Hamilton, Ontario – Ford is teaming up with McMaster University in Ontario and the federal government for a new research initiative to develop hybrid powertrain systems.

Ford, McMaster and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) are providing $2.5 million to establish the NSERC/Ford/McMaster Industrial Research Chair in Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Powertrain Diagnostics. The funding will be distributed over five years.

Saeid Habibi, a professor of mechanical engineering at McMaster and a leading innovator of intelligent control-failure-prediction systems for the automotive and aerospace industries, has been named the inaugural chair holder. He is also a lead researcher in the $26 million Green Auto Powertrain initiative announced by the Province of Ontario in 2008.

The new chair will also establish a research centre for mechatronics and hybrid technologies, in which Ford also participates. The centre will be located in the new 80,000-square-foot McMaster Automotive Resource Centre at McMaster Innovation Park. The research will focus on developing performance and reliability testing systems to be used in designing advanced hybrid powertrain systems, as well as in-vehicle monitoring and fault-detection systems.

The funds for the industrial research chair will support a research group consisting of two postdoctoral fellows, nine graduate students, and one part-time technician over the five-year term.

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