Wednesday, May 11, 2011

General Motors to Provide $2 Million to Brown to Continue Collaborative Research Laboratory on Computational Materials Science for Next 5 Years

Providence, RI - General Motors will provide $2 million in funding to Brown to continue the GM/Brown Collaborative Research Laboratory on Computational Materials Science for the next five years. The laboratory for computational materials research at Brown University is one of several collaborative research laboratories General Motors has established worldwide to accelerate the pace of innovation in strategic technology areas. The GM/Brown collaboration has existed for about the past ten years.

The goal of the laboratory is to develop computer simulations that predict the mechanical properties of materials used in automotive applications, and to use these simulations to help General Motors to develop materials with enhanced performance.  The computations are guided and verified by experiments.  Over the next five years, the laboratory will continue to focus on the development of lightweight materials, an increasingly important topic for all automotive subsystems because it is a key enabler for developing more energy efficient products.

"The CRL is a unique opportunity for Brown students and faculty to work with one of the best industrial research labs in the world," said Allan Bower, co-director of the CRL.  "By partnering with GM, we can make sure that the latest advances in computer simulation of material behavior are being used to help reduce vehicle weight and improve fuel economy."

Notable achievements of the laboratory include the development of multi-scale simulation methods to predict the influence of chemical composition on the rate sensitivity of aluminum alloys; improved modeling of the behavior of aluminum during forming and of the microstructure evolution in aluminum-silicon alloys; development and experimental validation of computer simulation methods to predict constitutive behavior and microstructure evolution in aluminum alloys; and the development of wear resistant diamond coatings.

At Brown, the lab is led by professor Allan Bower (co-director) and at General Motors, the co-director is Mark Verbrugge. Together, the two co-directors plan the work of the Collaborative Research Lab.

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