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Waterloo Engineering awarded $1.65 million to design training program


The University of Waterloo received a federal grant announced to develop a training program that will help drive innovation in areas as diverse as automotive, aerospace, energy, manufacturing and healthcare. It will provide the knowledge and skills required to engineer the next generation of cyber-physical systems, such as autonomous vehicles that network with one another.

Professor Krzysztof Czarnecki, in collaboration with some of the world’s top researchers in product-line engineering and leading Canadian automotive, aerospace and software companies, will develop a training model for graduate students that will integrate courses in software, computer, mechatronic and systems engineering.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada awarded the project $1.65 million over six years from its Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program.

“Cyber-physical systems are penetrating every aspect of our lives and will transform how we interact with the physical world,” said Czarnecki, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Waterloo. “These systems enable new types of medical devices, smart renewable energy systems, intelligent homes and safer and cleaner airplanes. The ability to engineer model-based, product-line systems is critical for Canada’s international competitiveness.”

The Waterloo students will benefit from the industry partnerships through research-intensive internships at partnering firms. Select students will receive specialized training in automotive and aerospace systems, two of the areas key to Canada’s high-tech leadership.

“University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Engineering has always been an academic leader in advancing Canadian capabilities in emerging and disruptive technologies,” says Pearl Sullivan, dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Waterloo. “With this initiative, we will engineer the next generation of cyber-physical systems, a major part of the Internet of Things vision, leveraging connectivity and technology to support societal needs and grow the economy.”

CREATE grants support the training of teams of exceptional students and postdoctoral fellows and encourage collaboration while addressing important scientific challenges in areas of research priority for Canada.