UBC Student Wins R&D Competition With Anti-Whiplash Car Seat

University of British Columbia (UBC) student Daniel Mang won the AUTO21 TestDRIVE competition, receiving a $10,000 scholarship for his work on anti-whiplash car seats.

TestDRIVE was hosted in partnership with the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and held in conjunction with the annual general meeting of the Ontario Council of Manufacturing Executives in Toronto, Ont. A second $5,000 scholarship was awarded to Mahmoud Khater of the University of Waterloo for his research on micro-electromechanical systems.

“AUTO21’s TestDRIVE competition gives our top students an opportunity to showcase their industry-led research, while bringing leading-edge technologies one step closer to the automotive market,” said AUTO21 CEO Dr. Peter Frise. “Highly Qualified People (HQP) are the future of a critical sector in the Canadian economy. They’re the people who will design the products and operate the factories that will make it possible forCanada to compete in the automotive world.”


Whiplash injuries are the most common injuries associated with low speed rear end collisions and a serious social and financial burden to society. Mang has helped design an adaptive anti-whiplash car seat that, unlike current anti-whiplash devices, can adjust seat hinge rotation and seat back cushion deformation properties depending on occupant height and mass and collision severity. By making these adjustments, the adaptive car seat design can reduce occupant responses and ultimately, reduce the risk of whiplash injury during rear-end collisions. Mang works under the supervison of the following University of British Columbia faculty: Dr. Jean-Sébastien Blouin, associate professor of medicine, Dr. Gunter Siegmund, professor of kinesiology and Dr. Douglas P. Romilly, associate professor of mechanical engineering.

The AUTO21 TestDRIVE competition showcased leading edge technologies and automotive knowledge developed in part by Canadian university graduate students. As Canada’s automotive research program, AUTO21 provides funding to 40 applied R&D projects at 47 universities across the country. Close to 400 students contribute to these projects, along with nearly 200 academic researchers. Since its establishment in 2001, AUTO21 has supported more than 2,000 graduate student researchers with federal and private-sector funding.

“Canada’s automotive sector is one of the most influential and advanced in the country; however, it is also among the most competitive in the world,” said CME President and CEO Jayson Myers. “To maintain our edge and grow our market share, Canadian companies must be global leaders in the development and commercialization of new technologies – and that starts with innovative people, innovative training, and innovative partnerships. AUTO21’s TestDRIVE Competition is a great showcase of all three.”

One reply on “UBC Student Wins R&D Competition With Anti-Whiplash Car Seat”