launched last fall.

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