Whether he is improving manufacturing methods for new jet engine materials, or developing a blood oxygenator to help premature babies live healthier lives, the Mechanical Engineering professor and McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute director strives to apply his research to meaningful solutions.
Veldhuis’ research is focused on tribology, the study of friction and wear, which contributes to the development of high performance manufacturing solutions.
“Manufacturing is how things are realized,” says Veldhuis. “Being able to apply our knowledge and realize an improvement in industry is what we strive to do. To improve productivity, help a company earn new business and keep jobs – that is a nice package of everything coming together.”
Veldhuis was appointed as the Braley-Orlick Endowed Chair in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering in July 2017. In this role, Veldhuis is advancing key initiatives for the Faculty of Engineering and is able to focus his team’s research on issues of importance to Canada’s advanced manufacturing industry.
Veldhuis believes that the best research solutions are the result of collaboration on solving good problems with his students. “The big challenge is finding problems to sink your teeth into and once you have a really good problem you can spend a lot of uncovering a lot of interesting things. I like guiding students through the process of taking on those good problems.”
“Very rarely does someone solve a problem working on their own in engineering. Now it’s all about knowing what skills you can bring to a team of people working on a problem and being able to really contribute.”