Two MARii staffs, Luqman Nulhakim Bin Yunos and Wan Noor Sofia Binti Wan Shamsuddin were sent to UniSA as PhD candidates on a fully funded scholarship to pursue applied research work regarding lightweight materials and Industry 4.0 within the automotive industry. They will be working on projects that study graded thin film coatings for Infrared reflectivity in energy efficient vehicles. With the transition towards an electric vehicle future, vehicle weight is of paramount importance in delivering maximum range from battery systems. For this reason, polymer-based window materials are highly attractive as a replacement for traditional glass windows.
We asked Luqman Nulhakim and Wan Noor Sofia on what do they expect to gain from working on this project, and they said “We expect to gain knowledge and insight regarding plastic glazing and hard-coating, we hope to utilize this knowledge and implement it in the Malaysian automotive industry particularly for Energy Efficient Vehicles and Electric Vehicles in the future”.
Dato’ Madani Sahari, CEO of MARii stated that “The goal of sending Malaysians to UniSA to work on projects such as this and pursue PhDs’, is to ensure that our people in Malaysia gain the knowledge and know-how to further accelerate the Malaysian automotive industry towards an electric vehicle future”
The Malaysia Automotive, Robotics, and IoT Institute (MARii) in conjunction with the University of South Australia (UniSA) have established a joint Automotive Innovation Centre (AIC). This centre undertakes advanced research and training around the future of “mobility”, looking at the scientific, engineering, social and environmental factors that will drive the next generation of innovations in the automotive industry. The research done covers areas from nano-molecular engineering and functional surfaces to consumer choice and the levers driving future government policy in this sector.
A key component of the collaboration is the training of Malaysian PhD students in disciplines from science and engineering to business and health sciences. Through this program, students will work closely with industry and government in Australia and Malaysia to contribute to key strategic areas in relevance to transportation and mobility.
This project aims to study the potential of creating graded interfaces between materials whilst retaining the optical performance of the coating. This would eliminate sharp boundaries between materials and eliminate a potential point of coating failure. During the course of the project, the stability of the graded interface will be studied using a range of surface characterisation techniques including SEM, TEM, XPS and AFM. This information will then be used to design and engineer highly robust graded coatings able to survive the extremes of real-world conditions.
Both MARii staffs will return to Malaysia upon completing their PhDs’, to continue to work closely with MARii in order to overcome obstacles and implement new ideas to realize the future of the Malaysian automotive industry.