Electrification Funding to spark opportunities for University of Windsor 

The announcement earlier this week that Stellantis will invest $3.6 billion in its Canadian operations to accelerate the move to electric vehicles is good news for UWindsor researchers, says dean of engineering Bill Van Heyst.

The funding secures the future of assembly plants in Windsor and Brampton in support of the company’s electrification strategy. The plans include expansion of UWindsor’s Automotive Research and Development Centre to house the first Stellantis battery lab in North America.

The facility links industry and academic researchers and was the site of the May 2 announcement event, attended by Stellantis North America chief operating officer Mark Stewart, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario premier Doug Ford, senior ministers from both governments, and other officials and community leaders.

“These investments reaffirm our long-term commitment to Canada and represent an important step as we move toward zero-emission vehicles that deliver on our customers’ desire for innovative, clean, safe and affordable mobility,” said Stewart.

Dr. Van Heyst noted that Stellantis has been a long-term partner of the University of Windsor and, in particular, the Faculty of Engineering.

“As an academic institution, we will be training the next generation of automotive engineers with a focus on electrification and, given the recent announcement, our graduates will now be able to find meaningful employment within the Windsor-Essex region,” he said.

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Peter Frise, left, director of the University of Windsor's Centre for Automotive Research and Education, and Faculty of Engineering dean Bill Van Heyst are shown in a lab at the school on Tuesday, May 3, 2022. Photo by Dan Janisse /Windsor Star

Stellantis's battery lab investment another Windsor game changer

University of Windsor professor Rupp Carriveau is shown at the faculty of engineering building on campus on Monday, May 16, 2022. PHOTO BY DAN JANISSE /Windsor Star

New joint venture will explore locally generated power solutions for greenhouse industry

Close up of speedometer. Photograph courtesy of Pexels.

The Hill Times
From evolution to revolution: automobility at the heart of University of Windsor

A team of Windsor engineering students worked with industry partners to develop a more efficient method of producing custom wheelchair seats for children with special needs.

Student Project optimizes custom seating for children's wheelchairs 

A manufacturing process developed with help from UWindsor engineering students can help children with special needs get a customized wheelchair faster.

The team, fourth-year engineering majors Luka Mlinarevic, Pavneet Sarao, Alea Mclellan, Jasmine Bull, and Saifaldin Abdelhamid under the direction of professor Colin Novak, has been working with the John McGivney Children’s Centre (JMCC) to speed up its production of specialized seats uniquely designed to meet the specific needs of each child.

The high-quality individualized seats are better suited to young clients than those procured off the shelf, explained team member Bull.

“These custom-moulded seats make a huge difference for these children by providing optimal alignment and support while improving their well-being,” she said.

The new process, presented during the Faculty of Engineering Design Demo Day on July 29, has the potential to reduce production time to three or four weeks rather than the current six to eight months. It will introduce innovative technologies with support from Harbour Technologies, Valiant TMS, and other local partners.

“Our current approach was a mix of internal and external processes that could be costly and labour intensive at times, and the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated those challenges, introducing unpredictability in the cost and delivery of materials” said JMCC seating technologist, Gerry Demers.

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UWindsor engineering professor Jalal Ahamed knows timing is everything

Dr. Jalal Ahamed, along with Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and Stathera, Inc., are leading a $320,000 research project using an oscillating microchip that could revolutionize the way devices keep track of time.

UWindsor engineering professor Jalal Ahamed knows timing is everything.

Dr. Ahamed is leading a research project to improve the time-keeping chip embedded in every smart and connected device. Think cell phones, tablets and laptops, but also other connected devices like thermostats, security systems, refrigerators, automobiles and airplanes.

Ahamed’s research aims to develop microchips that oscillate with high precision, providing a fixed frequency to measure time. They provide the reference frequency needed to synchronize events in digital integrated circuits, manage data transfer, define radio frequencies, process signals, as well as tell time.

“The novelty of this project is to use innovative device design combined with a robust material,” said Ahamed. “We are designing a better chip that is easier to manufacture and less expensive.”

For the past century, keeping time has been the dominion of quartz, a hard crystalline mineral. But quartz is expensive and difficult to cut and etch, Ahamed explained.

Ahamed is experimenting with tuning silicon as a replacement for quartz. He believes his oscillating microchip can replace traditional quartz-based devices.

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Get a Glimpse of the new Toldo Lancer Centre

VIDEO SPOTLIGHT: In late May 2022, Dr. Robert Gordon, UWindsor president and vice-chancellor and Dr. Vincent Georgie, acting associate vice-president external, brought student representatives from University of Windsor Student Alliance (UWSA), the Graduate Student Society (GSS) and the Organization of Part-time University Students (OPUS) on an exclusive pre-opening tour inside the New Toldo Lancer Centre.  >> VIEW VIDEO

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Alex Leigh in his lab
High school students test their wing designs in the Faculty of Engineering

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