Institute formed at McMaster to promote automotive research

April 30, 2008

A new research institute has been established at McMaster University to coordinate its increasing involvement in the automotive sector.  The announcement was made today at the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association annual conference in Hamilton.

The McMaster Institute for Automotive Research and Technology, known as MacAUTO, brings together more than 75 researchers in engineering, science, business and other faculties involved in automotive-related research.  This work involves collaboration with more than 30 private and public sector organizations.

“Better coordinating our efforts across disciplines will lead to new ideas and better solutions for the automotive industry,” said Mo Elbestawi, vice-president of research and international affairs at McMaster.  “It will also make it easier for organizations to access our pool of highly qualified researchers and leading-edge facilities to advance a vital industry sector in Ontario and worldwide.”

McMaster has long been known for its materials and manufacturing-related research through such groups as the McMaster Steel Research Centre, the McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute and the Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research. 

Recent initiatives have added the General Motors of Canada Centre for Automotive Materials and Corrosion, the $46.5 million Initiative for Automotive Manufacturing Innovation, a joint venture with the University of Waterloo, the General Motors of Canada Centre for Engineering Design, and studies in mechatronics and hybrid technologies.

McMaster has also established the McMaster Institute for Transportation and Logistics, and the Dofasco Centre for Engineering and Public Policy.  Other automotive research initiatives involve studies in the areas of labour, globalization, sustainability, and driver behavior such as visual attention and motion perception.

“We are positioned to make significant contributions to the next generation of automobiles and how they impact society,” said David Wilkinson, dean of the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster and the lead behind the development of MacAUTO.  “We are also developing the expertise that will move these developments forward in the future.”

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