McMaster Receives Almost $1 Million in New Auto Research Funding

May 22, 2009

Safety, comfort and power are some of the areas researchers at McMaster will be exploring with new funding announced today by AUTO21.

Four faculty members have received $948,000 in funding as project leaders for four research initiatives:

• Brenda Vrkljan, assistant professor of rehabilitation sciences, received $310,000 for research in Innovations for Children’s Safety in Vehicles. Researchers will develop and test three new injury prevention products that address side impacts, seat positioning, and the teaching of vehicle safety behaviours through gaming software.

• Gillian Goward, associate professor of chemistry, received $290,000 for research of Energy Storage in Lithium Ion Batteries. This project aims to develop a new set of cathode and solid-state electrolyte materials to address current limitations to lithium ion battery technology for automotive vehicles.

• Jim Potvin, associate professor of kinesiology, received $190,000 for research of Manufacturing Ergonomics Through Simulation Modeling. This research will develop methods to anticipate ergonomic issues in the design of automotive assembly processes using computer-aided design and 3D digital modeling.

• Bartosz Protas, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, received $158,000 for Multidisciplinary Optimization of Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Batteries. This project will use a combination of mathematical modeling, optimization and scientific computing to develop models for the optimal structural, thermal and mechanical properties of battery systems in hybrid electric and electric vehicles.

Auto 21


A total of $12 million in funding was announced by AUTO21 for 20 new projects at 14 universities across Canada. Summaries of the projects can be found in the research section of


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