Yusuf Altintas

Yusuf Altintas

Department of Mechanical Engineering
The University of British Columbia

Chair title

NSERC-Pratt & Whitney Industrial Research Chair in Virtual High-performance Machining

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Senior Chairholder since 2002


This Chair is developing the next generation of Virtual Machining System technology, which enables the industry to machine parts in a virtual environment using digital models of the machines, computer control systems and physics of metal cutting operations. Virtual high-performance machining relies on the scientific principles of metal cutting, vibrations, solid mechanics and control theory to model machine tools using a highly-detailed computer graphics program that can predict the machine tool and process behaviour in a virtual environment. Professor Altintas' work in this area is of great interest to aerospace and automotive manufacturing companies, for which precision and cycle time reduction equate to cost savings and dramatically increased productivity.

The Chair developed virtual 2½-axis milling, drilling, and 2-axis turning algorithms and a prototype commercial product. A number of aerospace and automotive parts are virtually simulated, optimized and machined in the factories with significant productivity and quality improvements. The second term of the chair will focus on the modeling of the five-axis milling process and machines which will lead to a complete Virtual Milling System.

This Chair allows the university to train engineers in the design of machine tools, CAD/CAM, software engineering, laser metrology, sensors, actuators and high-performance, high-speed machining. Industry partners gain a competitive edge by simulating manufacturing operations for optimum process planning as well as optimal selection of machine tools prior to costly capital investment.

The research has multidisciplinary projects involving mechanics and dynamics, control theory, real-time and high-performance off-line software engineering, computer graphics, kinematics, laser metrology, sensors and actuators, and precision engineering design. Faculty members from Mechanical, Computer Engineering and Material Science are involved in the supervision of graduate students in the Chair program.

In addition to Pratt & Whitney Canada, several international companies such as Boeing, Mori Seiki, MAG Cincinnati, Sandvik Coromant, Hitachi, GM, Mitsubishi Materials, ASCO Canada have provided research funds, machines and tools. The Chair activities have led to several inventions and spin-off companies, and the technology has been licensed to more than 100 companies, research centres and universities worldwide.


  • Pratt and Whitney Canada Inc.

Contact information

Department of Mechanical Engineering
The University of British Columbia
2324 Main Mall, Suite 2054
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6T 1Z4

Tel.: 604-822-5622
Fax: 604-822-2403


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