Lighter, More Fuel-Efficient Cars Focus of New Casting Research Centre in Canada

October 6, 2006

Helping to develop lighter, stronger, more fuel-efficient automobiles is the focus of the new Light Metal Casting Research Centre (LMCRC) opened by the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University yesterday.

LMCRC is already working with industry and government to advance automotive casting research for engines and body panels, and to develop a skilled workforce for the automotive casting sector. Among the project partners are Orlick Industries, General Motors, Burlington Technologies, Alcan International, and Magna Powertrain.

“This Centre is critical to Canada’s leadership in automotive manufacturing,” said David Braley, president, Orlick Industries, a leading automotive parts manufacturer in Ontario.  “Companies like ours, which make parts that are used around the world, need the absolute newest research and expertise, and this is where we’ll get it. The Centre will quite literally revolutionize new materials, design capabilities and manufacturing processes, and in doing so it will ramp up competitiveness, and make cars cleaner and greener.”

The LMCRC was established through the support of the Braley-Orlick Chair in Advanced Manufacturing, and through collaborative projects with federal and provincial governments and industry.

“A key mandate of the Centre is developing highly qualified researchers and employees to boost continued innovation in Canada,” said Sumanth Shankar, Braley-Orlick Chair in Advanced Manufacturing at McMaster University and founding Director of LMCRC.  “This will boost opportunities to attract and retain expertise in Canada and expand innovation.”

A symposium was held in conjunction with Thursday’s opening featuring leading international researchers in materials technology.  Speakers included: Diran Apelian, Metal Processing Institute, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (United States); Weidong Huang, Northwestern Polytechnic University (Xi’an, China); Lars Arnberg, Norwegian University of Science & Technology (Trondsheim, Norway); Mark Gallerneault, Novelis Global Technology Centre (formerly Alcan Research & Development Centre, Kingston, Ont.) ; and Daryoush Emadi, CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory (Ottawa).

LMCRC is one of a number of research centres that comprise the McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI), one of the largest university manufacturing research institutes in Canada.   MMRI was established in May 2001 to pursue research in advanced polymer processing and design, machining systems, metal forming, micromanufacturing, robotics and manufacturing automation, and thermal processing.

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