Design Engineering

Queen’s student earns top honour in national automotive competition

By Design Engineering staff   


Toronto – New technology to predict shear fractures in advanced high strength steels has helped a Queen’s University student win a national automotive research competition. Andrew Sloan, a Master of Applied Science student, won the AUTO21 TestDRIVE competition, receiving a $10,000 scholarship for his work on void damage rates in dual-phase steel grades.

The automotive sector’s shift towards light-weight vehicles demands a material change from conventional high strength steel towards thinner and higher strength sheet steels. However, the high strengths of advanced steel grades typically comes at a price of reduced ductility, which may result in costly premature component failure during particular forming operations. Through testing, researchers may be able to develop models to understand the failure mechanisms in high strength steels and mediate errors under common stress states.

The AUTO21 TestDRIVE competition showcased leading edge technologies and automotive knowledge developed in part by Canadian university graduate students. As Canada’s automotive research program, AUTO21 provides funding to 39 applied R&D projects at 45 universities across the country.

About 500 students contribute to these projects, along with 200 academic researchers. Since its establishment in 2001, AUTO21 has supported more than 1400 graduate student researchers with federal and private-sector funding. A recent economic impact study estimates that AUTO21 research has generated more than $1.1 billion in economic and social savings to Canada.


In addition to the $10,000 scholarship, a $5,000 scholarship was awarded to Rajaprakash Ramachandramoorthy of McGill University for his research on laser transmission welding.

TestDRIVE was held in conjunction with Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters’ 2010 Sustainable Manufacturing Summit in Toronto, Ontario.


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