University of Saskatchewan Students Offer New Ideas for Tomorrow's Vehicles

WINDSOR, ON, June 10 /CNW/ - A team of student researchers from the University of Saskatchewan was nationally recognized for their contributions to automotive advanced technology. The team was awarded first place in the AUTO21 Highly Qualified People (HQP) Poster Competition, sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. The competition is open to student researchers within the AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence program.

AUTO21 is Canada's national automotive research program, supporting nearly 200 researchers and over 350 graduate students at 45 universities across the country. More than 70 student teams from 27 Canadian universities took part in the competition, which was held at the APMA-AUTO21 2010 Conference and Exhibition in Windsor, Ontario. Supported by AUTO21 funding as they complete graduate and post-graduate degrees, each student's research contributes to one of AUTO21's automotive research projects.

The winning team contributes to the Second Generation Biofuels for Sustainable Transportation project, which is led by Professor Murray Thomson of the University of Toronto. The student researchers are supervised by Dr. Ajay Dalai, a professor of chemical engineering and include Kathlene Jacobson, Majak Mapiour and Ramin Azargohar.

"The knowledge and technology that will drive tomorrow's vehicles are being developed today," said Dr. Peter Frise, AUTO21 Scientific Director and CEO. "AUTO21 students are actively contributing to these innovations. The winning team is an excellent example of the research excellence that is thriving in universities across Canada."

"Innovation is essential for Canada to remain a leader in the global auto industry," said Sandra Pupatello, Ontario's Minister of Economic Development and Trade. "The valuable research conducted throughout the AUTO21 Network is shaping the vehicles of the future and the future of Canada's auto industry as a whole."

The annual HQP Poster Competition is held each spring and boasts a total prize purse of approximately $15,000. Fifteen semi-finalist teams are selected from the initial pool of entrants, with each team member receiving a $50 voucher for a bookstore. The semi-finalists provide an oral defence of their research poster, and five winners are selected upon this evaluation. The winners receive a cash prize to be divided amongst the team members. Judges are external to AUTO21 and include senior industry, government and R&D experts.

    Final ranking of the top five student teams:
    Project name                      University           Ranking/prize
    Second Generation Biofuels for    University of
    Sustainable Transportation        Saskatchewan         First/$4,500.00
    Inertial Sensor Cluster for       University of
    Adaptive Path Prediction          Alberta              Second/$3,500.00
    Infrastructure for Wide Market
    Adoption of PHEV                  McGill University    Third/$2,500.00
    High-Strength Lightweight Cast
    Powertrain Components             Ryerson University   Fourth/$1,500.00
    Micro-Machining of Dies and       University of        Honourable
    Moulds                            British Columbia     Mention/$1,000.00

AUTO21 supports nearly 200 researchers and 350 student researchers at 45 universities across the country. More than 121 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.


For further information: For further information: Stephanie Campeau, Communications Manager, AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence, Tel: (519) 253-3000, ext. 4129, Cell: (519) 890-6830; Mark Ingram, Senior Communications Officer, Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Tel: (416) 325-4776

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