Research Partnerships and Innovation

Research Partnerships & Innovation

Events

Calling all Innovators! Lunch and Learn with Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS)

November 13, 2019

Red River College is pleased to host the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) for a Lunch and Learn on November 22.

IDEaS was launched in April 2018 as part of Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged. The program was allocated $1.6 billion over 20 years to invest in the extraordinary talent and ingenuity resident in Canada to help resolve unclassified defence and security challenges. Regardless if you are working from your home, an academic in a university lab or a scientist in a small or a major corporation, the Innovation for Defence, Excellence and Security (IDEaS) is looking for your solutions to help resolve defence and security challenges. This is your opportunity to showcase your innovative ideas!

The various elements of IDEaS include Competitive Projects, Contests, Innovation Networks, Sandboxes, and Innovation Assessment & Implementation. To date, there have been 45 challenges issued, 219 funded entities, and over $63 M committed or spent.

This Lunch and Learn takes place on Friday, November 22 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. in the Black Lecture Theatre at Red River College’s Notre Dame Campus. Please register here.

Culinary Research produces perfect pies for charity auction

October 21, 2019

The Culinary Research & Innovation team revealed some of the culinary delights concocted in the brand new Prairie Research Kitchen at Food & Beverage Manitoba’s Industry Excellence Awards on October 9th. In collaboration with RRC’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts and Richardson Food & Ingredients, the team created three pies that were donated to a charity auction that raised funds for Cancer Society programs in Manitoba.

The CRI team worked alongside RRC Chef Instructors Gordon Bailey, Kim Cooke, and Lylah Erkau to create the “Pie-O-Dome,” a true piece of art that showcased the skills of the RRC culinary crew. A sugar-crusted almond nougatine pie with organic dark chocolate ganache and Grand Marnier spiked coffee, this showstopper was encased in an airbrushed compressed sugar dome to provide the lucky bidder with an additional delicious (and mysterious!) surprise when shattered. Unsurprisingly, the Pie-O-Dome was a popular item during the auction and was snatched up by a very lucky bidder.

In addition to the Pie-O-Dome, the team whipped up two other pies, including the “Key to Success Lime Pie,” a picture-perfect example of the skills being taught to the next generation of chefs and bakers at RRC’s Culinary Arts and Professional Baking programs. This decadent key lime cheesecake was surrounded by a buttery graham crust and garnished with a pillowy crème Chantilly and fresh sliced limes.

RRC partnered with Richardson Food & Ingredients on the “Co-Pie-Lot Collaboration Pie,” a gluten-free sensation inspired by a classic German Chocolate cake. This partnership pie combined fudgy creamy chocolate filling with a rich and flavourful coconut pecan custard. All this deliciousness rested on a gluten-free oat flour crust made with Richardson gluten-free oats and canola pastry shortening.

Take a look at the creation of the pies in the gallery below:

Vehicle Technology International Conference presentations available for download

October 10, 2019

The inaugural Vehicle Technology International Conference came to a conclusion last week, but the dialogue and connections that resulted will fuel future innovations in the vehicle technology sector for a long time to come.

Red River College was pleased to welcome a variety of guest speakers to discuss topics related to vehicle technology in Canada and beyond. These presentations are now available for download from the event website.

Following the conference, Martin Cash from the Winnipeg Free Press published an article on the demand for greener transportation:

“This week in Winnipeg, the inaugural Vehicle Technology International Conference, organized by Red River College, focused on alternative propulsion technologies, as well as all sorts of other new ‘smart’ technologies that can be deployed on heavy duty vehicles.”

Read the rest of the article here.

 

Get to know Eddy Zuppel, Program Leader of the Vehicle Propulsion Technologies program and guest speaker at VTIC 2019

September 27, 2019

In advance of the inaugural 2019 Vehicle Technology International Conference, we are profiling a number of guest speakers who will be covering a range of topics relating to vehicle technology. We are pleased to welcome Eddy Zuppel from National Research Council Canada (NRC) to speak on current and future trends related to vehicle testing, simulation and modelling, as well as NRC’s vehicle-level testing capabilities.

Tell us a little bit about yourself – your background, field of interest, where do you work and what are your areas of expertise?

“I am currently the Program Leader of the Vehicle Propulsion Technologies program. As Program Leader, I oversee research and development (R&D) activities aimed at assisting Canadian industry and policy development in vehicle electrification and clean transportation sectors. Specifically, I manage a yearly budget of $6M related to over 30 projects in the areas of electric motors, energy storage and hydrogen fuel cells.

I joined the NRC in 2015 as a senior project manager following 11 years in industry where I held different managerial positions, including Section Chief of a multidisciplinary team of 20 engineers.

I hold a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University and have co-authored eight scientific publications.”

What sparked your interest in vehicle technology?

“Influenced by my father who was a CNC programmer in the transportation industry, I have always been fascinated with the development of mechanical systems and their integration into vehicles that allow us to efficiently and confidently explore new destinations.”

Register for the 2019 Vehicle Technology International Conference here.

Get to know Curtis Ross, CEO/President of the Thompson Regional Airport and Guest Speaker at VTIC 2019

September 26, 2019

Red River College is proud to host the inaugural 2019 Vehicle Technology International Conference next week, and to welcome a number of guest speakers from Manitoba and beyond to speak on a variety of topics relating to vehicle technology. One speaker is Curtis Ross, CEO/President of the Thompson Regional Airport. Get to know Curtis and some of the topics he’ll be covering, below.

In addition to being the CEO/President of the Thompson Regional Airport, Curtis is also an entrepreneur and long-time business owner involved in commercial development and infrastructure related to winter weather testing in Thompson. He has been involved with the Ford Global Cold Weather test facility and currently works with Honda Canada on testing platforms and programs in Thompson. Curtis was instrumental in attracting and developing the Ford test facility and working with local entrepreneurs to expand the facility over the past 15 years.

Curtis has lived in Thompson for 30 years and is proud to be a graduate of Red River College in the trades program as a red seal carpenter, and he continues to build to this day. He is currently guiding the $70 million redevelopment of the Thompson Airport over the next four years, which will continue to make it a global hub for testing, tourism and freight distribution. Curtis and his private companies continue to be go-to place for winter weather testing logistics in Thompson, Manitoba. He also promotes the Thompson Airport and its facilitates for vehicle and aviation winter testing.

Tell us a little bit about yourself – your background, field of interest, where do you work and what are your areas of expertise?

“I continue to be a builder and developer involved in numerous commercial ventures. I’m a northerner by heart and moved to Thompson, like most people, for two years and ended up loving it and have now been here for 30 years.  My wife and I, along with some friends, also owned and operated a resort in Riding Mountain National Park which we sold a few years ago.

I want the next generation of tradespeople to know that they may start out as a tradesperson and that is a skillset they will continue to utilize for the rest of their lives in ways they may not even have envisioned when they first started out. I am intrigued and amazed at how building technologies continue to change and improve, and to this day I remain a student of the industry.”

What sparked your interest in vehicle technology?

“It’s hard to say if it was the technology alone that sparked my interest in the testing industry. I would say it was the infrastructure and testing parameters required by different testers to allow for them to test their technology. What myself and others realized was the requirement and demand for real time testing versus controlled environment testing didn’t meet the certification sign-off requirements of manufacturers. Thompson has optimum infrastructure and winter conditions, in a great location at a highly competitive cost per vehicle and tester point. In the last five years, the technology aspect of the testing is becoming a much more competitive field but also a highly confidential component of the business.”

Give us a taste of the topics you’ll cover at the Vehicle Technology International Conference?

“I will cover more of what makes Thompson, Manitoba attractive to many of the manufacturers, including:

  • Vehicles – commercial and retail domestic models.
  • Aircraft components, aircraft and helicopters.
  • Snowmobiles, ATVs UTVs and snow blowers.

I will also speak to the need for entrepreneurs and the opportunities for industry partners to continue to grow the testing in Thompson.”

Anything else you’d like to add?

“I would encourage our municipal, provincial, and federal governments to partner at all levels with those looking to grow the industry in Manitoba as a whole. We owe it to the environment and the next generations to be leaders instead of followers when it comes to new technologies and the development and manufacturing of them.”

Click here to register for the 2019 Vehicle Technology International Conference.

A Q + A with Parimala Thulasiraman for the Vehicle Technology International Conference

September 25, 2019

In anticipation of the inaugural 2019 Vehicle Technology International Conference, we’re profiling some of our guest speakers to highlight the fascinating topics they’ll cover. Below, learn more about Parimala Thulasiraman, professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Manitoba:

Tell us about yourself – your background, field of interest, where do you work and what are your areas of expertise?

“I am a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Manitoba. I received my B.Eng. (Honours) and M.A.Sc. degrees in Computer Engineering from Concordia University in Montreal, and obtained my Ph.D. from the University of Delaware in Newark, DE, USA after finishing most of my formalities in the Department of Computer Science at McGill University in Montreal.

My research interests are in developing, designing and implementing parallel and distributed algorithms for complex network optimization and graph analytic real world problems. In particular, in the parallel computing area, my focus is on futuristic multi-core architectures and quantum computers.

Within the distributed computing area, my research interests are in mobile ad hoc and vehicular ad hoc networks.  To design algorithms, I borrow ideas from nature. Nature is highly parallel, distributed, adaptive and very efficient. The way ants forage for food or the way termites communicate with each other in the event of danger can be applied to solving routing or security problems in dynamic networks, respectively.”

What sparked your interest in vehicle technology?

“Autonomous vehicles are the future of transportation. Although the road network is static, the vehicular network is dynamic. As I was studying this problem, I realized that nature inspired techniques would be very useful in solving some of the challenging problems in vehicle technology. I saw a one-to-one mapping between a vehicle and a real ant in nature. Both are autonomous and communication is decentralized. The challenge I found, however, is how to map the mathematically defined nature-inspired models to the issues pertaining to dynamic applications. This sparked my interest. We cannot apply the existing nature inspired algorithms as is to solving problems. Some innovation and creativity is needed in designing decentralized, distributed algorithms. There is some fundamental research to be done in this area and it is fascinating to part of it.”

Give us a taste of the topics you’ll cover at the Vehicle Technology International Conference?

“I will be discussing the traffic aware routing problem as a single objective and multi-objective optimization problem. I will discuss the latest work on how we cluster the road points based on the flow of traffic on the road and how we predict traffic on these clusters using machine learning. In this work, traffic is the only optimization parameter. However, besides traffic, there are other parameters we can optimize on the network, that changes the problem from a single objective to multi-objective optimization problem, which is complicated to solve. The multi-objective optimization problem for routing is solved using genetic algorithm, an evolutionary, nature inspired algorithm.”

Anything else you’d like to add?

“I am excited to learn from the other speakers and audience at the conference. I would like to mention that my research would not have been possible without my research team consisting of undergraduate and graduate (MSc and PhD) students and post doctoral fellows. One of my graduate students will be presenting at this symposium.”

Register for VTIC 2019 by going to rrc.ca/vtec2019.

Get to know Frank Douma, guest speaker at the inaugural Vehicle Technology International Conference

September 23, 2019

The inaugural Vehicle Technology International Conference begins one week from today at the Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre in Winnipeg. RRC is pleased to welcome a range of speakers who will be covering topics relating to the evolution and future of vehicle technology in Canada in beyond.

Frank Douma is one of the guest speakers featured at this year’s conference. He is director of the State and Local Policy Program at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and a research scholar at the Center for Transportation Studies, both located at the University of Minnesota. His research focuses on policy and legal issues related to transportation technologies. He has authored several legal and academic articles on the topic, and been quoted in newspapers ranging from the New York Times to the Fergus Falls Daily Journal.

Get to know Frank Douma below:

Tell us a little bit about yourself – your background, field of interest, where do you work and what are your areas of expertise?

“My research focuses on policy and legal issues related to transportation technologies, including telework, tolling and other transportation finance tools, safety, and self-driving vehicles. I have had an  interest in transportation issues for much of my life, but had no idea that I could make a career out of studying them until the summer after my third year at Grinnell College, when I participated in an internship in Southeast England. For eight weeks, I studied the anticipated impacts of the opening of the Channel Tunnel on the Borough of Ashford, a railroad town that became the only rail stop between London and the Tunnel.

This exposure to planning as a practice led me to obtain a Masters Degree in Public Affairs and a Law Degree from the University of Minnesota. The decision became fortuitous as my work in Ashford helped me obtain a research assistant position at the Humphrey School, looking at the potential environmental issues created by new transportation technologies. As I moved towards graduation and beyond, I parlayed that work into positions with the Twin Cities’ Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minnesota Department of Transportation, and the Canadian Pacific Railway.

I returned to academia in 1999 as a Research Fellow with the State and Local Policy Program, the same organization I worked with as a student at the Humphrey School. I was named the second Director in the history of the State and Local Policy Program in October 2015.

I have been quoted in news stories in the New York Times, and Wall Street Journal, as well as the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Fergus Falls Daily Journal and White Bear Press – given the name of the Program, I’m most proud of the latter stories! – along with authoring a number of articles in legal and academic journals. Also, while work and family life seem to have colluded to keep me from further travel abroad (except Canada), and I have never been in a tenured or tenure track academic position, I believe my ability to find new research opportunities and define key research questions for nearly 20 years comes from understanding bureaucratic politics and understanding the meaning of life through and courses in the works of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.”

What sparked your interest in vehicle technology?

“I have always had an interest in transportation, but my first exposure to advanced technology came with my student position at the Humphrey School, where I joined a project examining the possible impacts of “Intelligent Vehicle/Highway Systems” (now “Intelligent Transportation Systems”) on the environment. At the time, many environmentalists and others interested in social justice were skeptical that these new technologies were going to solve the existing disparities in transportation, where those who could not afford to, or were otherwise unable to, drive their own vehicle face a significant disadvantage. Since then, I have looked at ways technology could be used to address those disparities.

A breakthrough opportunity presented itself when Google re-charged the conversation about the possibility of self-driving vehicles becoming a reality, because once we remove the requirement of having to own and be physically able to drive, the ability to access transportation that is available when one wants it, at an affordable price, becomes possible.”

Give us a taste of the topics you’ll cover at the Vehicle Technology International Conference?

“I will focus on the policy level obstacles and opportunities I mention above, as they relate to development and deployment of connected and automated vehicles. I will outline some of the misconceptions (such as how we cannot deploy the technology because lawyers will prevent it) as well as some of the real opportunities for deployment. I’ll further note that there still is room for improvement and change in policy if we want to address the disparities I mention above, however. Hopefully, some of the lessons I have learned in looking at this topic from the US perspective will also lead to useful insight on Canadian policy and law as well!”

To register for the conference, please visit rrc.ca/vtec2019

Meet Ying Ying Liu, guest speaker at the 2019 Vehicle Technology International Conference

September 18, 2019

Red River College is hosting the inaugural Vehicle Technology International Conference, September 30 – October 2 at the Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre in Winnipeg. RRC is excited to welcome a range of speakers who will be covering topics relating to the evolution and future of vehicle technology in Canada in beyond. Get to know one of the speakers, Ying Ying Liu, below:

“Nine years ago, I came to Canada as an immigrant from China. With a degree in Information Management and Systems, I worked at IBM China in business operation. I always had a fascination with the technical world and wanted to learn more about what happens behind the scenes. So when I came to Canada, I decided to start fresh by going back to school, where I embraced every single opportunity to learn.

After receiving my second bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with First Class Honours from the University of Manitoba in 2013, I went on to get my Master’s in 2016. I am now a PhD student. I have strong academic performance and a passion in solving real world problems with technologies. I also work at Manitoba Hydro as a system developer.

I joined InterDisciplinary Evolutionary Algorithmic Sciences (IDEAS) lab in 2013. My research areas are in computational intelligence, high performance computing, and distributed algorithms. My recent interest is in traffic-aware many objective dynamic route planning. I find this topic interesting because it is both theoretical and practical.

Individual vehicle routing refers to the task of finding the optimal travel path from place A to place B. With classical static routing algorithms, this problem is usually solved by finding the shortest path on a graph representing a road map with the weight of an edge representing the actual geometric distance between two junctions. A static routing algorithm is run once at the path planning stage and does not consider dynamic traffic information such as congestion, accidents and road closure.

As congestion becomes alarmingly severe in modern metropolitan areas, traffic-aware vehicle routing is one of the important problems in improving quality of life and building smart cities with higher productivity, less air pollution and less fuel consumption. In our problem setting, the road network is modelled as a graph with constantly changing edge weights, and a vehicle makes routing decision based on real-time and predictive traffic as it goes.

Our traffic-aware dynamic routing is composed of three steps:

  1. distributive road network clustering using real-time traffic
  2. traffic prediction at cluster level
  3. the vehicle incorporates the road network, clustering, and traffic information into its path planning algorithm to find a set of solutions for the optimizations of total vehicular emission cost (TEC), travel time, number of turns, and distance.

I would like to thank the organizers of the Vehicle Technology International Conference to give me the opportunity to present research work of the IDEAS lab. I look forward to attending the conference!”

Register for the Vehicle Technology International conference here.

Celebrating a Community of Change: new website supports vulnerable children and their caregivers

September 17, 2019

Today, Red River College (RRC) revealed a brand-new resource that highlights the potential for positive change that is released in a low-income community when their youngest citizens have access to intense early childhood services. Community of Change is a new website that demonstrates how changing vulnerable children’s early learning opportunities not only has a positive effect on them but creates a positive ripple effect on the adults around them.

The project is the result of a partnership between Red River College, Manidoo Gi-Miini Gonaan, and Healthy Child Manitoba. RRC received nearly $234,000 in funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) in 2016 to support new research examining how an early childhood intervention program influenced the parents and staff at the Lord Selkirk Park Child Care Centre.

“The funding we received from SSHRC allowed Red River College to bolster our leadership role in social innovation research and knowledge mobilization,” said Christine Watson, VP Academic, Red River College. “Projects like these highlight our ongoing and innovative work in the areas of health and social sciences – work we couldn’t do without the support of our partners and community.”

To celebrate the launch of Community of Change and to thank the families and staff who participated in the research project, RRC and its partners hosted a launch event at Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre.

“It’s important for us to celebrate this work with those who helped shape it. The families who agreed to tell their stories are really at the core of this research project,” said Jan Sanderson, Research Chairperson for the Research School of Health Sciences at RRC.

“Many studies have demonstrated that young children living in economically challenged circumstances face an uphill battle to meet their developmental milestones and enter kindergarten ready for the education challenges ahead,” continued Sanderson. “Fortunately, research also tells us that we can change that trajectory by intervening early and providing services that support both young children and their parents. The project at Lord Selkirk Park is demonstrating exactly that. We have seen the ripple effect boost a child’s potential, and suddenly the parent is also engaged, motivated and inspired to explore their own developmental path. Kids benefit, families benefit, and the community grows stronger and healthier.”

To learn more about the project findings, visit communityofchange.org.

Get to know Kirk Burcar and Thomas Small from New Flyer

September 11, 2019

Red River College is pleased to welcome New Flyer‘s Kirk Burcar and Thomas Small as guest speakers at the inaugural 2019 Vehicle Technology International Conference, taking place September 30 to October 2 at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre in Winnipeg.

Read more about Kirk and Thomas and the topics they’ll cover at this year’s conference – and register here to make sure you don’t miss it!

Kirk Burcar, Vice President, Engineering Services

Kirk Burcar is a seasoned production engineer, having held progressively advancing leadership roles in automotive and heavy-duty manufacturing for over three decades. He currently leads New Flyer’s engineering operation as Vice President, Engineering Services, and since joining New Flyer in 2009, Kirk has provided key direction and guidance to its critical design and production engineering programs, including reference bus development, design enhancement strategies, and quality improvement initiatives.

Prior to joining New Flyer, Kirk spent 20 years in the automotive industry, holding senior management roles in engineering and management with General Motors. Kirk holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from McGill University, and a Masters in Engineering from the University of Toronto.

 

 

Thomas Small, Director, New Product Development

Thomas Small is a product development expert and currently leads New Flyer’s New Product Development (NPD) team through its innovation, design, and development process. With over two decades of engineering experience and leadership, he oversees New Flyer’s assessment of emerging technology and implementation of new products and mobility solutions into the North American market. He also provides active support to the Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium’s (CUTRIC) Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration & Integration Trial with technical planning and design.

Prior to joining New Flyer in 2000, Thomas spent several years with the product validation team at New Holland Canada. He holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Manitoba and is an accredited Professional Engineer.

 

Kirk and Thomas will speak on a variety of topics at this year’s conference:

  • New Flyer’s tech journey: where the company has come from, where they are now, and where they’re going – and that they’re in the midst of a mobility paradigm shift
  • The electrification of transit buses in North America, including discussion on low and no-emission propulsions
  • That New Flyer is “not just a bus manufacturer” anymore, but a provider of mobility solutions that includes buses, infrastructure, and technology
  • How New Flyer supports the development of smart cities through smart mobility
  • The path to advanced driver assistance system (or ADAS) deployment, and how New Flyer is using automation to make public transit safer
  • How New Flyer is driving industry collaboration, learning, tech advancement, and workforce development through our Vehicle Innovation Center
  • Why industry advocacy is critical to success on the path to zero-emission

Visit rrc.ca/vtec2019 to register for VTIC 2019.