28 March 2012
Experts discuss sustainable auto technology
About 100 delegates from 15 countries attended the 4th International Conference on Sustainable Automotive Technologies - From the Present to the Future - in Melbourne.
Professor Margaret Gardner AO, Vice-Chancellor and President, RMIT University; Richard Dalla-Riva, Victorian Minister for Manufacturing, Exports and Trade; conference chair, Professor Aleksandar Subic; and Professor Dr Jorg Wellnitz, University of Applied Sciences, Ingolstadt, Germany.
The three-day conference at RMIT University was chaired by Professor Aleksandar Subic, Head of the RMIT School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.
The conference discussed issues such as the future of green cars, including electric powered and alternative fuel vehicles, lightweight vehicle technologies and intelligent vehicle systems.
The conference was opened by Professor Margaret Gardner AO, Vice-Chancellor and President of RMIT, and Richard Dalla-Riva, Victorian Minister for Manufacturing, Exports and Trade.
Professor Gardner said the conference represented an international collaborative effort between RMIT, the University of Applied Sciences Ingolstadt, Germany, and Clemson University, South Carolina, USA.
She said the conference brought together researchers, industry professionals and decision-makers from around the world to share knowledge, experiences and views about the current state and future prospects associated with green car technologies.
RMIT hosted the conference as part of the Australian Automotive Week program sponsored by the Victorian Government.
Professor Gardner said it was appropriate that the event was held at RMIT, which had introduced the first undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs in Automotive Engineering in Australia.
“In recent years, we have established strategic partnerships with universities in Germany to offer dual awards to students who wish to undertake their automotive engineering studies both in Australia and in Europe and in that way expand their global experience,” she said.
“Engineering students at RMIT are passionate about cars and racing, with the RMIT Racing Student Team winning two FISITA Formula SAE World Championships.
“Our students and staff have developed the first Australian Formula Hydrogen racing car and the first Australian Formula Electric racing car.”
Professor Gardner said RMIT was actively engaged with the automotive industry sector in Australia and internationally.
“RMIT University sends around 200 students to Europe each year to undertake paid internships in industry,” she said.
“Most of these students work in the automotive industry sector in Germany, including VW, BMW, Audi, Continental, Siemens, Bosch, and others.
“Our research links with industry in this field are also strong. RMIT researchers are undertaking industry driven research through AutoCRC in Australia, as well as through links with companies and universities in Asia and Europe.”
Professor Gardner said RMIT had been building its research capacity in this field by developing the Advanced Manufacturing Precinct last year and the new RMIT Green Engines Research Facility that will be launched later this year.
Keynote speakers at the conference included:
- Dr Matthew Cuthbertson, CEO, AutoCRC, Australia;
- Professor Dr Gernot Spiegelberg, Head of Research Corporate Technology Division, Siemens AG, Germany;
- Professor Dr Ingemar Denbratt, Head of Combustion Division, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden;
- Dr Johannes Toepler, President of the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association;
- Professor Keqiang LI, Chair of Automotive Engineering, Tsinghua University, China;
- Dr Bruce Bunting, Research Manager, Fuels, Engines and Emissions, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US.
A 404-page hard cover book, Sustainable Automotive Technologies 2012 Proceedings of the 4th International Conference, published by Springer, Germany, is available now from Amazon for $199.
The book was edited by Professor Subic, Professor Dr Jorg Wellnitz, University of Applied Sciences, Ingolstadt, Germany, and Dr Martin Leary and Dr Lucien Koopmans, both from the RMIT School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.