Posts by Applied Research

Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods

February 10, 2014 • Written by
Shawn Wilson

Shawn Wilson, B.Sc. (U of Manitoba, Canada), M.A. (U of Alaska, USA), PhD. (Monash University, Australia).

Join Red River College and Dr. Shawn Wilson, a Manitoba-born Indigenous people research expert visiting from Australia, to learn about and explore the realm of Indigenous research.

Wilson’s recent book, entitled “Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods” (2008) examines the philosophy underlying Indigenous peoples’ research methodologies in Canada and Australia. He will deliver a presentation to share what he has learned through his deep research, while reflecting specifically on the following themes:

  • Assisting aboriginal communities through applied research
  • Engaging more members of the aboriginal community in applied research opportunities at Red River College

You can attend this presentation either in person or view it live through streaming video.

Date: March 3, 2014
Time: Noon – 1 p.m. (light lunch included for in-person attendees)
Venue: White Lecture Theatre – 2055 Notre Dame Avenue, Winnipeg
Register to attend in-person: Click here
Register to view live/online: Click here

Dr. Wilson has agreed to be available to Red River College faculty and staff for one-on-one meetings, as well as in-class lectures for the entire week of March 3 to 6.

Please contact Eric Wilson (no relation) at erwilson@RRC.CA to coordinate further meetings or lectures ahead of his March 3rd presentation.

Dr. Shawn Wilson is an Opaskwayak Cree from northern Manitoba, Canada. His main area of expertise is in research methodology and epistemologies, particularly in ways of knowing and conducting research used by Indigenous peoples. He has applied these methodologies and epistemologies within the contexts of Indigenous education, counselling and counsellor education, Indigenous mental health and general Indigenous studies through comparison between Indigenous peoples internationally. His current role is in building research capacity with primary health care workers. In his previous book Gwitch’in Native Elders: Not just knowledge but a way of looking at the world, he began to document some ideas about just what an Elder is and how they can be supported. Dr. Wilson’s more recent book Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods (2008) examines some of the similarities in philosophy underlying Indigenous peoples’ research methodologies in Canada and Australia. In addition to further articulating Indigenous philosophies and research paradigms, his research focuses on the inter-related concepts of identity, health and healing, culture and well-being.

Innovate Manitoba’s IndustryCONNECTS Part 1

December 19, 2013 • Written by


Researchers are invited to join Innovate Manitoba’s experienced pitch coaching team to learn and practice the art and science of the research sales pitch.


“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.”
~ Lee Iacocca

Manitoba’s academic researchers are producing world-class innovations and discoveries, but their ideas are often lost in translation when it comes to pitching to potential business partners.  This is resulting in missed opportunities, not only for the individual researchers, but also for Manitoba’s communities and the economy.

Researcher Pitch Coaching: Enrich your Pitch! is an interactive and focused event designed to transform attendees’ research pitch skills and techniques.  This workshop will provide those who attend with everything they need to know about delivering a successful pitch to potential business partners.

Dates/Venues: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 | University of ManitobaWednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 | Brandon (Venue TBD)Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 | University of Winnipeg
Time:   12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Cost:   No cost to researchers - A light lunch is included

Researcher Pitch Coaching: Enrich your Pitch! is Part 1 of the three part IndustryCONNECTS program designed to enhance connections between researchers and industry to accelerate innovation and help Manitoba firms be more competitive and productive.

Part 2: Researcher Pitch Practice gives researchers a chance to practice and demonstrate what they have learned in Part 1 in front of a panel of expert judges. Part 2 takes place in Winnipeg and Brandon in February 2014.  Learn more…

Researchers and Industry Collide at Part 3 to develop research partnerships and learn about and initiate applications for federal funding.  Part 3 takes place in Winnipeg and Brandon in April 2014. Learn more…

For more information, please contact:
Doug Buchanan
VP Commercialization, Innovate Manitoba | (204) 474-9085

New Poultry Products Developed at RRC

November 5, 2013 • Written by
Showing off a featured dish at Jane’s Restaurant using Granny’s Finest Poultry Products. (Pictured L-R: Stan Chung, VP Academic & Research, Craig Evans, CEO, Granny’s Poultry and Chef Jeffrey Brandt, Janes Restaurant.)

Showing off a featured dish at Jane’s Restaurant using Granny’s Finest Poultry Products. (Pictured L-R: Stan Chung, VP Academic & Research, Craig Evans, CEO, Granny’s Poultry and Chef Jeffrey Brandt, Janes Restaurant.)

Red River College’s (RRC’s) Hospitality and Culinary Arts program is partnering with Granny’s Poultry Farmers Cooperative to develop products in a commercial kitchen to be taken to market.

Chefs and Students are developing recipes and testing Granny’s new chicken that is fed flax, alfalfa and ginseng through the Sungrown Feeding Program, labeled as Granny’s Finest. They are assisting in getting the product ready for market through applied research in a state-of-the-art kitchen at RRC’s Paterson GlobalFoods Institute. Throughout development, the products will be featured in Jane’s Restaurant, an urban upscale restaurant located in the culinary school, as well as in many other College kitchens.

“Partnering with an industry-leader like Granny’s Poultry benefits Red River College culinary students and researchers through the opportunity to conduct food technology research in the state-of-the-art institute,” said Stan Chung, vice-president, academic and research, Red River College. “RRC’s new Paterson GlobalFoods Institute offers the expertise and resources to industry partners who see an opportunity to apply their product in a commercial/education setting for market consumption.”

“Having the ability to test, develop and then consume Granny’s product in our local market is advantageous to many stakeholders,” said Craig Evans, CEO of Granny’s Poultry Farmers Cooperative. “We are proud to collaborate with farmers, students, education, government and distributors to provide a product that is truly the finest for consumers”.

“Having the ability to test, develop and then consume Granny’s product in our local market is advantageous to many stakeholders,” said Craig Evans, CEO of Granny’s Poultry Farmers Cooperative. “We are proud to collaborate with farmers, students, education, government and distributors to provide a product that is truly the finest for consumers”.

Commercial kitchen laboratories and state-of-the-art equipment at RRC’s newly opened Paterson GlobalFoods Institute will be used to prepare all four new products. Granny’s newest products will be cooked and tested to ensure moisture retention, texture, and, most importantly, flavours remain consistent.

“The Harper Government is pleased to be part of this exciting state-of-the-art culinary facility,” said the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “The work Red River College is doing at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute demonstrates the results that can be achieved when government, industry and academia work together to bring a concept from test bench to market.”

Granny’s Finest chicken is available at Miller’s Meats starting November 8th. Some recipes developed by the culinary school are currently available on the menu at Jane’s. Reservations for Jane’s Restaurant can be made at

Winnipeg is becoming a true leader in culinary excellence, with the recent opening of Red River College’s new Paterson GlobalFoods Institute. World-class instruction, cutting-edge technology and partnerships with key industry players prepare RRC students to become the next generation of influencers in the fields of culinary arts, professional baking and patisserie and hospitality and tourism management.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada is supporting this research with a $25,000 grant through its College and Community Innovation Program. Through a 2012 investment from Western Diversification, the federal government supported the addition of research infrastructure for the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute with a $2-million investment.

Ray Hoemsen receives honourary life membership

November 1, 2013 • Written by


Ray HoemsenAt the 2013 Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (APEGM) Awards Gala Dinner held October 25, Mr. Ray Hoemsen, director, Applied Research and Commercialization, Red River College (RRC) proudly received the Honourary Life Membership.

“It’s truly an honour,” said Mr. Hoemsen. “Even though this type of recognition is individual in nature, it would not be possible without the support of the academic/applied research team and the College.”

“Ray has had an incredible career spanning over 35 years, and we are pleased to be able to grant him an Honorary Life Membership,” said Mrs. Dawn Nedohin-Macek, P.Eng, president, APEGM. “He is an inspiration to his students, faculty and fellow Professional Engineers.”

“On-behalf of the College I wish to personally congratulate Ray,” said Stephanie Forsyth, president and ceo, Red River College. “He’s instrumental in positioning our College on the map through research initiatives and has made RRC become a place where industry comes to explore applied research needs.”

The granting of an Honorary Life Membership recognizes many years of meritorious service rendered to the Association or the profession. Candidates are rated on Years of Membership in APEGM, Participation on Committees of APEGM, and Meritorious Service to the Profession. Honorary Life Membership may be granted only by a unanimous decision of Council.

Mr. Hoemsen plays a key-role in increasing research funding at RRC, and leading a team of dedicated research professionals. Some recent projects Hoemsen’s Applied Research & Commercialization team has spearheaded include improving energy efficiency of commercial and industrial buildings. This saw the College conducting air leakage testing on several commercial buildings and evaluating the effectiveness of capturing solar energy to generate thermal heat.

Additionally, working with the College’s Technology Access Centre assisted the College’s work with aerospace and manufacturing through the efforts of the Centre for Aviation Technology and Training (CATT) at Standard Aero and the Centre for Non-Destructive Inspection.

Other projects major projects included the College’s participation in electric vehicle technology demonstrations and participation in the development of the zero emissions all electric battery bus prototype as a partner in an international consortia. Integration of equipment to support food technology research and development at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute has also been a significant development in the College’s applied research capabilities.

RRC Ranked as a Top 10 Research College

October 25, 2013 • Written by

Red River College has been ranked seventh out of 50 Canadian research colleges and polytechnics, having posted $4.37 million in research income during the 2012 fiscal year. The ranking is based on the inaugural Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges List, released Oct. 23 by Research Infosource Inc.

“This is excellent validation for the College,” said Stephanie Forsyth, President and CEO of RRC. “Colleges and polytechnics play a key role in research and innovation in our country. Today’s announcement demonstrates our growth and ever-increasing engagement with industry, while further establishing us as a top-performing Canadian college and polytechnic and a strategic research partner for businesses.”

Major areas and initiatives supported by the research funding included improvements to the energy performance of commercial and industrial buildings, technology and training for Manitoba’s aerospace and manufacturing industries, and testing and demonstration of electric vehicles.

Much of the research leverages the province’s harsh climate to conduct practical research and testing to solve real-world problems faced by Manitoba industries and communities, while also producing innovative solutions that can have an impact on the lives of all Canadians.

“We are working on several cutting-edge projects, such as solar trough evaluation, electric vehicle technology development and demonstration, and various projects focused in the aerospace and manufacturing sectors, but that’s only a sampling of the breadth of our research,” said Ray Hoemsen, Director, Applied Research & Commercialization at RRC.

“We started out with about $50,000 in research funding in 2004 and with the support of our faculty, staff and students have seen steady growth. There have been many successful partnerships with industry that have positively impacted our partners, provided our students exceptional applied learning opportunities, and made contributions to economic development in Manitoba.”

Some of the aforementioned partners include the Province of Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro, New Flyer Industries, the University of Manitoba, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Granny’s Poultry.

One example of a significant project is the development of a zero-emission all-electric transit bus prototype (shown above), for which RRC served as a partner in an international consortium. As well, integration of equipment to support food technology research and development at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute has been a significant progression in the College’s applied research resources and capabilities.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Western Diversification, and the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) have all provided funding to support applied research projects, programs and/or infrastructure.

Click here to learn more about applied research at Red River College.

Event recap: National technology access forum focused on growing resources for industry

October 21, 2013 • Written by

Representatives from 12 colleges across Canada joined Red River College (RRC) to share best practices related to providing access to advanced technology and training with industry.

The forum was designed to allow participating Canadian colleges that receive “Technology Access Centre” funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to discuss best practices to increase the intensity of training, applied research, and professional services provided to industry.

“Colleges play a critical role within the training industry with input on the latest tools and technologies necessary for industry to remain competitive and productive,” said Stephanie Forsyth, president and CEO, RRC. “It was our pleasure to host this group of colleges who are leading many research efforts across Canada. This forum also gave us an opportunity to showcase Red River’s Centre for Aerospace Technology & Training at StandardAero and to provide delegates with an opportunity to tour our city via the all-electric battery transit bus prototype – just a few of the collaborative research projects Red River College participates in.”

“The forum covered a lot of ground, but focused on the key issues regarding building sector-specific technology clusters to serve the needs of the community and provide opportunities for applied research and advanced training partnerships,” said Ray Hoemsen, director of Applied Research & Commercialization at RRC.  “It was a great example of cross-sector collaboration on a national scale.”

Last fall the Honourable Gary Goodyear, then Minister of State for Science and Technology came to Winnipeg to announce the first national awards of the NSERC Technology Centres, from which RRC will receive almost $1.7 million through the NSERC’s Community and College Innovation Program to establish the Aerospace and Manufacturing Technology Access Centre.

“It is a significant level of support for the College, and we are receiving positive feedback from industry and the community,” said Hoemsen. “The lessons learned from this forum are being incorporated directly into the group’s strategic planning and deliverables.”

Global Market Intelligence for Solar and Geothermal Energy Solutions

October 17, 2013 • Written by

International business development is an often-overlooked opportunity for small- to medium-sized (SME) enterprises. Renewable energy solutions definitely have a global market and a group of Red River College students are helping Manitoba SMEs understand where in the world they should seek business development opportunities.

Join Red River College instructor, Tatjana Brkic and selected post-diploma international business students as they share the details of their exciting research and prepare for their presentation and competition at Polytechnics Canada’s Applied Research Showcase 2013 in Calgary. An event is being hosted to present market intelligence information and project details for the industry and the College community. The event will focus on Geothermal and Solar Energy.

Nov. 1, 2013 | Global Market Intelligence for Solar and Geothermal Energy Solutions


12:00 – 1:00 p.m.


Orange Lecture Theatre – Red River College’s Notre Dame Campus


No cost to attend. Light lunch and refreshments will be available.


Topics to be covered by Tatjana and her students:

  • Key elements of the market research project, including its innovative approach, benefits to industry and other project clients, benefits to the students, and benefits to RRC communities
  • Results of the research, i.e. the market intelligence gained for each renewable energy solution
  • Next steps and future opportunities

Come help the student project team prepare for its Polytechnics Canada competition!  One student will be making a five-minute presentation on behalf of the 50 that participated in this collaborative research initiative; your questions and feedback will help us determine the best candidate to represent the College at this high profile national competition.

This project was selected out of several excellent student applied research projects to represent the College at this student showcase for its impact on Red River College’s Triple Bottom Line: People, Planet, and Profits.

Tatjana's photo

Tatjana Brkic has been an instructor with RRC for over 10 years. She has provided instruction on Management, Business Administration, Economics and Strategy, and Research. Most recently, she has led the Business Applied Research initiative in the Applied Commerce and Education Department. Tatjana came to RRC from MTS Qunara where she established strategic planning and business intelligence functions, researched and analysed their eBusiness industry, technologies, markets and competition. Her multidisciplinary professional experience also included leading the development of an Internet based education resource about business planning for the UNEP SEED initiative; development of a global knowledge network about sustainability in business at IISD; work on Internet business applications at Industry Canada; as well as work on various engineering positions in Volkswagen (Germany) and its subsidiaries in former Yugoslavia. Tatjana Brkic holds an MBA from Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS; MSc in Engineering from University of Belgrade/Sarajevo and a degree in Informatics from Belgrade Business School (Yugoslavia).

Pitch, validate, and connect at PitchDay 2013

September 30, 2013 • Written by


Innovate Manitoba’s PitchDay 2013 is a dynamic event that allows anyone with a business idea to deliver two-minute pitches to an expert panel of judges and an audience from Winnipeg’s entrepreneurship and innovation communities. Some PitchDay 2012 participants went on to participate in LaunchPad and Venture Challenge and refine their business model to significantly grow their customer base, as well as raise angel investments and earn local and international recognition!

Why you should attend PitchDay 2013:

PitchDay is a must attend event for entrepreneurs looking to kick-start their ventures, and investors and others looking to learn about the latest innovations in Manitoba. By taking part in PitchDay 2013, you can:

  • Participate in a fun and interactive event
  • Network and build relationships
  • Witness an exciting competition as entrepreneurs present their business ideas in two minutes or less to an expert panel
  • Enjoy pre- and post-event networking receptions with delicious food


The following prizes are awarded at the end of PitchDay:

  • First place: $7,500
  • Second place: $2,500
  • People’s Choice: $1,000
  • Best Student Pitch: $1,000
  • Best Researcher Pitch: $1,000
  • Best Technology Pitch: $1,000

Who should attend?

Entrepreneurs, capital providers, CEOs, VPs, directors, senior managers, service providers, entrepreneurial support professionals, academic faculty and students.

Event Details:

Date:    November 14, 2013
Time:   4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Venue:   Winnipeg Convention Centre
Cost:   Entrants - $50 | $25 for Students
 General Audience - $25
Register here:

The deadline for Entrant registration to pitch at PitchDay, is November 1st at 5:00 p.m. The number of pitches is capped at 20 and last year we were oversold, so register early!

For information on competitor eligibility, judging, and more, please visit the PitchDay 2013 homepage.

Interested in sponsoring PitchDay 2013?

Last year we had over 30 amazing sponsors support PitchDay competitors!  Please contact Brent Wennekes ( to learn about this great and cost-efficient opportunity to show your support for Manitoba entrepreneurs and innovators.

RRC, U of M, and Manitoba Hydro unveil solar troughs

September 25, 2013 • Written by


This week, Red River College (RRC), the University of Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) unveiled the parabolic solar trough project. The unveiling also marked the beginning of first-of-its-kind research into investigating the feasibility of using the troughs to capture heating energy in Manitoba’s cold climate.

Located at RRC’s Notre Dame Campus, the project features an array of eight parabolic solar troughs arranged in two rows designed to concentrate solar energy for heating and cooling purposes.

The parabolic troughs concentrate the sun’s energy using long, curved reflectors (mirrors). Installed in an east-west axis, they track the sun throughout the day, focusing sunlight on a glass-enclosed metal tube running the length of the mirrors. The reflected sunlight heats a heat-transfer fluid flowing through the tube.

Parabolic solar trough systems have typically been deployed in warm, sunny climates such as California and Spain where they are used to generate electricity year-round. However, in Manitoba it may be more advantageous to use solar thermal-energy directly for heating and cooling applications rather than producing electricity. This is due to Manitoba’s shorter winter daylight hours, increased heat loss due to cooler ambient temperatures and reduced solar irradiance in winter.

Solar thermal parabolic trough quick facts

  • First phase with eight troughs fully operational in 2013
  • Potential for second phase including an additional set of eight troughs
  • Trough supplier: Abengoa Solar; trough fabricated in Denver, CO
  • Total trough length: 50 m
  • Total mirrored aperture area: 106 m2
  • Total trough-site area: 1,900 m2
  • Heat-transfer fluid: Therminol 59
  • Winnipeg is the second sunniest major Canadian city, with just under 2,400 hours of bright sunshine in an average year.
  • The peak output of eight solar troughs is equivalent to the energy supply needed to heat eight to ten Manitoba homes on a typical winter day. Additional research will quantify how much energy the solar trough can capture to provide for longer-term seasonal heating needs.
  • The peak thermal output of the eight solar troughs is equivalent to the electrical supply required to power 5,000 LED lamps that produce the same output as 1,000 conventional 100-watt bulbs.

Click here for more information on RRC’s Sustainable Infrastructure Technology Research Group.

Links to coverage from Monday’s unveiling are below:

Winnipeg Free Press
Metro Winnipeg
CTV Winnipeg

RRC researchers help clean Lake Winnipeg with cattails

July 30, 2013 • Written by

cattailsA Winnipeg team – including RRC researchers – is investigating the feasibility of using floating cattail platforms to clean up harmful nutrients in Lake Winnipeg.

While existing cattail plants in the lake feed on phosphorus and nitrogen – nutrients that create toxic algae – they are limited to growth in shallow water. The team hopes to solve this problem by creating floating bioplatforms that could allow the cattails to grow anywhere in the water.

RRC is supporting the project in several ways, including a co-operative student from the Greenspace Management program, Jade Raizenne, who is working with Native Plant Solutions on cattail propagation. Ruth Rob, an instructor in the Greenspace Management program, has also worked with Curry Industries on two Technology Advisory Support Service reports to assist bioplatform development.

To learn more about the potential of this research, check out CBC’s recent coverage of the project:

Story: Cattails could help restore Lake Winnipeg

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