Queen’s Student Wins Top Honour at National Automotive Competition

Published on: 2010/11/25 - in Science & Tech

A Queen’s University student has won a national automotive research competition for his new technology that predicts shear fractures in advanced high strength steels.

Andrew Sloan, a Master of Applied Science student, won this year’s AUTO21 TestDRIVE competition and received a $10,000 scholarship for his research on void damage rates in dual-phase steel grades.

This research is particularly important as the automotive industry moves toward light-weight vehicles that require a material change from conventional high strength steel to thinner and higher strength sheet steels.

However, the advanced steel grades’ high strength can often come at the expense of reduced ductility, which could result in costly premature component failure during specific forming operations. Through research, scientists hope to develop models to understand the failure mechanisms in high strength steels and mediate errors under common stress states.

The AUTO21 TestDRIVE competition showcases breaking technologies and automotive knowledge developed in part by Canadian university graduate students.  As Canada’s automotive research program, AUTO21 funds 39 applied R&D projects at 45 universities across Canada. Approximately 500 students contribute to these projects, along with 200 academic researchers.

Since it was formed in 2001, AUTO21 has benefited over 1400 graduate student researchers with both federal and private-sector funding. A recent economic impact study estimated that AUTO21 research has generated more than $1.1 billion in economic and social savings for the country.

“Our HQP have a wide range of perspectives and initiatives that are helping advance Canada’s automotive sector,” said Dr. Peter Frise, Scientific Director and CEO of AUTO21. “Competitions like TestDRIVE help drive innovation and push students to achieve their full potential, while bringing the next great idea closer to the market.”

AUTO21 supports research 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.

It is in turn supported by the Government of Canada through a Networks of Centres of Excellence program, with its administrative centre located at the University of Windsor.

Read more about Andrew Sloan’s research at Queen’s University.