Polytechnique Montréal now houses the second Research Chair Canada in importance, weight financial, and the largest in its field. It’s the multi-sectoral industrial Chair in coatings and surface engineering, with a budget exceeding five millions of dollars over a period of five years.
Professor at the Department of physical engineering of Polytechnique, Ludvik Martinu is at the helm of this group of researchers, that receives financial support from the Research Council natural sciences and engineering Canada (NSERC) and seven industry partners. He made presentations: “It’s a great Chair, compared to other activities in the field of research in the Canada”. It benefits from programs of partnership between the University and industry, and in this case there, it really is a unique project for several reasons: first, it took several years of work and a lot of collaboration with industry on fundamental work to understand science in materials engineering to scaling of surfaces and in terms of the treatment of their coating. »
He speaks of a successful marriage: “We were able to build a kind of trust between industrial partners and academia, what truly is at the origin of this Chair there;” together, were found in this area of the solutions at the forefront of current technology in the long term. » Chair ranks good second to Canada respect to the importance of its funding; It is supplanted by a research group on oil sands: “We stand out above all by the fact that we are working on green or clean technologies that are non-polluting.”
Research and purposes
The owner provides an explanation of the nature of the work carried out by the Chair: “historically and for several decades, it has built a laboratory which is able to address several issues at once.» First, we turn to the treatment of manufacturing techniques that are based on plasma and shock processes, in order to initiate physical and chemical reactions. It is possible to get the surface coatings or treat it. “The lab is unleashed in this sense then:”Also much collaborated with industry to ensure technology transfer based on industrial realities.” »
It addresses another activity that caught the attention: “For the second component of these techniques, it has mastered how to do to build coatings or to treat surface atom by atom.” So that we can enter in possession of microstructures that will give us custom properties; These are very important because they establish a connection between nanoscience and nanotechnology. This approach is used for large scale use in the industrial field. »
In the end, what is the usefulness of coatings that are the subject of these works? It provides a number of examples, without so far list complete: “There a wide range of scientific and technological applications such as the exploration of space, for example.” There are others who turned more to the daily, like the optical coatings on eyeglasses and optical components cameras, communication systems and projection systems used in theatres and cinemas. On the other hand, working with companies that use on architectural glazing or automobiles. »
With the industry
There is a correlation between the wide variety of applications in question and partnership woven with a large number of industrial employees within the Chair, as noted by Mr. Martinu: “they are seven, and I would say that nature research invites to multisectoral collaboration;” There are solutions in various sectors using manufacturing techniques or very similar materials, so that can benefit more partners both. «Also known as multidisciplinarity due to the presence of several people with different formations involved in the various projects: there are physicists, mechanics, engineers, chemists, etc..
In some cases, manufacturers are part of research for a decade: “During this time, identified areas that interest them;” diplomatically, it is applied to a structure according to which working with end users who are not in competition; result very good synergies, because they can speak freely to advance the research much more quickly. »
The Polytechnic laboratory evolves in a discipline on the cutting edge of technology. The holder of the Chair in a position the consequences: “In recent years, there has much talk everywhere of nanoscience and nanotechnology;” the challenge that arises in this field is that there is lot of work and knowledge accumulated in University Research Labs; many of these are now pushing to the application of nanotechnology in real life. By creating this Chair with partners who are users, it sparked an attraction effect in respect thereof; a push-pull”reaction, has created if one can use this English expression, so that there is not so much need to push, because there is someone on our side that is attracted by these technologies to advance more quickly. »
Inside of a sector booming, a team of 20 to 25 persons is activated. Ludvik Martinu is the question of the recruitment of the staff: “a lab like this success is largely dependent on the quality of the people who work there; of course, seeking the best elements and, through the years, it has been able to find.” Historically, we can say that there are many of our graduates who, having graduated from our laboratory, have become either University professors, leaders in the industry. »