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Research partnership with Motor Coach Industries Ltd.

April 23, 2013 — 

To reduce emissions and improve safe the automobile industry is searching for new production materials, and to succeed, the industry is relying on a new University of Manitoba research chair.

Since 2007 Dr. Christine Wu has worked with Motor Coach Industries Ltd. (MCI), the leading builder of intercity coaches in Canada and the U.S. Now the professor of mechanical engineering will see her work with MCI go into overdrive thanks to over a $1-million in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and MCI.

NSERC has awarded Wu a prestigious NSERC Industrial Research Chair.  She is the fifth such active chair holder currently at the U of M. Her chair, the NSERC/MCI Industrial Research Chair in Heavy Ground Vehicles and Transportation Equipment was announced January 28th at an event at MCI’s Winnipeg plant.

“Canadian researchers are leaders in next-generation automotive research.  Improving multi-passenger vehicles presents one of the best opportunities to transform transportation in North American cities,” said NSERC President Suzanne Fortier. “Working closely with Motor Coach Industries, the work of Dr. Wu and her team will lead to safer rides for passengers on buses and similar large vehicles and will strengthen Canada’s reputation as a technical innovator in this field.”

For the industry to stay competitive and grow it must find and integrate new technologies, materials and methods to produce safe, reliable coaches. When new concept materials and technologies are introduced to a design they have to be rigorously tested. Wu’s work focuses on this aspect of production.

“Dr. Wu’s research partnership with Motor Coach Industries will drive her research forward and have real world results and applications that will fuel MCI’s economic success – and we all know successful businesses in our community result in a better economy for all,” said Digvir S. Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba. “Her novel work finds ways to reduce the laboratory testing period without sacrificing safety or data gathering integrity; the faster a new technology can leave the laboratory and enter production, the better economic news for industry.”

Wu will work with MCI to develop such tools to facilitate their design and analysis, focusing on vehicle roll-safety evaluation and the development of new, faster methods for durability testing and safety evaluations.

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