September 2011

Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Hosts Sustainable Development Forum

September 28, 2011 • Written by


The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a forum on clean-energy technologies and the future of sustainable development in Manitoba. The forum, led by chamber president and CEO Dave Angus, included Hank Venema, director of Winnipeg-based International Institute for Sustainable Development, and Neil Krovats, owner of Clearline Technology.

Among the topics discussed included raising awareness of Manitoba as a clean-energy centre in North America, and how government can help grow the sustainable-development private sector in Canada.

The forum was a part of the BOLD speaker series, a chamber initiative that is aiming to make job growth a key element of the upcoming Manitoba provincial election.

Below is video of the forum, courtesy of the Winnipeg Free Press.

winnipegfreepress1 on Broadcast Live Free

RRC Research Innovation Fund project to build Solar Ebikes

September 27, 2011 • Written by


By: Emily Doer, via The Projector

Get your motors running – or in this case, don’t.

Motorcycle enthusiasts at Red River College and around the city will soon have a greener alternative to automobiles through the college’s Solar Ebikes project.

The project, which is funded by Red River College’s Research Innovation Fund, will construct a prototype street legal sportbike that will run off solar power.

The project will be completed in several phases, the first phase being the creation of the sportbike. The second phase will see the creation of a solar powered platform that can be towed behind the bike. Whenever the bike is stationary in a parking lot or driveway it can be plugged in and charged.

Leon Fainstein, a Mechanical Engineering Technology instructor leading the project, has high hopes that their bike will perform just as fast, if not faster than gas-powered bikes.

“Electric bikes are really only about a minute slower than the gas bikes, and it’s possible this year that they might even surpass them,” he said.

Fainstein explained that the team working on the project developed a knowledge base when it comes to green vehicles, solar power, and energy-efficient design based on prior project.

The team previously built a solar-powered car, which they drove from Texas to Calgary twice. After the car, the team turned its attention to the idea of the electric motorcycle.

The team took a Yamaha 600cc sportbike, gutted it, threw away the motor, and began the transformation process.

Fainstein noted that the electric motorcycle will comply with the same road safety requirements as gas-powered ones, and would be licensed and registered with Manitoba Public Insurance.

“This bike will be street legal, reliable, relatively easy to drive, and only cost approximately 10 cents of electricity per 100km,” said Fainstein.

Kirstyn Gray, a 20-year-old motorcycle enthusiast who has owned her own motorcycle since she turned 16, isn’t surprised to see the emergence of greener alternatives.

“We’ve seen the transition to greener alternatives in cars, and I’m not surprised to see the movement in the bike community. Every day there are new ideas for energy alternatives, so it seems only logical to use them,” said Gray.

The team hopes that both phases of the project will be complete by the end of the 2011 school year.

“My wife always bugs me about how long projects are going to take me,” Fainstein said. “I hoped that it would be done already, but we are trying everything we can do get it on the road before there is snow or ice. If that doesn’t happen you will see it driving slowly and carefully in the hallways of Notre Dame.”

Installation of Solar Trough System Complete

September 21, 2011 • Written by

Applied Research & Commercialization (AR&C) is pleased to announce the installation of its parabolic solar trough energy generator at the Red River College (RRC) Notre Dame Campus.

Reduced heat losses and the ability to produce thermal heat at below-freezing temperatures make solar trough systems a potentially ideal technology for cold climates. This project is investigating the feasibility of using concentrated solar power in Manitoba’s harsh climate.

The project, which will involve RRC faculty and students, is the result of a partnership between the College, Manitoba Hydro, The University of Manitoba, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). It is being funded, in part, by NSERC’s College and Community Innovations Program as part of AR&C’s Sustainable Infrastructure Technology Research Group (SITRG).

Below are photos of the installation:







RRC teams up with museum for new app

September 16, 2011 • Written by

By Daniella Ponticelli, via The Projector

Red River College instructors always have something up their sleeves – and this time they’re going mobile.

RRC Graphic Design instructors Ilse Dyck and Tom Lepp are developing an iPhone app for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) – an app designed to enhance visitors’ experience.

Though the design of this app is already underway, the instructors say that there might be a chance for students to get involved in the project.

The CMHR project currently doesn’t have a student signed-on, but Dyck sees potential opportunities.

“There is a possibility of having students involved, like a Creative Communications or Graphic Design student to help expand content,” said Dyck.

Dyck is working closely with Corey Timpson, the director of design and new media for the CMHR, to develop the app for the museum. She explained that the app, which is scheduled to be finished in April 2012, will feature augmented reality – a function that allows smartphones to overlay digital and display information over real world images.

The technology, supported by the Layar Reality Browser, enables a user to scan a certain area, such as a museum display, with a smartphone. Once scanned, the visitor will see information displayed on the phone’s screen layered over the real image.

While she has received funding from outside sources, RRC is supporting Dyck’s project through the Research Innovation Fund (RIF). The fund provides monetary support to instructors undertaking innovative applied research projects.

RIF runs an annual submission-based competition in order to distribute over seven awards with a maximum prize of $7,500. RRC faculty and staff with a short-term research project ideas in which RRC faculty or students are engaged, are eligible for funding.

Rob Spewak, a research manager in the office of Applied Research and Commercialization, said that RIF submissions have increased – and diversified – in the past three years. This year’s ten recipients come from six different RRC schools, and are all taking different areas of study.

“It’s pretty spread out across departments,” explained Spewak. “It gets people doing projects – and keeps the instructors current.”

Even though the fund helps instructors financially, students benefit both directly and indirectly.

“A lot of the money used is to pay for a student to assist the project,” Spewak said.

“We’re getting more education and that benefits teachers, students, and the industry,” echoed Dyck.

2011 Research Innovation Fund Award Winners Announced

September 16, 2011 • Written by

Red River College (RRC) faculty and students will benefit from $97,500 to conduct innovative research projects in 2011 – 2012.

The Research Innovation Fund (RIF) is provided by Applied Research & Commercialization (AR&C) to encourage faculty, staff, and students to engage in research activities at the College.

“The intent is to develop and build internal research capacity,” says Ray Hoemsen P. Eng., director of AR&C. “This year’s award winners came forward with several original, yet practical applied research project proposals.”

AR&C awarded funding to 13 applicants from several College programs: Aboriginal Education, Applied Commerce & Management Education, Automotive Transportation, Business & Applied Arts, Civil Engineering Technology, Electrical Engineering Technology, Electronic Engineering Technology, Graphic Design, Health Sciences & Community Services, the Language Training Centre, and Mechanical Engineering Technology.
Past notable RIF projects include Mechanical Engineering Technology’s Rapid Prototype Composite Tooling (featured on and Electrical Engineering Technology’s GPS Wildlife Tracking Collar (featured in ACCC’s January 2011 issue of Accelerating Innovation on p. 9).

“The RIF program has proven very successful in providing research opportunities and resources to the staff, faculty, and students who need them the most,” says Hoemsen.

The award funds go into a special account created for each award winner for them to use on specific project costs.  The winners are required to submit a full report following the completion of their projects.

For information on this year’s award winning projects, download our 2011 RIF Summary Report.

Congratulations to all the award winners:

Michael Myrowich, Automotive Transportation

Computerized Assessment of Natural Language Test
Laurie Cutrone, Business and Applied Arts

Crack Detection in Concrete Beam – Phase Two
Liting Han and Dave Bertin, Electrical Engineering Technology

Effects of Supplementng Aboriginal Post-Secondary Transition Programs with Traditional Aboriginal Cultural Activities
Karen Favell, Aboriginal Education

Gateway to Applied Business Research
Tatjana Brkic, Applied Commerce & Management Education

High-intensity Focused Ultrasound Monitoring Using Electric Impedance
Mohammad Aboofazeli & Haider Al-Saidi, Electrical Engineering Technology

Investigation of an Environmentally Friendly Solvent for use in Instrumental Chemical Analysis
Michael Judge, Health Sciences and Community Services

New Media – Design & Development for Layer App
Ilse Dyck, Graphic Design

Nutrients in Snow
Ian Halket, Civil Engineering Technology

Solar Ebike – Phase One
Leon Fainstein, Mechanical Engineering Technology

Traffice Situational Awareness System for the Visually Impaired
Liting Han, Dave Bertin, Electrical Engineering Technology

Ultra-wideband Antenna and Signal Design – Phase Two
Saleh Mneina, Electronic Engineering Technology

Stay tuned for the results of last year’s RIF projects and a call for applications for 2012 RIF projects.

RRC and StandardAero Honoured for Contributions to Technology and Training

September 8, 2011 • Written by


Red River College and StandardAero have been named recipients of the 2011 John Convey Innovation Award, for the contributions to training and technological development made possible by the Centre for Aerospace Technology and Training (CATT).

Awarded by ASM International (formerly the American Society for Metals), the annual honour recognizes companies for their contribution to furthering the development of the materials engineering industry in Canada.

In particular, the 2011 award recognizes RRC and StandardAero for their “excellence in the areas of innovative education/training partnerships and technological development in the implementation of the Centre for Aerospace Technology and Training.”

A joint partnership between RRC, StandardAero, the Composite Innovation Centre and the federal and provincial governments, the CATT provides access to advanced technologies and equipment, including an array of cutting-edge laser systems capable of welding, cladding and cutting parts with complex geometries and thickness variations.

The CATT also affords a number of other knowledge-producing benefits, chief among them a cost-effective model that benefits both the College and StandardAero. Under the terms of the partnership, RRC provides StandardAero with an applied research venue in which real-world industry problems can be explored and solved. In return for access to RRC’s academic resources (including training of operators, technicians and engineering technologists), StandardAero provides the facility, equipment maintenance, shop access and supplies, as well as trained operators and on-the-job trainers for RRC project support.

The 2011 John Convey Innovation Award will be formally presented during the ASM Leadership Awards in Columbus, Ohio, in October, as part of the Materials Science & Technology 2011 Conference & Exhibition.

NRC-IRAP Seeking Industrial Technology Advisors for Pilot Program

September 7, 2011 • Written by


The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) is seeking ten new Industrial Technology Advisors for its Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program.

The Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program (DTAPP) is a pilot project launched in support of the Government of Canada’s commitment to developing a Digital Economy Strategy.

The 2011 federal budget has allocated $80 million in new funding to NRC-IRAP over three years to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) accelerate their adoption of digital technologies.  The objective of DTAPP is to accelerate the adoption of digital technologies to improve
productivity by:

– Providing advice and financial assistance to SMEs

– Collecting information and data about lessons learnt by clients throughout the adoption process.

– Disseminating the lessons learnt and best practices derived from IRAP’s support of SMEs throughout the pilot to inform the broader base of SMEs in Canada

– Building awareness of the positive influence the adoption of digital technologies has on SME productivity growth, competitiveness and innovation.

To build upon the network for delivery of DTAPP, ten new Industrial Technology Advisors (two per region) will contribute experience with implementing change in SMEs in preparation for the adoption of digital technologies. These are 2.5 year term positions.

For more information and to apply, please visit the following links for Industrial Technology Advisor opportunities across Canada:

Atlantic Canada and Nunavut

Calgary, Alberta

Edmonton, Alberta

Montréal, Québec

Ontario (exact location to be determined)

Applications must be submitted by September 26, 2011.