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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Moving Ground Plane propels Ontario Tech’s ACE into new automotive engineering territory

New leading R&D tool ushers in an exciting new era of innovation at Ontario Tech

Vehicle being tested for dynamic response on the Moving Ground Plane (grey/silver belt underneath vehicle) inside the ACE Climatic Wind Tunnel.
Vehicle being tested for dynamic response on the Moving Ground Plane (grey/silver belt underneath vehicle) inside the ACE Climatic Wind Tunnel.

There’s only one place on Earth where you will find a climatic aerodynamic wind tunnel with enhanced acoustics, combined with leading researchers and top engineers, all under one roof. That place is ACE, at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.

Since 2011, ACE (or Automotive Centre of Excellence) at Ontario Tech has built a powerful reputation as a world-leading solutions provider in automotive engineering and beyond, thanks to its innovative capacity for force measurement and aerodynamic simulation. ACE’s core research facility attracts clients from around the globe who come to the university to put the products of the future to the ultimate proof-of-concept testing.

Long famous for its Climatic Wind Tunnel that can create repeatable, made-to-order weather conditions of every conceivable extreme, ACE has unveiled the newest addition in its collaborative research toolbox: an 80-tonne single-belt Moving Ground Plane (MGP). The seven-metre, sub-floor MGP at ACE is a ‘rolling road’ that provides an unparalleled experimental physical simulation of a real vehicle travelling at speeds up to 250 km/h.

The unveiling event on May 26 attracted dozens of automotive industry officials and experts, researchers, academics and media. The creation of the MGP was made possible through a $9.5 million investment from FedDev Ontario, with contributions from Magna International, Ontario Tech University and engineering services from Multimatic Inc.

How the Moving Ground Plane works

In wind tunnel testing, it is necessary to reproduce the natural physical forces on a vehicle as exactly as possible. Vehicles sit atop the MGP, locked in place over the moving belt through a complex restraint system, almost like a super-sophisticated air hockey table. Engineers are then able to introduce airflow of variable speeds from the nozzle of the wind tunnel, to detect the subtlest considerations of acoustic and vibration ‘hot spots’ of the test object.

The data will help engineers tailor new vehicle designs with higher energy efficiency and performance. The MGP will push new frontiers in research into vehicle sensor technology for advanced mobility, autonomous technology and electrification of vehicles.

ACE’s tradition of engineering excellence and discovery continues

ACE’s core research facility has diversified its scope over its first decade to include architectural, civil, defence/military and human factors, including sports performance, to name just a few areas of research beyond automotive. Prior to ACE’s arrival, every single dollar, along with members of the country’s talented workforce, was leaving Canada to perform this work.

Already equipped with incredible features like the massive dynamometer in the Climatic Wind Tunnel (CWT), the multi-axis shaker table and the four-post shaker, the addition of the MGP to the CWT, along with airflow and acoustic improvements to the CWT, ACE is one of the premier R&D facilities on the planet.


“The future has arrived with the Moving Ground Plane, where ACE is helping take science off the shelf and onto the road. The low-hanging fruit of vehicle shape drag improvements have occurred over the past 80 years through wind tunnel technology. Incremental upgrades going forward require a more realistic underbody and wheels-turning simulation. Our MGP will deliver a force measurement system that is exponentially more accurate. ACE is on the leading edge of electrification and autonomous technology development. Reduced energy requirements translate directly to lower costs, extended battery ranges and lower carbon emissions.”
-John Komar, Executive Director, ACE, Ontario Tech University

“ACE is a core research facility at Ontario Tech University shared by many users, including academic researchers, industry partners, government, community organizations, and also senior university students. ACE offers a winning combination of leading research, and opportunities for talent development, with a dedicated engineering team that works together with industry in an exceptional facility to deliver amazing solutions and discoveries. Research at ACE and Ontario Tech continues on an impressive upward trajectory.”
-Dr. Les Jacobs, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Ontario Tech University