University Students Showcase Canada's Automotive Innovation Success

TORONTO, May 23, 2013 /CNW/ - Wondering what the next automotive technology will be? What materials will make your car safer? Student researchers with the AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence are working on this and more as they help to advance Canada's automotive landscape. A University of Toronto team was nationally recognized at the annual AUTO21 Conference in Toronto, Ontario for their contribution to Canadian automotive research and development.

The team was awarded first place in the Toyota Canada-AUTO21 HQP Poster Competition, taking home a $4,500 prize. The competition is open to student researchers within the AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence program. Nearly 60 teams took part in the competition.

"Toyota is pleased to support the HQP Poster Competition as it recognizes the next generation of leaders in automotive engineering," said Sandy Di Felice, Director of External Affairs, Toyota Canada Inc.  "Working with AUTO21 allows Toyota insight into the collaborative research project opportunities that advance Canada's contribution to the domestic and global auto industry."

The University of Toronto team contributes to the Mitigating GDI Particulate Emissions Through Ethanol Blends project, under the supervision of Dr. James Wallace. Team members include Phillip Mireault and Manuel Ramos.

"Our Highly Qualified People (HQP) or student researchers are among some of Canada's top minds and future leaders," said Dr. Peter Frise, AUTO21 Scientific Director and CEO. "Working on collaborative projects with industry, each student demonstrates cutting-edge knowledge and expertise as they contribute to a sustainable automotive industry for Canada."

The annual HQP Poster Competition boasts a total prize purse of approximately $15,000. Sixteen semi-finalist teams are selected from the initial pool of entrants, with each team member receiving a $50 bookstore voucher. The semi-finalists provide an oral defence of their research poster. Final winners are selected upon this evaluation. The winners receive a cash prize to be divided amongst the team members. Judges include senior industry, government and R&D experts.

Final ranking of the top student teams:

Project name University Ranking/prize
Mitigating GDI Particulate Emissions Through Ethanol Blends University of Toronto First/$4,500
Safe Driving in Older Adults Lakehead University Second/$3,500
Injury Prevention Through Adaptive Seat Design (team 1) University of British Columbia Third/$2,500
Safety Ambulance Driver Monitoring Unit Universite Laval
University of Windsor
Fourth/$1,500
Injury Prevention Through Adaptive Seat Design (team 2) University of British Columbia Honourable Mention/$1,000

AUTO21 supports nearly 200 researchers and 350 student researchers at 47 universities across the country. More than 120 public and private sector organizations partner with AUTO21. With an annual research budget of approximately $11 million, AUTO21 and its partners support projects in six key areas: health, safety and injury prevention; societal issues; materials and manufacturing; design processes; powertrains, fuels and emissions; and intelligent systems and sensors. AUTO21 is supported by the Government of Canada through a Networks of Centres of Excellence program, and its administrative centre is hosted by the University of Windsor.

SOURCE: AUTO21

For further information:

Stephanie Campeau
Director of Public Affairs and Communications
AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence
Tel: 519.253.3000, ext. 4129
Cell: 519.890.6830

Melanie Testani

Manager, Public Relations
Toyota Canada
Tel: 416.431.8333

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AUTO21

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