Lab Canada

$1M for new NSERC chair in extreme-environment design

Montral, QC November 7, 2003 The Government of Canada is funding a new NSERC chair in design for extreme environments at McGill University. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) is providing C$1 million over five years, with McGill University contributing $598,000, and MD Robotics a further $50,000.

"Designing for extreme environments needs robust, sustainable answers to challenging problems," says professor Jorge Angeles, the chairholder and robotics specialist. "Canada’s wealth of harsh environments is an ideal testing ground for developing our students’ strengths in creative engineering."

"Design engineering is a creative, intellectual activity using knowledge as a key input," says Tom Brzustowski, NSERC president. "Nowhere is the output of this process more severely tested than in an extreme environment where it is very difficult to make repairs if the product fails to perform."

NSERC created the chairs in design engineering program five years ago in response to a call from industry and universities for more professionals in this critical area. The main priority of the program is to improve research and training in design engineering at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. It focuses on innovation in learning, and on equipping students with the right skills, knowledge and personal attributes required by the profession and industry.