Materials and Manufacturing: Contributing to Sector Growth Through Research

Preserving the environment has become a crucial issue for companies in the materials and manufacturing sector: they must find ways to recycle their materials, reuse their waste and promote ecodesign. And for companies that integrate nanomaterials into their products, the challenges are even greater! ÉTS researchers work to resolve these issues and contribute to the growth of businesses in the sector. 

Strategic Directions in Materials and Manufacturing at ÉTS

At ÉTS, more than 50 researchers specialized in engineering physics, chemical engineering, materials engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and construction engineering lead materials research activities.

The main strategic directions relate to:

  • Intelligent design of traditional materials based on fundamental concepts and using tools such as modelling and simulation;
  • The development of new classes of materials such as graphene, quantum materials and nanocomposites;
  • The development of materials for the biomedical sector;
  • Optimization of traditional manufacturing processes in terms of their efficiency and respect for the environment;
  • The development of new manufacturing processes such as additive manufacturing and electrospinning;
  • The miniaturization of manufacturing processes (micro-manufacturing);
  • Virtual manufacturing;
  • 3D printing;
  • The integration of materials and manufacturing processes development within the general approach to product development.

ÉTS Laboratories and Research Chairs

Several research units and Canada Research Chairs conduct work in the materials and manufacturing sector. 

Research Units

All the research units 

Research Chairs

All the research chairs 

Portrait of the Materials and Manufacturing Sector in Québec

In Québec, the advanced materials and manufacturing ecosystem is relatively young and comprises mostly SMBs. Few of them, however, invest in R&D, even though the applications arising from materials and manufacturing are used in many areas including energy, aerospace and health sciences. Our strategy is therefore to work on the entire value chain, i.e. the raw materials, processing and applications, to carry out projects yielding high added value.

Although Québec is active in supplying additive manufacturing services, it’s really inactive on the equipment production side and the development of software that can support it. In addition, the aerospace sector has led SMBs to innovate to be able to offer high added value parts. The same goes for the transport sector.

Finally, among Québec companies that produce nanotechnology components, many have difficulty finding applications that can respond to immediate market needs. Projects with a higher technological maturity would be commercially successful.  

We want new materials to be less expensive, have new properties and be less environmentally hazardous.
Nicole Demarquette: Inventing New Materials

Given the technological possibilities, our consumption habits and economic and environmental demands, the need for new high-quality materials has never been greater. Nicole Demarquette’s job is to invent them.

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There is a demand for increasingly advanced inspection techniques, due to aging infrastructures around the world, that can be met by guided ultrasonic waves.
Pierre Bélanger: Serving Industry and Medicine with Guided Ultrasonic Waves

At a time when corrosion in pipelines is causing major environmental and security concerns, research on guided ultrasonic waves and their application in industrial settings is valuable. The low ecological footprint and low cost make this a very attractive technology. However, using these waves is complex, and modelling is required, a problem that Professor Bélanger and his teams are trying to solve.

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