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RRC ranked among Top 10 research colleges in Canada

November 2, 2018

Red River College has again been ranked one of Canada’s top 10 research colleges.

The designation comes courtesy of the annual Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges list, released yesterday by Re$earch Infosource Inc.

This is the second research-related distinction bestowed on RRC in less than a month. On Oct. 9, the College won the silver award in the Applied Research category at the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics Awards in Melbourne, Australia.

“These recent recognitions prove the ongoing research efforts of the College and our partners are working,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“We’ve worked on some outstanding projects in the past, such as battery-operated buses and energy-efficient office towers — projects that benefit our communities through their sustainable approach to engineering. We’re excited to see what we can achieve in the future.”

Recent expansions to RRC mean the College can continue supporting the needs of industry while establishing a base of highly skilled graduates to work in these fields once they finish school.

“We’ve accomplished great things with our existing capacities,” says Ray Hoemsen, executive director of Research Partnerships & Innovation at RRC. “Our new additions mean we’ll be even better equipped to help our industry partners achieve their goals while we continue to enhance learning at the College.

“We’ll soon be opening our new MotiveLab (shown above), a unique vehicle testing facility where students and researchers will work side-by-side on equipment that will be used across North America.”

Also opening soon is the Smart Factory, an applied research space where students can work in a factory-like setting on emerging technologies such as robotics, automation and additive manufacturing.

In addition to these new facilities, the College is poised to bolster the future of research in Manitoba via its new $95-million Innovation Centre (now under construction,) as well as a Culinary Research Centre that’s slated to open at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute next year.

College honoured with global award for applied research

October 12, 2018

Red River College has again been recognized as a global leader in applied research and innovation by the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP).

At the organization’s Awards of Excellence in Melbourne, Australia on Oct. 9, the College was awarded silver in the Applied Research category for contributions led by its Research Partnerships & Innovation (RPI) department, which was formally established in 2004.

“We’re honoured to receive this award from WFCP. It’s a wonderful celebration of the outstanding work our staff and students do every day,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “As RPI enters its fifteenth year of operation, this award is a great way to both recognize the achievements we’ve made and to motivate us to continue reaching for greatness.”

The WFCP Awards honour excellence in addressing real-world challenges through applied research initiatives. WFCP last honoured RRC in 2014 with a bronze award at a ceremony in Beijing, China.

“This award is another significant achievement for applied research at Red River College,” says Ray Hoemsen, director of Research Partnerships & Innovation at RRC.

“For nearly 15 years we’ve been dedicated to working with partners to meet the needs of our community and to support community-based economic development. Receiving global recognition for these partnerships speaks to the outstanding quality of the research initiatives that happen at the College.” Read More →

Funding announced for new culinary research centre at PGI

July 25, 2018

The eleventh floor of the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute will soon be transformed into a multi-functional culinary research centre, thanks to new federal funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

Science and Sport Minister Kirsty Duncan stopped by Jane’s restaurant this morning to formally announce the new project — one of several made possible through more than $10 million in funding for new research infrastructure at 11 colleges and polytechnics across Canada.

Through the CFI’s investment of more than $1 million in RRC, students and staff working at the new research lab will be even better positioned to collaborate with the food and agriculture industry on projects that will enhance food safety research, and address changing consumer needs and challenges such as food waste.

“Red River College is a leader in culinary research and innovation,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “To date we’ve worked on more than 40 different projects with local food and agricultural producers in Manitoba to help them innovate and bring new products to market.

“This support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation means that we can expand our research capabilities to meet this growing demand, and create a dedicated state-of-the-art facility for researchers, instructors and students to work collaboratively — shoulder-to-shoulder with industry — to make the impossible possible when it comes to new food product creation and culinary innovation.” Read More →

College hits home run with new beer-flavoured pretzel seasoning

June 13, 2018

Forget about peanuts and Cracker Jacks. Tonight, Red River College will partner with local snack mainstay The Pretzel Place, to launch a new beer-flavoured pretzel seasoning at the Winnipeg Goldeyes’ game at Shaw Park.

The seasoning is the edible innovation of RRC’s Culinary Research & Innovation (CR&I) program, which in recent years has seen substantial growth in the areas of new product development and ingredient applications.

“The demand for culinary research and innovation in our province is increasing, and our CR&I program continues to ‘step up to the plate,’ to develop new and advanced uses for locally grown food while supporting Manitoba’s agricultural and food industry through applied research,” says RRC President Paul Vogt (shown above, with The Pretzel Place owner Sue Leclair).

“This partnership with The Pretzel Place is just one of many delicious examples of new product creation and culinary creativity at work in our community.”

The CR&I program is housed within RRC’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, allowing researchers to tap into the knowledge of accomplished chef instructors, and to recruit students to work on applied research projects with industry.

The program was first launched in 2014, and has increased its activities with help from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). To date, the program has been involved in over 40 industry projects with organizations such as the Manitoba Pulse and Soy Growers, Granny’s Poultry, Piccola Cucina, and MS Prebiotic Inc. Read More →

Province to provide free access to SECD resources for early years practitioners and students

May 18, 2018

The province will cover licensing fees to provide students and professionals across Manitoba with free access to the Science of Early Child Development (SECD), a suite of online learning resources developed by Red River College.

SECD includes regularly updated living textbooks and modules that offer current research and links to practice through a convenient online portal, accessible via computer, tablet and smartphone.

“We are making a first-of-its-kind investment in the early years fields in Manitoba to increase professional development opportunities, encourage independent study, strengthen the sectors that work with children and families, and improve the quality of services for Manitoba families,” says Families Minister Scott Fielding.

“Living textbooks are a cost-effective way to continually expand knowledge and provide educational opportunities to everyone involved in the sector.”

The province will provide $365,000 to RRC through the Canada-Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with the federal government, opening up province-wide access for two living textbooks and three additional modules.

This will eliminate the license fee currently required to register, which will benefit hundreds of students and teaching staff, as well as early learning and child-care professionals, family child-care providers, teachers, public health staff, community organizations and any Manitobans interested in the impact of early experience on lifelong health and well-being. RRC will oversee the initiative and report to government on annual usage. Read More →

RRC honoured by CiCan for excellence in applied research and innovation

May 1, 2018

CiCan Awards of Excellence 2018Red River College picked up a prestigious award this week recognizing its achievements in the field of applied research and innovation.

The College won gold in the category of Applied Research and Innovation Excellence at the annual Colleges and Institutes Canada (CiCan) Awards of Excellence, handed out in Victoria, B.C., on Mon., April 30.

The awards recognize best practices from institutions across the country, as well as individual leadership and achievements.

In RRC’s case, the honour caps off a marquee year of expansion that saw more than $200 million in infrastructure funding going towards 111,000 square feet of new facilities.

The College has also engaged in 543 applied partnerships with SMEs, large companies, and community organizations from 012 to 2017, resulting in the same number of new or improved products, processes, services and insights. Those initiatives are coordinated by the College’s Research Partnerships & Innovation office, which last year generated more research revenue than any other college in Western Canada.

“It is because of dedicated people working hard every day to improve educational programs and campus life, that colleges and institutes are able to offer such remarkable student experiences and training opportunities,” says CiCan President Denise Amyot.

“We are thrilled to honour these leaders and innovators who make the entire system stronger, more inclusive and more responsive to the needs of students, as well as employers.”

A victory for SpaRRCky: Student-built battery-electric car crosses the finish line

April 27, 2018

RRC Shell Eco-marathon 2018After two and a half years of hard work, a team of Mechanical Engineering Technology students have landed Red River College on the Shell Eco-marathon’s leaderboard for the first time.

The team placed 14th in the battery-electric category at the Sonoma, California event, where they were one of only 55 teams (out of the 100 teams competing) who passed inspection and made successful runs on the track.

“I feel very proud of the team. It’s been a huge commitment and it was amazing to watch SpaRRCky (the College’s battery-electric vehicle) every time it lapped around us on the track,” says Bin Yang, who was the RRC team’s manager until he graduated last December.

Behind the wheel of the car was RRC Automotive Technician student Daren Nuevo, whose teammates described her as “fearless” in the driver’s seat.

Daren Nuevo, 2018“I was more eager to drive the car than I was nervous, and once I was on the road it was more exciting than I imagined,” Nuevo says about the experience. “Time after time the team worked extremely hard, fast and efficiently to meet the inspection requirements, and throughout all the hiccups that came about.”

Those hiccups — including a broken motor, a blown fuse and a loose wheel — were seen by the team as opportunities to make quick repairs on the fly. Using the skills they learned while designing and building SpaRRCky at the College, they were able to stay calm and work together in the moment.

“A lot of the teams end up working together to help each other out,” says Yang, who now works at RRC as a research assistant. “We lent out tools and nuts and bolts to a few teams and were lucky to borrow a few things from other teams. Especially the team from Universidad de La Sabana (in Colombia) who were able to lend us a spare motor.”

To get on the leaderboard, the team had to complete seven laps in under 26 minutes.

“Daren was just flying by,” says Yang. “After we made the fixes we just wanted to make sure we completed a successful run and then worry about strategy later, so she was lapping every car.” Read More →

Student-led applied research efforts on display at second annual showcase

April 5, 2018

Applied Research & Innovation Day, 2018An online divorce agency, an alternator-driven electric bicycle, a study on lullaby therapy for infants, and a social media assessment for the Winnipeg Police Service — just a small sample of the student-led research projects that’ll be on display today at Red River College’s Applied Research & Innovation Day.

Now in its second year, the event welcomes close to 200 participants from the College — as well as partners from business and industry — to learn about RRC’s many ongoing research initiatives, as well as students’ experiences and successes in applying their work in a real-world environment.

“We started our applied research initiatives a little more than a decade ago, and today we’re leading the way in applied research here in Manitoba, and across Western Canada,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“More and more, the idea of teaching and learning is moving away from students sitting in desks and taking notes, and towards hands-on, collaborative projects. Applied Research & Innovation Day strongly showcases the success of that approach to learning.”

Today’s event will feature an industry luncheon with a keynote from Paul Soubry, President and CEO of New Flyer Industries, who was recently named Canada’s top CEO of the year by the Financial Post. The event will also feature a quick-pitch student competition — similar to TV’s Dragon’s Den — where the top four teams from the morning’s student showcase will explain how their research created a sustainable solution to a real problem.

While today marks an important milestone for student-led research at RRC, it’s also an important day for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada — one of the many federal partners who support RRC’s applied research initiatives — as they announce their 10,000th Engage Grant in support of colleges and universities across Canada. Read More →

Ongoing research in early child development earns inaugural national award

January 18, 2018

Science of Early Child Development team, 2018What began as a Red River College research project to bridge the knowledge gap in early child development — and to create educational resources to support frontline workers — has received a prestigious national award recognizing its global impact.

It was announced this week the College’s Science of Early Child Development resource is the inaugural recipient of the Canadian Association of Research Administrators’ (CARA) Public Engagement and Advocacy Award, which recognizes an individual, institution, team or project that established and maintained public engagement with research though an innovative approach.

“This award is particularly exciting as our primary goal in developing SECD is to make the rapidly expanding science engaging and accessible to those who make a real difference in children’s lives,” says Jan Sanderson, research chair at RRC’s School of Health Sciences and Community Services.

“Our team has had the opportunity to work with many amazing committed partners around the world who are now using SECD to develop the next generation of champions for young children.”

As part of their work, RRC researchers were able to point to significant and emerging scientific evidence that spoke to the benefits of creating experiences that would support brain development in children, starting in prenatal and carrying on into the first years of a child’s life.

Prior to the work undertaken at the College, this emerging knowledge was not being widely disseminated to caregivers and frontline workers, especially in remote and low-income regions around the world.

It’s this evidence — and lack of resources — that was the driving force behind SECD, which CARA selected for the award because of its tailor-made approach to addressing critical issues around early childhood development. Read More →

Chekkit out: Wi-Fi logins leveraged to help businesses build customer bases

January 9, 2018

Lee Klimpke, Daniel Fayle and Emily Franz-Lien, Chekkit WiFi Marketing and AnalyticsWould a text message from a local coffee shop offering a free espresso get you back in the door? With some help from Red River College students working out of the ACE Project Space in the Exchange District, a new Winnipeg-based service provider believes the answer is yes.

Chekkit Wifi Marketing and Analytics is the brainchild of Daniel Fayle, Myles Hiebert, Lee Klimpke and Emily Franz-Lien, whose aim is to help businesses build loyalty programs through Wi-Fi login pages and text messages.

The team members are currently Entrepreneurs in Residence at RRC’s new project space on McDermot Avenue, where they’ve been working with Business Information Technology students to develop their product.

“The knowledge and resources available at ACE and in the Exchange District is immense,” says Fayle. “When we started, we had nothing — and through ACE we have office space, networking opportunities, a boardroom to host meetings and demonstrations, and a lot of support.

“The students we worked with were a big asset and we’re grateful to have been able to provide them with an opportunity to share their skills.”

The Chekkit team’s goal is to create optimal first experiences for customers, and to generate repeat traffic for businesses that offer free Wi-Fi.

“In creating this product our question was, ‘If someone walks in the door, how do you get them back in?’ Most people, their eyes are on their phone, and they’re going to log in to Wi-Fi,” Fayle explains.

“When they log in or when they leave, they can opt in to receive great deals from the business they visited and the brand they love, so the business can send them an offer that will make them want to come back.” Read More →