General Motors and Brown University have reached an agreement to continue the longstanding GM/Brown Collaborative Research Laboratory on Computational Materials Science for five years. The laboratory for computational materials research at Brown University was established in 2001 by General Motors to accelerate the pace of innovation in strategic technology areas.
The laboratory uses a combination of computer simulations and experiments to develop and assess new materials that could lead to low-cost, high-performance and environmentally friendly components for vehicles. Notable achievements of the laboratory include computer aided microstructure design of advanced high-strength steels and aluminum alloys with improved strength and formability, and the development of new experimental and theoretical methods to characterize and predict damage in battery electrode materials.
Over the next five years, the laboratory will focus on developing lightweight aluminum alloys with improved strength and fracture resistance for vehicle body structures, as well as battery materials with improved charge capacity and life for electric and hybrid vehicles.
"General Motors has one of the top industrial research labs in the world, and Brown's partnership with GM over the past fifteen years has helped us to solve problems that we could not have tackled on our own," said Brown Engineering Professor Allan Bower, co-director of the lab. "Our students and faculty are excited to have this opportunity to continue working with GM to help make vehicles safer, lighter, and more fuel efficient."
At Brown, the lab is led by Bower, along with professors Sharvan Kumar, and Brian Sheldon, and at General Motors, the staff includes Mark Verbrugge (co-director) along with Anil Sachdev, Lou Hector, Jr., Raj Mishra, and Xingcheng Xiao. Together, the two co-directors plan the work of the Collaborative Research Lab.