To facilitate an industry-academia interaction, the University has invested in a research centre that will aid the automotive field in talent and creativity.
Research centres on education campuses, help foster innovative and creative learning. Activities and programmes conducted at these centres also aid in having a practical interaction between professionals and students. Thus, helping to bring about possible breakthroughs in the sector.
Keeping the need for such a dialogue in mind, Amrita University has set up the Amrita Automotive Research & Technology Centre (AARTC) with the intention of working on areas of mutual interest with the automobile industry. Located on the University's Coimbatore campus, the Centre is a collaboration with Automotive Test Systems, a company which specialises in the field of testing and validation of auto parts.
“Such centres help demonstrate that Indian universities can create an atmosphere of mutual confidence with the industry, just like in countries such as Germany, UK and USA,” explains S Thirumalini, Chairperson, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.
M-tech and PhD students who are currently studying at the University stand to benefit from this centre, as they will be working on projects that will be of importance and significance to the automotive industry.
A number of activities are to be conducted at the Centre (see below) while contributing and providing facilities to various automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM's), Tier I and Tier 2 suppliers in determining their product quality. “They will also facilitate improvements in their design,” states Thirumalini.
Alternative Energy and active safety are some of the other areas that the centre would like to work on and contribute to. The centre will also work on sustainable and energy efficient personal mobility vehicles and on projects that support the off-highway industry.
The centre will have a combination of existing faculty along with a few new personnel who will be hired exclusively to work for the centre. Professionals from the industry will also be hired to run the centre. Moreover, the students enrolled for PhD programmes will also be assisting the team.
"Our vision is to create a world class centre for automotive research and testing which will upgrade the knowledge base of engineers working in the sector to help the industry develop safe, sustainable and greener products," signs off Thirumalini.
The key areas of research will include:
- Engine design and development using simultaneous engineering and advanced simulation tools and practice
- Combustion simulation and validation including emission constituents
- Reduction of emission to meet the future stringent norms in India
- Structural design and optimisation
- Vehicle performance evaluation including vehicle handling and predictive methodologies
- NVH and noise reduction/ control including acoustic material design and active noise control
- Studies on lubrication and performance of additives
- In the near future a test facility to test EV/hybrid vehicles could be set up