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College and Public Relations

RRC awarded federal funds for robotics, sustainable buildings, and electric vehicle research tools

April 17, 2014

Red River College was awarded new funding today from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), to continue applied research in the fields of electric vehicle (EV) testing, large building envelope research, and robotics innovation.

A total of $327,842 was awarded as part of NSERC’s College and Community Innovation Program Applied Research Tools and Instruments grants.

“This funding allows us to purchase and install specific research tools and equipment that will have an immediate impact on our applied research capacity across several industrial sectors,” said Stephanie Forsyth, President and CEO of RRC.

The tools and equipment being purchased and/or built include an EV rapid charging station and battery testers, a building envelope test chamber to test wall sections and materials, and new end-of-arm and imaging tools for existing robotics.

“These are assets that will directly support our industry partners’ research and training needs as well as enhancing student and instructor applied learning at the College,” said Ray Hoemsen, Director of Applied Research & Commercialization at RRC. “They support our strategy to drive Manitoba’s economy in an innovative and sustainable way.”

With $72,292 from NSERC, the EV rapid charging station will be incorporated into RRC’s Electric Vehicle Training and Education Centre, where it will have an immediate impact on both new and ongoing projects such as the all-electric transit bus project with partners that include New Flyer Industries, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Manitoba Hydro and the Province of Manitoba.

The College’s capacity and expertise in conducting applied research on the energy performance of buildings will be further enhanced with $139,300 to build an air, water, and structural test chamber in the Centre for Applied Research in Sustainable Infrastructure (CARSI). Along with specialized training opportunities, the chamber will allow building envelope innovations to be evaluated prior to their actual use in the construction of buildings.

The new tools for industrial robotic applications, valued at $116,250, will be incorporated into the existing suite of technologies in RRC’s Technology Access Centre for Aerospace and Manufacturing (TAC) and the Centre for Aerospace Technology and Training (CATT). With the TAC and CATT, RRC supports aerospace and manufacturing organizations through access to research tools and expertise, technological assets and state of the art equipment.