GM invests $500,000 to support women in engineering and manufacturing research


[img_inline align=”right” src=”” caption=”Paula Meyer and Tayce Wakefield”]General Motors of Canada Limited is investing $500,000 in McMaster University to support the institution's cutting-edge research in metal-forming and machining processes and to provide scholarships to
women who pursue careers in mechanical engineering.

“McMaster University's reputation for providing world-class research in machining and metal-forming processes is second to none. This partnership between GM and McMaster solidifies a long-time relationship that has existed between our two institutions. It also signals GM's commitment to sustaining and enhancing the Canadian automotive industry and to supporting women who choose careers in engineering,” says Tayce Wakefield, vice-president of corporate and
environmental affairs for GM of Canada.

“General Motors of Canada has distinguished itself as a leader in state-of-the-art technology. With this donation to McMaster, they are ensuring that new technologies developed in the laboratory will advance the automotive industry and sustain the economic engine of Ontario. They are also ensuring that tomorrow's engineers are highly skilled and qualified to lead the growth and development of the industry in the new millennium. We are particularly pleased with GM's
decision to support women entering our engineering program. We are proud of our partnership with GM and grateful for the vote of confidence their investment demonstrates,” says McMaster President Peter George.

GM is contributing $200,000 to the newly established McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI), which will strengthen the University's reputation as a leader in manufacturing engineering research and bring new, leading-edge technologies in the areas of machining systems, hydro forming and sheet metal forming processes, and automation, to the plant floor. The research institute will be the largest in Canada specializing in machining, polymer processing and
metal forming technologies, and is expected to attract top faculty and more students by providing the latest in manufacturing research and education.

In addition, the automotive industry leader is providing $200,000 for the establishment of the General Motors Entrance Scholarships, to be awarded to female students entering engineering. Another $100,000 will establish the GM Motors Graduate Scholarships in Science and Technology for graduate students in engineering programs related to automotive engineering. The graduate scholarship donation is eligible for the Ontario Graduate Student Science and Technology matching program. The first entrance scholarships will be awarded this fall.

McMaster and GM's corporate relationship goes back to 1979 when GM sponsored several in-course scholarships at McMaster. For several years, the company has provided funding for the industrial chair held by professor of mechanical engineering Mo Elbestawi, director of the McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute. Several of Elbestawi's former students are among the many McMaster graduates now employed by GM.

Approximately 60 of the 290 undergraduate students enrolled in manufacturing and mechanical engineering at McMaster are females. There are approximately 380 students enrolled in full- and part-time graduate studies in engineering.