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Research Partnerships & Innovation

New Funding Supports Student Research in Sustainable Buildings

November 9, 2011

Applied Research & Commercialization (AR&C) is pleased to announce that Red River College (RRC) students can apply for and receive grants of up to $5,000 (plus the cost of materials) to conduct applied research on improving the energy performance of commercial and/or institutional buildings.
This grant program is possible due to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) which, through its College and Community Innovation Program, awarded RRC $2.3M to establish and support the research program of the Sustainable Infrastructure Technology Research Group (SITRG).
“The NSERC SITRG Student Innovation Awards are an excellent opportunity for students to get hands-on research experience in what is increasingly becoming one of the most important and cutting-edge aspects of building design, construction, and operation,” says Rob Spewak, Research Manager for AR&C.
The projects are required to focus on one or more of four main research areas: building envelopes, building performance monitoring, mechanical and renewable energy systems, and reducing the embodied energy of building materials.
“We hope to build on the success of our existing faculty-focused Research Innovation Fund (RIF) to provide a similar platform for student innovation and applied learning,” said Spewak.  “And we already have a solid base of tools, facilities, and knowledgeable staff available to assist them with their projects.”
All RRC students in good academic standing are eligible for this award.  They may work individually or in teams of up to four members and each member can receive up to $5,000.  Each individual or team will be asked to find a suitable project advisor. The annual budget for the NSERC SITRG Student Innovation Awards is $200,000, not including any necessary funding for instructor release time.
“We are available to support the students throughout the application and project idea creation process,” says Spewak.
Since this is an open competition – there is NO DEADLINE, therefore applications can be submitted at any time. The application form also has detailed project and funding guidelines as well as contact information for additional support.
“A critical commitment tied to the NSERC award is the active engagement of RRC faculty, staff, and students in applied research projects related to improving the energy performance of commercial and institutional buildings,” said Ray Hoemsen, Director of AR&C at Red River College.  “So we encourage all members of the RRC community to contact our office with their project ideas.”
Project Contact:
Rob Spewak, EIT
Research Manager, AR&C