Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to Oshawa to announce a $9.5 million investment in University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s (UOIT) Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE).
The PM visited the UOIT campus Aug. 31 to announce funding for the ACE enhancement project.
“This is a smart investment to keep our [auto] industry competitive on the world stage, while protecting jobs and creating new employment for people like the students here today,” Trudeau said.
Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, introduced the PM, calling him a champion of the automotive sector. Bains said he finds himself passionate about the automotive world because it is where he started his career. He said it’s critical for the Canadian government to invest in this industry.
This program is anticipated to positively impact the automotive sector. The funding will be used to promote research and development and focus on clean and safe technologies, said Trudeau.
The project will directly impact ACE, doubling its workforce, according to the PM.
Arguably, the most important change will be the construction to the ACE wind tunnel.
The existing system has moving parts but the enhanced wind tunnel will be the most innovative one in the world because it will combine multiple technologies into one, said UOIT president Dr. Steven Murphy.
“This is the only tunnel in the world that’s going to be able to do aerodynamics and thermal dynamics all in one place,” said John Komar, director of engineering and operations at ACE.
The construction phase will begin in September. All the elements are expected to be completed by spring, 2020.
Murphy said students will get a leg up in the industry and help the next generation be literate in all things green.
“The skills that they get as a result of all of the investment gives them that much more of an edge when they graduate with their degree,” said Murphy.
Students aren’t the only ones who will benefit from this funding.
“This will allow for fuel savings while moving us towards a greener future and that is so crucial for every [car] manufacturer and every consumer that wants to save energy and governments who want a cleaner and better society to live in,” said Murphy.
Brooke Godding, a third-year mechanical engineering student at UOIT, spoke on behalf of students after the PM’s announcement.
“It inspires us to not only dream about future opportunities, it confirms we have access to real world experimental learning opportunities,” said Godding. “We are in the best place we can be today, so that we can be the best at what we do tomorrow, as graduates of this university.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tries his hand at the Automotive Centre for Excellence (ACE) at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Friday, Aug. 31. The PM was on hand to announce $9.5 million in funding to enhance ACE and create new research and development jobs in the automotive industry.
(Video by Chronicle reporter Janis Williams)