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Auto researchers receive grants to take projects to next step

Published by Steve Coleman on August 30, 2011

Canadian universities plan to step up their involvement in automotive R&D with a $6.5 million government investment topped off with $10 million more from the industry.

As a part of the Automotive Partnership Canada initiative, researchers will look at better heat management for the battery stacks in hybrid electric vehicles, better aluminum wheel production, more effective catalytic converters, improved fuel cell technology and better workstation design.

Two of Simon Fraser University's projects will be partnered with Future Vehicle Technologies and Ballard Power Systems; the University of British Columbia will work with Canadian Autoparts Toyota Inc; the University of Alberta will team up with Vida Holdings Incorporated; and McMaster University will collaborate with the United States Council for Automotive Research.

Simon Fraser University's research includes $798,906 in grants to build a better energy management system for hybrid vehicles and $4,051,075 to design the next generation electric transit bus powered with hydrogen fuel cells.

University of British Columbia researchers will work with Toyota and a $726,859 grant to build a better water-cooled casting system for aluminum wheels.

The University of Alberta has singled out the catalytic converter for improvement. With the help of a $180,629 grant, the university plans to work on a multi-celled catalytic converter to help reduce the warm-up times for the anti-pollution device.

McMaster University plans to work on better workstations. The idea is to insert a computerized human model into design programs to build a better layout. Grant help rang in at $798,625.

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