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Largest university research centre on polymers and polymer matrix composites in Canada opens its doors


Montreal, QC – Today marks the inauguration by Montral’s Ecole Polytechnique of the largest university research centre in Canada on polymers and polymer matrix composites for industrial applications: the Centre de recherche en plasturgie et composites (CREPEC).

The centre came into being last April when funding from the Fonds qubcois de recherche sur la nature et les technologies, under the agency’s program to develop strategic alliances, allowed Polytechnique’s Centre de recherche applique sur les polymres (Centre for Applied Research on Polymers – CRASP) to broaden its expertise. The Fonds has invested a total of $2.5 million over a six-year period in CREPEC.

CREPEC’s mission is to design, understand and optimize polymer-forming processes without losing sight of end-use applications. The centre’s laboratories are equipped to undertake every stage in the development of new polymer materials, from test tube to industrial production via the various pilot processes. Bringing together researchers from many different universities, CREPEC unites top-notch expertise and experience with exceptional technical means. Students participate in the research and receive solid training enabling them to meet the challenges of the plastics and composites industry head-on.

“CREPEC has acquired internationally recognized expertise in the development, characterization and forming of multiphase systems such as continuous-fibre composites and polymer blends,” says Pierre J Carreau, the centre’s director and full professor with the department of chemical engineering at Ecole Polytechnique. “An important component of CREPEC’s research has benefited from powerful computing capabilities, allowing us to model complex flows in polymer forming processes.”

Directed by Professor Carreau, CREPEC brings together some 40 professors and researchers from Ecole Polytechnique, Ecole de technologie suprieure, participating universities Concordia, Laval, McGill and Sherbrooke, the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Materials Institute (IMI), and Cgep de St-Jrme. In Qubec, CREPEC includes two Tier-1 Canada Research chairs, two Tier-2 chairs, two industrial chairs and two university research chairs.

“The creation in 2004 of six new research centres in high-tech sectors, of which CREPEC is one example, bears out the extraordinary research force that has emerged in Qubec since 2001,” says Sylvie Dillard, president and chief executive officer of the Fonds qubcois de recherche sur la nature et les technologies, at the inauguration of CREPEC. “At present, the 33 centres and affiliates of the Fonds bring together nearly 1,000 top-notch university researchers and some 4,800 students."

The Fonds qubcois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies is a public agency responsible for promoting and financing research, education, and researcher training, principally in the fields of natural sciences, mathematics and engineering.