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McMaster's Driving Force

McMaster may prove to be a big wheel in the future of automobile design. The Network on Engineering Complex Software Intensive Systems for Automotive Systems (NECSIS) was announced last month by Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, at McMaster Innovation Park. NECSIS is a $16.6-million national research network created to tackle the technological challenges related to the growing complexity of automotive software systems.

“Taking a leadership role in this new software engineering network expands McMaster’s contributions to yet another growing area of automotive research, adding to our expertise in hybrid powertrains and advanced manufacturing,” said Patrick Deane, McMaster’s president and vice-chancellor.

Under this new university-industry R&D collaboration, General Motors of Canada and IBM Canada are mobilizing leading software engineers at seven Canadian universities and a Montreal research centre. NECSIS also includes the participation of Malina Software Corp., an Ottawa-based consultancy focused on advanced software engineering methods.

“In an era where billions of devices are being interconnected to enable intelligent decisions, the time is right to create and to innovate development processes using real-time navigational capabilities that will help build a smarter car,” said Bruce Ross, president, IBM Canada.   

Backed by a five-year, $10.5 million grant from Automotive Partnership Canada, research by NECSIS will focus on the advancement of an emerging methodology called model driven engineering (MDE). MDE reduces the complexity of developing software by focusing on models and their relationships, reflected in the designs, code and documents that developers work with, enabling them to test and verify models even before the code exists.

The network will be based in the new McMaster Automotive Resource Centre being developed at McMaster Innovation Park.


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