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Research Partnerships and Innovation

Research Partnerships & Innovation


Globe and Mail Focus On Applied Research

March 31, 2011

The following article on Red River College’s Office of Applied Research & Commercialization was recently featured in a special section in The Globe and Mail about innovation. To download a copy of the complete feature, click here.
Red River College opens third research centre
At Winnipeg’s Red River College (RRC), the definition of applied research is short and sweet: the use of knowledge to solve real-world challenges.
For Ray Hoemsen, director of the college’s Office of Applied Research and Commercialization, applied research is also a key element in improving Canada’s productivity and innovation capacity.
That’s why his office provides support for applied research, knowledge transfer, prototyping, product development, testing and commercialization – helping business and industry access RRC’s expertise in the search for practical, innovative solutions.
“For us, it’s all about applying knowledge to deliver results. The how is more important than the why,” says Mr. Hoemsen.
In recognition of RRC’s efforts, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) awarded the college $2.3 million to establish a Sustainable Infrastructure Technology Research Group focused on improving the energy efficiency of commercial and industrial buildings.
With three independent research centres now open or in development, RRC is well positioned to continue making significant contributions to technology innovation in Manitoba and beyond. For example, the Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure (CARSI) is the first dedicated research laboratory at a college in Manitoba. Its aim is to develop advanced sustainable infrastructure technologies in four strategic areas: asphalt, concrete and pavement; advanced composite materials; large, light-frame wood structures; and building envelopes.
On one of its first projects, CARSI worked with Manitoba Hydro to ensure that the utility’s new, $278-million downtown Winnipeg headquarters would be the most energy-efficient building in North America.
At CARSI, Manitoba Hydro was able to try new technologies and materials before constructing the 22-storey office complex. In the process, CARSI gained a valuable long-term client and gave its students hands-on experience.
Mr. Hoemsen says RRC’s objective is innovation rather than invention. “We are constantly looking for better ways to do things and to adapt and apply existing technology more effectively.”
The college maintains ownership of the intellectual property it develops so that it can continue to be used for the benefit of students and faculty, but the companies that call on RRC to solve problems get to implement the solutions for themselves.
Mr. Hoemsen says working on real-world challenges not only gives students an opportunity to experience what they will face when they enter the workforce, but also give them a distinct advantage in their job hunt.
“To be able to recruit college grads who have already worked on and solved problems that employers are familiar with means our students are that much further ahead than job applicants who have not had the same experience,” he says.
The college also established the Centre for Aerospace Technology and Training, the Centre for Non-Destructive Inspection and is developing the Advanced Transportation and Energy Centre.

Sustainable Infrastructure Testing Downtown

March 21, 2011

Red River College’s (RRC) Sustainable Infrastructure Technology Research Group (SITRG) will conduct an air leakage test on one of the most prominent office towers on Broadway. This will be the first in a series of buildings to be tested across Manitoba as part of a new applied research project launched by SITRG.
363 Broadway is undergoing a $4-million renovation to make the building more energy efficient and enhance its appearance – it involves completely replacing the building’s exterior.
“We will be testing for air leakage in the building, pre- and post-renovation,” says Rob Spewak, Research Manager with Applied Research and Commercialization (AR&C) at RRC. “Along with SITRG and Manitoba Hydro, RRC students will take part in this leading edge research using state-of-the-art tools and techniques to assess building energy performance.”
The renovation project will achieve energy savings through the installation of new glass panels that will have a special glazing. This will make them not only more energy efficient, but also allow up to 60 per cent more daylight into the building.
“In addition to high performance glazing, it is also essential to minimize air leakage to maximize energy savings and comfort as well as ensure long-term durability,” says Ken Klassen, RRC’s Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure (CARSI) Research Professional. “ Our test will determine how the new exterior stacks up versus the old, as well as versus Canadian building standards.”
AR&C is excited about the project as it satisfies a critical applied research need in the area of sustainable infrastructure. In 2009, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada awarded RRC $2.3 million to establish SITRG with a focus on improving the energy efficiency of buildings.
“We’ve attracted considerable capital and operational funding to establish RRC and SITRG as a leader in sustainable infrastructure research,” says Ray Hoemsen, Director of AR&C. “This project is a good example of industry recognizing the value we can offer in assessing innovative building technologies and inventions.”
RRC’s CARSI was utilized by Manitoba Hydro to test the advanced curtain wall system installed in its new Downtown Office Head Office Project, one of the most energy efficient office buildings in the world. See this video for more information:
For more information, please contact:
Brent Wennekes
Technology Transfer and Communications Officer, AR&C
Red River College

Ministers Tour New Greenhouses

March 15, 2011

The Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Democratic Reform), and the Honourable Diane McGifford, Manitoba Minister of Advanced Education and Literacy, were at Red River College in Winnipeg today to tour the school’s expanded landscape construction shop and greenhouses, which will give students modern new facilities for hands-on training in their field.
The federal and provincial governments each contributed $525,000 toward this $1,050,000 project as part of the Knowledge Infrastructure Program.
“We are investing in research and training facilities at campuses across the country to create jobs, help our economy recover quickly and improve the quality of life of Canadians,” said Minister of State Fletcher. “This investment created local jobs and helped improve Red River College’s research infrastructure, providing benefits now and for years to come.”
“The Manitoba Government is pleased to have the opportunity to partner with the federal government to complete exciting projects such as the greenhouses and landscape construction shop at RRC,” said Minister McGifford. “In Manitoba, all of our public post-secondary institutions have benefited from joint investments like this one.”
The work led to the creation of two greenhouses and a 2,900-square-metre landscape construction shop, which will give students indoor facilities where they can get hands-on training experience in drainage, irrigation and arboricultural systems. The new facilities also open the door to more applied research partnerships with industry.
“The completion of the greenhouses and landscape construction shop will provide modern new learning space for our Greenspace Management program, and allow us to explore innovative applied research opportunities with the horticulture industry,” explained Stephanie Forsyth, President of Red River College.
In addition to the landscape and greenhouse facilities, the new complex includes storage for the College’s groundskeeping equipment and a staging area for its mobile training labs.

$5.9 Million for Research Centres

March 14, 2011

The Manitoba aerospace, transportation and manufacturing sectors will benefit from access to new technology and more skilled staff thanks to a $5.9 million investment in new and expanded research facilities at Red River College. The funding was announced today by the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification (WD)
“Our government is pleased to be a part of these exciting projects, which will create a competitive advantage for key sectors in Manitoba’s economy,” said Minister Yelich. “This technology will enable local companies to produce better and more cost-effective products that will help create more jobs and opportunity in our communities.”
The Government of Canada, through WD, is investing:

  • $4.4 million to establish the Centre for Non-Destructive Inspection Technologies (CNDI), allowing remote-access to a network of non-destructive imaging equipment; and
  • $1.5 million to expand the capabilities of Red River College’s existing Centre for Aerospace Training and Technology (CATT) and establish a new robotics training lab at Red River College’s Notre Dame Campus.

“This investment by the federal government will allow Red River College to enhance its role in the aerospace sector, and support the growth of local companies like Bristol Aerospace and StandardAero,” said Stephanie Forsyth, President of Red River College. “Our students, staff and industry partners will benefit from access to new technology and the potential for innovative applied research projects.”
The CNDI facility will provide specialized inspection equipment and a network of portable “non-destructive” imaging equipment that can be used by industry right in their own facilities. This equipment allows companies to detect hidden flaws in materials more efficiently and with greater confidence without damaging the materials.
“We are pleased to partner with Red River College in this remarkable opportunity to enhance productivity through the use of non-destructive inspection technologies,” said Mr. Don Boitson, Vice President and General Manager, Magellan Aerospace.  “This investment in both infrastructure and manufacturing know-how is the kind of strategic investment that encourages growth through competitiveness in industry.”
Red River College will expand CATT’s onsite facilities at StandardAero and also create a new training lab at its Notre Dame Campus. The new lab will provide industry with affordable access to the specialized robotics it needs to stay competitive.
“We are excited about this next phase of CATT growth as it will allow us to further expand our low heat input welding expertise and develop new component repairs that our customers want,” said Ian Smart, Senior Vice President, Airlines & Fleets, StandardAero.  “The collaborative effort with Red River College and Western Economic Diversification Canada is helping us provide better support to our customers and be more competitive in our markets.”
In addition to the new equipment, both projects incorporate education programs in non-destructive testing and advanced robotics, addressing key labour and skill shortages identified by industry.

Biofuels in Canada on Wednesday, March 9th with Dr. Rex Newkirk.

March 9, 2011

Red River College invites you to come and discover biofuels in Canada on Wednesday, March 9th with Dr. Rex Newkirk.
Dr. Newkirk, from the Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI), will lecture on:

  • experiences with biodiesel production and training
  • insights as to where the biodiesel industry is going in Canada
  • provide an entertaining overview of CIGI’s activities and facilities
  • Following the seminar, participants are invited to tour the “Flower Power” trailer, CIGI’s portable biodiesel plant/training facility.

Dr. Newkirk was raised on a ranch in South Western Saskatchewan. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Saskatchewan in 2002 where he had been a professional research associate in the department of Animal and Poultry Science. In 2003 Dr. Newkirk joined CIGI as the Director of Feed. By 2007 he became Director of Biofuels and Feed where he lead an initiative to provide technical support to the emerging biodiesel industry.
Rex was named Director of Research and Business Development in 2010 and has enhanced CIGI’s involvement in research that creates opportunities for Canada’s field crops. He has been actively involved in the development of a portable biodiesel facility that has been used to train approximately 1800 people in locations across Canada.
Dr. Newkirk has provided technical support and training across the globe and is internationally regarded as an expert in the area of animal nutrition and biodiesel production.
This is a complimentary seminar that will be held in building A, room 137 on the Red River College Notre Dame Ave. Campus at 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, March 9th, 2011.
Free parking and a complimentary lunch will be provided.
**If you have any food allergies, please advise upon registration.**
Please register by contacting:
Lyndsay Ross
Phone: 204-632-2597
Fax: 204.633.3079

Building Information Modelling Session

March 1, 2011

Join us on Friday, March 4th to hear Dr. Shokry Rashwon lecture on the emerging practice of Building Information Modeling (BIM).
BIM refers to the process of digitally generating and managing data during design, construction and operation of buildings. Many owners, architects and construction firms have realized the added product value and potential for growth that comes with use of this technology.
This seminar will review:
BIM terminologies and its evolution from Computer-Aided Design/electronic drafting
BIM tools, applications and technologies currently being used in the construction industry

  • The advantages and challenges of adopting BIM
  • The roles of industry stakeholders
  • Elements needed for successful application, such as standards, interoperability and integrated project delivery

Dr. Shokry Rashwan attained his BSc in Civil Engineering from Ciro University (Egypt) in 1977. He served in the navy for two years and worked as a site Engineer before coming to Manitoba in 1980. He then studied at the University of Manitoba and received his MEng and PhD in Civil Engineering in 1983 and 1988 respectively.
Dr. Rashwan has held numerous positions such as Civil Technology Instructor with RRC (Thompson, MB 1987), Director of Research with PMRI (Edmonton, AB 1989), and Project Engineer with Puratone Corp (Niverville, MB 2000). Currently, Dr. Rashwan works as Research Manager with NRC-IRC (London, ON). He has three patents and has authored over 30 publications.
This is a complimentary seminar that will be held in building A, room 137 on the Red River College Notre Dame Ave. Campus at 11:45 a.m. on Friday, March 4th, 2011.
Free parking and a complimentary lunch will be provided.
**If you have any food allergies, please advise upon registration.**
Please register by contacting:
Lyndsay Ross
Phone: 204-632-2597
Fax: 204.633.3079

Non-Destructive Inspection Training – Feb. 17 and 18, 2011

February 1, 2011

Please join Red River College for a Two Day Training Session on Neubrex NBX-6040 usage with Dr. Kishida on February 17&18, 2011.
Neubrex NBX-6040 – This instrument uses Brillion-based technology, including fiber optic sensors, to enable non-destructive structural health evaluation. It is the world’s only temperature/strain sensing system, implementing breakthrough Pulse-PrePump BOTDA technology.
This equipment can be used in a variety of applications, including civil engineering, pipeline monitoring, aerospace, fiber module development, and fiber optic gyroscope development.
The Neubrex equipment can utilize embedded fibres in composites materials for quality control during manufacturing for part process development, as well as detecting changes in strain distribution before and after part usage.
Neubrex analysis software allows one not only to obtain information on deformation or/and temperature fields in the areas inaccessible to optical fibre, but also to analyze phenomena which cannot be directly measured (E.g. pipe thinning).
See for more information on the NBX-6040.
Dr. Kishida is the founder, CEO and President of Neubrex Co. Ltd. Japan. He received his B.S. and M. Eng. degrees from the University of Science and Technology of China, in 1985 and 1988 respectively. In 1997, he obtained a PhD from Osaka University, Japan, and joined the Advanced Research and Development Institute of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation.
Dr. Kishida is an expert on shock waves in condensed materials and dynamic brittle fracture. His recent research interests are in optical fiber sensing, resulting in many patents and publications.
This is a complimentary Two Day Training Session that will be held in the CARSI building (Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure) on the Red River College Notre Dame Ave. Campus.
Thursday, February17th 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – – All day BASIC training session
Friday, February 18th 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. – – ADVANCED training
Lunch and refreshments provided both days.
**If you have any food allergies, please advise upon registration.**
Please register by contacting:
Lyndsay Ross
Phone: 204-632-2597
Fax: 204.633.3079