Skylar Trudeau, Automotive and Surface Transportation Research Centre

- Ottawa, ON,

Skylar smiles in front of an orange background depicting the Advanced Manufacturing Technologies building.

Skylar Trudeau, a student at the University of Manitoba, has been a 3D printing enthusiast since 2017. That's why landing an opportunity at our Automotive and Surface Transportation Research Centre has been a perfect fit. Working with the Advanced Manufacturing Technologies team, he put his skills to the test by developing many aspects of a thermal cycling test bench, which will help with metal 3D printing research.

Aluminum die casting is a popular technique to form various aluminum parts. The process involves pumping molten aluminum into a steel mold at high pressures, then rapidly cooling it down. The team studies the feasibility of 3D printing these steel molds, enabling thinner walls, tighter tolerances and more complex shapes. The technology will allow for efficient water-cooling channels to run through the mold to keep it cool and provide more uniform cooling.

Skylar was the lead programmable logic controller software developer for the thermal cycling test bench. The bench tests the thermal durability of the rapid heating and cooling that a steel mold is exposed to. Day after day, Skylar studied manuals and data sheets for the machine's various components and conducted safety checks. He also wrote, tested and corrected code. Skylar documented his research in the form of a user manual so that the next operator would better understand how it works.

"I am grateful for the team," Skylar says. "Everyone is approachable and eager to answer my questions. I have gained professional contacts and friends during my experience." His mentor, David Chuang, says "Skylar was a valuable asset to the team!"

When asked about advice for future students, Skylar says, "Don't be afraid to apply to the Student Employment Program! The NRC conducts new and often never-done-before research, which means you can bring unique insights, knowledge and experience to the table."

Are you studying in STEM and looking for a meaningful work experience? Learn more about our Student Employment program. Work terms are also offered in the business, communications, library sciences and administration fields.

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