Kaan Inal

Kaan Inal

Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering
University of Waterloo

Chair title

NSERC/General Motors of Canada Industrial Research Chair in Integrated Computational Mechanics for Mass Efficient Automotive Structures

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Associate Chairholder since 2016


The NSERC/General Motors Industrial Research Chair in Integrated Computational Mechanics for Mass Efficient Automotive Structures focuses on professor Inal's unique research expertise in multiscale modelling to develop and evaluate the performance (formability, fracture and crashworthiness) of novel lightweight materials applied to automotive structures. Lack of numerical modelling is the most critical technological and decision-making gap in advancement of lightweighting in automotive structures. To address this gap, integrated computational research, which has its roots in air transport, is emerging for mass applications in the automotive sector. This IRC research program will build unique technology platforms with multiscale numerical frameworks to bridge mechanism-driven micro-scale (microstructure-level) models and macro-scale (structural-component–level) models. The primary expected research results include

  • understanding energy absorption during axial crushing and, hence, the strain behaviour and performance potential of proposed lightweight materials (advanced high-strength steel [AHSS] and aluminum);
  • developing validated, predictive modelling for the proposed materials/structures.

The unique theoretical models developed will be directly validated through novel, high-strain-rate materials characterization and crash experiments in the Canadian Technical Centre (CREC) in Oshawa. Following this step, crash simulations will be developed to further guide technology development. General Motors will incorporate the resulting predictive modelling and lightweight materials into existing product designs as well as into future vehicles.

Dr. Inal’s primary research focuses on multiscale modelling and mechanism-driven advanced materials models. He has applied multiscale frameworks for several new and emerging materials to enable their applications in automotive lightweighting, and he leads a research group focusing on high-performance computing (parallel computing) for industrial-scale simulations with mechanism-based constitutive models. These models are coupled with computational intelligence methods, such as neural networks and genetic algorithms, to develop simulations in solid mechanics. Canada's automotive industry is the strongest manufacturing subsector in the country, responsible for 12 per cent of Gross Domestic Product in the goods-producing sector. To secure its competitive position internationally, the auto industry must continue to innovate to reduce the transportation sector's greenhouse gas emissions, while ensuring passenger safety and maximizing performance and affordability in mass-market vehicles of all types. The lightweighting market is estimated in the hundreds of billions of dollars across the supply chain of car manufacturers and materials/parts suppliers in different countries, and lightweighting is projected to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in North American jurisdictions. The NSERC/GM IRC will also enable the recruitment of highly qualified personnel, who will help build the pool of advanced manufacturing talent in Canada's automotive heartland, Ontario.


  • General Motors of Canada Ltd.

Contact information

Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering
University of Waterloo



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