Since the introduction of mass-production in the automobile industry, efficiency and innovation have been of upmost importance for companies wishing to be on the cutting-edge in this highly competitive business. Aurora, Ontario-based automotive parts supplier Van-Rob Kirchhoff Automotive has found their competitive advantage in the Mitacs-Accelerate program.
Rohan saw AV Nackawic’s energy-efficiency problem as the perfect opportunity to develop the practical understanding of industrial processes he was missing in his academic studies. Rising to the challenge of troubleshooting a process problem in the heat-recovery system for AV Nackawic, Rohan drew upon everything he had learned throughout his academic career and put it to practical use – turning his abstract knowledge into concrete results.
After finishing a diploma in Electronics Engineering Technology from Sheridan College, Gurpreet was keen to put his skills and education to use. However, with limited job experience, landing a full-time position proved difficult. After learning about Mitacs Enterprise, Gurpreet partnered with Mississauga-based Avnan Electro, a global supplier of electrical components. The six-month internship was instrumental in providing him with the industry connections and experience he was looking for.
The company is working with tight industry deadlines, hoping to commercialize their fuel cells for use in consumer vehicles within a few years’ time whilst competing against the likes of Hyundai and Toyota. As part of its bid to be on the cutting-edge of the technology, AFCC engaged in a Mitacs Elevate Post-Doctoral Fellowship with Dr. Ehsan Sadeghi of Simon Fraser University to develop accurate models of platinum alloy catalyst deployment used in the operation of a vehicle fuel cell.
“While I was working on my PhD, that’s what I was focused on. I needed time to foster industry relationships after my PhD, but I was still in an academic mindset. The Elevate program gave me the technical and practical skills to move to the next level.”
And he’s doing just that in the second year of his Mitacs Elevate postdoctoral fellowship. Gurjit is working with partner company Unitron Hearing, in collaboration with the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the University of Toronto to make hearing care accessible through the internet.