New facilities to develop hybrid car, harvest wasted energy

June 10, 2015
photo by JD HOWELL     Canada Excellence Research Chair Ali Emadi. The MacAUTO team consists of 200 researchers working on everything from hybrid and electric powertrains and automotive computer software to lightweight materials design and manufacturing.

A new lab promises to help McMaster researchers build a better hybrid electric car right here in Hamilton.

Canada Excellence Research Chair Ali Emadi and his team at McMaster’s Institute for Automotive Research and Technology (MacAUTO) have been awarded $4.4M from the Ontario Research Fund for a Virtual Electric and Hybrid Electric Powertrain Integration Lab.

The high-tech lab will allow engineers and scientists to research and test the next generation of vehicles and electrified powertrains – the group of car parts that generate power and transfer it to the road.

The team will use a sophisticated system known as a dynamometer to test vehicle force, torque and power.

The MacAUTO team consists of 200 researchers working on everything from hybrid and electric powertrains and automotive computer software to lightweight materials design and manufacturing.

Engineers Jim Cotton and John Preston were awarded $2M to develop new technologies to harvest wasted energy.

The funding will go toward the Research Facility for Integrated Building Energy Harvesting Systems (ReFIBES), the only test facility of its kind in North America.

Their team will investigate new ways to capture the energy supply – electrical, thermal or fuel energy – that is lost during transport to homes and communities.

Nearly $15M in Ontario Research Fund support was awarded to McMaster today.

Gerry Wright, director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research received more than $3.5M for his research into antimicrobial resistance.

Another major grant - more than $3.5M - went to McMaster's Biointerfaces Institute for work developing new, printable biosensors that can be used in the doctor's office or in the field to instantly detect bacterial and respiratory infections, among other things.

Five other projects received an additional $683,000.

The province also announced the Early Researcher Awards, a multidisciplinary program that supports early career researchers in an effort to retain the best and brightest talents. Five researchers each received $140,000.