Simon Fraser University


Mechatronics systems students l-r: Nicholas Doyle and Reza Sabzehgar

‘Smart’ tires on $2.6-million research list

March 24, 2011

Charging your car battery may soon be something your tires can do.

Grad students and faculty researchers led by Mechatronics Systems Engineering (MSE) director Farid Golnaraghi are developing self-energized “smart” sensors for vehicle tires and bicycles, using wireless transmission modules and micro sensors.

Golnaraghi’s team is working with Maple Ridge electric carmaker Future Vehicle Technologies to develop suspension systems that convert vibrations transmitted through tires to charge batteries.

“Sensors in the tires capture every bit of the road, measuring things like road-applied forces, tire pressure and temperature,” he says, “and convert the movement into electricity.”

Golnaraghi is one of nine SFU scientists who will receive almost 40 per cent of the $6.9 million in research funding Premier Gordon Campbell announced Feb. 23 for leading B.C. researchers through the province’s $50-million Natural Resources and Applied Sciences (NRAS) endowment.

Including his $300,00 grant, SFU researchers will receive a total of $2,625,102 for a broad spectrum of projects.

The others include:

  • William Davidson, $298,760, to determine the molecular basis for sex- determination in Atlantic salmon by identifying the genes involved in the sex-determining pathway.
  • Gregory Mori, $298,398, to develop novel computer algorithms that will improve pedestrian safety via automated data collection and safety analysis.
  • Mohamed Hefeeda, $296,400, to develop high-quality mobile multimedia services that minimize mobile device energy consumption and maximize wireless spectrum use.
  • Doug Stead, $240,000, to improve safety, economics and sustainability through implementation of geotechnical innovation in B.C. surface mines.
  • Alexandra Fedorova, $291,544, to build better and faster video games with the help of parallelization, a form of computing in which many calculations are carried out simultaneously
  • Jian Pei, $300,000, to develop the next generation of search engines to transform data from online social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn into business opportunities.
  • Bozena Kaminska, $300,000, to develop a new generation of energy-storage devices based on soft-film polymer material that will enable the low-cost, environmentally friendly powering of electronic devices.
  • Albert M. Leung, $300,000, to develop wireless sensor networks for video surveillance. His research examines design issues of battery-operated wireless video surveillance systems from a complete system perspective.