News

Students

RRC Polytech rises to 11th place in ranking of Canadian research colleges

January 27, 2023

RRC Polytech is once again one of Canada’s top research institutions, as announced earlier this week in Re$earch Infosource’s annual ranking of the country’s top 50 research colleges. The College jumped three spots from last year’s 14th place position.

RRC Polytech ranks first in the prairies in the category Spotlight on College Research Activity – Medium Tier, and third for research partnerships nationwide. The College completed 93 applied research projects in the 2021 fiscal year.

“Partnerships are at the heart of everything we do at RRC Polytech,” says Jamie Wilson, Vice-President, Indigenous Strategy, Research and Business Development at RRC Polytech.

“We work with industry every day to come up with innovative, sustainable solutions to business problems. Thanks to the support from our partners in the community, industry and government, we can continue to make positive change here in Manitoba and throughout the country.

“This national recognition reinforces that ground-breaking work doesn’t happen in a silo. It takes a community of creative staff, students and industry partners to achieve the results that place us so high on this list.”

An ongoing partnership between RRC Polytech’s Prairie Research Kitchen, Prairie Fava — a Glenboro, Man.-based food startup — and Big Mountain Foods, a Vancouver-based innovator of plant-based consumer packaged goods, that resulted in an award-winning product is just one example of the innovative collaborations completed in the last year.

Another is a recent building airtightness test at Gordon Bell High School completed by RRC Polytech’s Building Efficiency Technology Access Centre (BETAC) that will help the high school reduce energy costs by 50 per cent. Read More →

Manufacturing new career paths: Gene Haas bootcamps offer hands-on training for youth

January 25, 2023

Starting next month, Winnipeg youths with an interest in 3D printing, manufacturing and robotics will have the opportunity to hone their skills and learn about new technologies through one-day bootcamps at RRC Polytech.

The Gene Haas Manufacturing Bootcamps are open to students in Grades 7 and 8 (ages 12 to 14), along with their parents or guardians. Participants will learn how to create things using industry-standard equipment and technology, while exploring some of the many career options in Manitoba’s rapidly growing manufacturing sector.

“RRC Polytech is excited to partner with the Gene Haas Foundation on these camps because we know there is incredible potential for young Winnipeggers in the manufacturing field,” says Mark Blackner, Chair of Electrical, Mechanical and Manufacturing at RRC Polytech.

“It was important for us to include parents and guardians in these camps because often trades and technologies are seen as a dead-end job or back-up plan, which is not the case. Careers in trades and technologies allow people to create things every day, are high-paying and help our communities function and grow.”

Bootcamps run once a month, on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4p.m. They’ll provide participants with training in:

• 3D printing
• Computer aided design (CAD)
• Computer numerical control (CNC) machining
• Industrial robotics

Along with the Gene Haas Foundation and Thomas Skinner (Western Canada’s Haas Automation representative), the College has partnered with Career Trek and Skills Canada Manitoba to bring these bootcamps to life. Read More →

The great exchange: Brazilian teaching candidate finds cold weather, warm hearts in Winnipeg

December 9, 2022

Adão Lopes da Fonseca feels he was always destined to become a teacher. As a young child growing up in rural Brazil, he remembers constantly suggesting that family members of all ages play school with him, as long as he was the one leading the classes.

His passion for education never waned and he continued his studies with a goal of one day teaching English to the Portuguese-speaking middle and high school students of his homeland — but he never dreamed he’d end up perfecting his second language in Winnipeg.

That is, until he discovered that his excellent grades and achievements made him a prime candidate for an exchange program between post-secondary partners RRC Polytech and Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Ceará (IFCE).

It was an opportunity he couldn’t resist.

“It’s no longer something to dream of because I am living proof it can happen!” says Lopes da Fonseca. “I knew very little about the city, but my research warned me it would be frightfully cold, so my family was a bit worried. I was just excited about living a whole new life and making connections with so many new people.”

Adão Lopes da Fonseca, in snow-covered forestLopes da Fonseca’s four-month stint as a visiting student at the College’s Exchange District Campus is about to end, and while he had to wait until his final few weeks for winter to arrive, a recent cold snap has given him a new appreciation of the term “freezing.” As such, he’s grateful for those new people in his life who taught him how to dress to stay warm.

He will soon return home and present a report to his class on all the things he’s learned through the program, before collecting his English-Portuguese teaching certificate and license to teach middle and high school. He received a scholarship to come to Canada from his prospective employer, the Brazilian government, which will benefit from his experience observing classes, participating in lectures and seminars, and studying English for Academic Purposes teaching methodologies at RRC Polytech’s Language Training Centre (LTC).

“The main challenge to learning English is pronunciation, because in Latin America they have good comprehension, they can read, they can understand really well, but they lack conversation, which is needed to speak confidently,” he says.

“Most of the activities at the LTC are in groups, so when the instructors give out a task, everyone really helps each other and when you see that someone really wants to learn, it gives you the inspiration to give your best as a teacher.” Read More →

Eight RRC Polytech programs granted national accreditation

November 29, 2022

Today, RRC Polytech marked the accreditation of eight of its programs by Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC).

The accreditation is the result of a comprehensive audit that includes a tour of each program’s labs and student support services, and interviews with its students, faculty, alumni and graduates’ employers.

The eight programs that received accreditation are: 

·      Electronic Engineering Technology 

·      Electrical Engineering Technology 

·      Instrumentation and Control Engineering Technology

·      Mechanical Engineering Technology

·      Structural Engineering Technology

·      Architectural/Engineering Technology

·      Municipal Engineering Technology

·      Environmental Engineering Technology

“Achieving accreditation for these programs is a real win-win,” says Derek Kochenash, Dean, School of Skilled Trades and Technologies at RRC Polytech. “Not only does accreditation open doors to even more career opportunities for our students, it provides our partners in industry with the essential talent to help their organizations achieve their goals. 

“RRC Polytech is grateful to Technology Accreditation Canada for this acknowledgment. The accreditation reflects the high quality of these eight programs, while enhancing graduates’ credentials as they enter the workforce.”

National program accreditation provides students, industry and RRC Polytech with confirmation their program has met defined standards. 

Accreditation also affords graduates an expedited path to certification through the Certified Technicians & Technologists Association of Manitoba (CTTAM) and provincial certifying bodies across Canada.

“We congratulate each program for its commitment to delivering to students a high quality program that meets the current standards of the engineering technology and applied science profession,” says Stephen Morley, Chair of TAC’s board of directors. 

RRC Polytech celebrates 1,200 graduates at fall convocation

November 8, 2022

Today, at its fall convocation ceremony, RRC Polytech will celebrate more than 1,200 graduates as they enter the workforce prepared to face any challenge head on.

“Tonight’s ceremony is just the start for this resilient group of graduates. Acquiring their skills and credentials in an unprecedented period of constant change has added to their employability — they truly deserve a celebration,” says Dr. Christine Watson, Vice-President Academic at RRC Polytech.

“Our convocation ceremonies represent opportunity and optimism, so we’re thrilled everyone can acknowledge this milestone accomplishment together.”

Many of the individuals graduating today completed a significant portion of their learning in a virtual or hybrid setting, and will celebrate their success along with their friends, family and instructors tonight at the RBC Convention Centre.

Among the honorees at tonight’s ceremony is Michael Stewart, RRC Polytech’s 2022 Lieutenant Governor’s Medal recipient. Stewart graduates with honours from the Applied Accounting Certificate program and inspires everyone around him as a tireless volunteer, support worker and advocate in the deaf-blind community.

“From instructors and interpreters to classmates, I am blown away by the generosity, kindness and top-notch service provided by RRC Polytech,” says Stewart. “My education will open so many doors for me as I work toward becoming a chartered professional accountant and achieving my ultimate goal of changing the stigma associated with the ability of deaf-blind Canadians to work and contribute.” Read More →

Inaugural Inclusion Week celebrates equity, diversity and inclusion at RRC Polytech

October 31, 2022

RRC Polytech is strengthening its commitment to embodying equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) with the launch of its inaugural Inclusion Week.

From today until Friday, Nov. 4, the College is hosting a series of virtual and in-person events designed to inspire staff and students to live out the values of EDI at work, in class and in their personal lives.

“The principles of EDI are embedded into everything we do at RRC Polytech, and they make up an important pillar of our Strategic Plan,” says Fred Meier, President and CEO. “Rather than just talking about how important these values are, Inclusion Week gives our community the chance to experience these teachings first-hand through a variety of events they can attend throughout their typical work or school week.”

“One of our strengths as an institution is that we care deeply about the people who work and study here. Inclusion Week helps to foster a respectful, equitable atmosphere for our entire community.”

RRC Polytech is committed to addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action within its operations and in its work to advance Indigenous education in Manitoba. This commitment is a critical foundation for the College’s work in pursuing EDI within the institution and its partnerships — because those goals cannot be advanced without doing the work of reconciliation.

Inclusion Week builds off the momentum of RRC Polytech’s Truth and Reconciliation Week, held at the end of September, to further provide staff and students with opportunities to engage in the principles of EDI.

Read More →

Program Explorer: A game-changing tool for future students

October 25, 2022

RRC Polytech has launched a game-changing new web tool to help support prospective students as they map out their futures.

The recently unveiled Program Explorer tool, along with newly revised program webpages, will allow prospective students to search for programs according to their specific needs and interests, filtering options based on a set of criteria that includes program type and length, location and credential.

In the past, such details were traditionally shared via print and digital versions of the RRC Polytech Viewbook. With the adoption of a more flexible online platform, this information is now easier to update and more relevant to the prospective student journey.

Program Explorer is also completely independent of RRC Polytech’s online Catalogue, making it easier for the College to update aging infrastructure without having to worry about integration issues.

As student recruitment officer Felipe Matoso explains, the project was driven by his department’s primary goal: providing comprehensive supports to future RRC Polytech students.

“To achieve that goal, we listen to what they need,” says Matoso. “Through conversations with future students, research and collaboration with other areas of the College, we mapped the future student journey — from first hearing about RRC Polytech to submitting an application — and we identified the major gaps and opportunities.

“One of our key findings was that future students needed more relatable content in order to choose a program: examples of alumni success stories, work opportunities after graduation, or cool things that happen in a program, such as co-op placements or other events. We addressed that by creating new program webpages that are very easy to navigate, but also rich in content.” Read More →

Journalism students launch website exploring hot-button election issues

October 12, 2022

All 11 mayoral candidates in the upcoming civic election claim their plan will make Winnipeg better, but a quick Google search of the phrase reveals that journalism students in RRC Polytech’s Creative Communications (CreComm) program are already delivering on that promise.

Their project, winnipegbetter.ca, is impacting the city’s race for mayor by giving potential voters exactly what they’ve asked for — a comprehensive website to help them make an informed decision on Oct. 26.

Last spring, CreComm instructor James Turner challenged his small class of journalism majors to offer the community an alternative approach to typical election coverage.

“A frequent complaint from consumers of news is that during elections, the focus is placed on polling and personality conflicts, not the issues that real people are facing,” says Turner.

So, he and his student journalists launched winnipegbetter.ca to cultivate dialogue leading up to decision day and provide a go-to resource on civic issues that voters deem most important.

“Journalism is a public service,” he says. “What this project emphasizes to students is that you work for the readers, the voters and the audience. So instead of letting the politicians tell you what’s important, be the conduit that allows the public to determine what the candidates should be talking about.”

Current second year students spent months gathering people’s viewpoints through in-person interviews, online forms, and social media. They asked a simple direct question: “What do you want candidates to be talking about as they compete for your vote?”

The result is a Citizen’s Agenda of six key issues:

Read More →

RRC Polytech launches new Portage Innovation Centre with contest for young entrepreneurs

September 22, 2022

This weekend, entrepreneurs and innovators (aged 15–30) will have the chance to win $1,000 dollars towards starting their new business, during the Portage Innovation Centre’s grand opening event: Innovate to Launch.

The new Centre, located at RRC Polytech’s Portage Campus, was created through a partnership between the College and Communities Building Youth Futures to provide access to equipment, expertise and training for entrepreneurs and makers in Portage la Prairie and the surrounding area.

“RRC Polytech is a proud partner in this new initiative that will provide office spaces, shared meeting rooms and access to a fabrication laboratory with a 3D printer, Cricut 3 machine, heavy duty sewing machine, laser engraver and a multi-function printer,” says Guy Moffat, Regional Manager at the Portage Campus. “We’re excited to also provide the assistance of RRC Polytech students and human resources support as these young entrepreneurs launch new businesses.”

The Portage Innovation Centre, located in the lower level of the campus, is free/low-cost space for young entrepreneurs and innovators to launch businesses. Community partners will provide free workshops to all applicants on the essentials of starting a business or venture, including legal and accounting advice.

“Finding ways that young people in this community can stretch their entrepreneurial muscles is always a good thing,” says Chuck Davidson, CEO and President, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. “When the community is able to come together like this, it allows incredible business ideas to come to life and helps create vibrant communities, economic development, entrepreneurial success and a strong future for Manitoba.”

Innovate to Launch is a three-day (Sept. 22–24) innovation contest hosted by the Portage Innovation Centre where innovators will compete for a $1,000 prize — as well as free office space for a year — by writing a pitch for a new business idea. Each team or individual will be a assigned a mentor to help them with their idea and work through their pitch. Judges will decide on three winners and the top 10 teams will be offered $20 a month towards software or tools to develop their business.

A grand opening of the Portage Innovation Centre will take place on Sat., Sept.24 from 12:00–1:00 p.m. Members of the public are welcome to tour the space, including the fabrication laboratory.

College opens new Elgin Plaza, providing community greenspace for students downtown

September 1, 2022

Students returning to classes at RRC Polytech’s Exchange District Campus will have a new outdoor space to enjoy while studying and connecting with classmates.

Today, Red River College Polytechnic officially opened the Elgin Plaza, nestled between the new Manitou a bi Bii daziigae building and the existing Roblin Centre. The block of Elgin Avenue between Princess and Adelaide Streets was closed to vehicles, with support from the City of Winnipeg, to create a pedestrian plaza.

“We are proud to work with our partners to create a pedestrian connection between buildings, transforming learning spaces and making it feel like a community campus where genuine connections and shared experiences occur,” says RRC Polytech President Fred Meier (shown above, at centre). “Developments like this allow us to build on our partnerships and strengthen our shared vision to enhance the student experience.”

The space was designed by HTFC Planning and Design, and includes outdoor gardens, seating areas, recreational space, removable bollards that allow access for food trucks, a new projector to showcase student work and create community art, and ping pong tables and power outlets to help host outdoor events from students and community members.

When looking up, anyone standing in the Elgin Plaza will have a stunning view of local artist Jackie Traverse’s ceiling installation, which extends from Manitou a bi Bii daziigae’s fourth floor. The Elgin Plaza also features one of the College’s new rainbow walkways, which were unveiled earlier this week.

“The opening of Elgin Plaza is significant for Winnipeg’s downtown,” says Mayor Brian Bowman (shown above, at left). “The City of Winnipeg and RRC Polytech have a longstanding partnership and spaces like this help to bring people downtown and revitalize Winnipeg’s Exchange District. I’m pleased to see another space like this added in our downtown because spending time outdoors and in greenspaces has a positive impact on the well-being of residents in our community.” Read More →