News and Events

RRC All-Electric Bus Project Nears Phase One Completion

January 11, 2012 • Written by

Winnipeg’s first all-electric transit bus is almost ready to hit the streets.

Last April, Red River College (RRC), in partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, New Flyer Industries, and Manitoba Hydro, announced its plans to develop an all-electric transit bus and charging system. The system would be developed in the first year of the three-year project and tested in Manitoba for two years after.

With spring just a few months away, the system is almost ready for the testing phase.  CJOB recently interviewed Thomas Small, a mechanical engineer at New Flyer about the scope of the project, the progress so far, and some of the challenges involved.

“We’re developing something that will be the future,” said Small in the interview.

“I hope to see every city have this ability to be able to run electric busses.”

Full video of the interview can be seen below:

In addition to the $1 million it is contributing to the electric bus project, the Province of Manitoba is investing $100,000 into the creation of the Electric Vehicle Technology & Education Centre (EVTEC) at RRC. When complete, EVTEC will be a demonstration site for future all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle projects, such as the all-electric bus development.

For more information on the all-electric bus project and EVTEC, please visit the link below:

Research Director Speaks Before Senate Committee

December 7, 2011 • Written by

Ray Hoemsen, RRC’s Director of Applied Research and Commercialization, will speak before the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources at its hearings in Winnipeg today.

Hoemsen will outline how the applied research capabilities of the College have been supporting innovation in advanced transportation and energy, including:

  • The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle cold weather testing project.
  • Our work with MCI to design a more energy-efficient bus prototype.
  • Our partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and New Flyer to develop an all-electric transit bus.
  • The creation of the Electric Vehicle Technology and Education Centre at the Notre Dame Campus.

“Supporting applied research to adapt, adopt and improve existing technologies and put these technologies into commercial use is one key element to support a Canadian energy strategy,” he said.

Hoemsen is the first representative from a Canadian college or polytechnic to speak before the Committee during its current round of hearings across Western Canada.

The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources is examining the current and future state of Canada’s energy system. For more information, see

Post-Event Recap: Nov. 23 Lunch & Learn with Dr. Noruziaan

November 25, 2011 • Written by

A full house was on hand to watch Dr. Bahman Noruziaan give his talk on non-destructive testing at Wednesday’s Lunch & Learn.

Dr. Noruziaan, an instructor with Civil Engineering Technology, discussed some of the issues involving the aging of ever-increasing complex buildings and infrastructure in developed countries. The talk included discussion on applicable non-destructive testing (NDT) methods and structural health monitoring (SHM) technologies.

Red River College (RRC) staff, students, and members of the local sustainable infrastructure community engaged in discussion and offered suggestions on how to advance the study and implementation of NDT at the College and across Canada. The passionate exchange showed that Dr. Noruziaan has identified an area in need of development in the world of sustainable building infrastructure.

Our thanks go out to Dr. Noruziaan and to all those in attendance.

Photos of the event are below.

Nov. 23 Lunch & Learn: Non-destructive testing with Dr. Noruziaan

November 15, 2011 • Written by


Join Red River College staff, faculty, and students, along with other members of the region’s sustainable infrastructure community to be introduced to the issues related to the aging of ever-increasing complex buildings and infrastructure in developed countries (i.e. Canada and the U.S.,) and the needs of industry in mitigating the adverse effects of infrastructure deterioration.





Also to be discussed, will be:

  • the most applicable non-destructive test (NDT) methods, as well as structural health monitoring (SHM) technologies;
  • the role of academic institutions in responding to industry needs; and
  • the steps that Red River College continues to take to meet the needs of the civil engineering profession in this critical area.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Noruziaan has been an instructor at the Department of Civil Engineering Technology of Red River College for the past six years. He obtained his PhD degree in civil engineering with a major in structural engineering from Carleton University. His field of expertise is finite element method and dynamic analysis of structures.  He holds the P.Eng designation in the Province of Ontario with his Manitoban P.Eng designation pending.

Dr. Noruziaan has studied the behavior of composites, made partly of recyclable materials like composite bars, plastic wood, glass concrete, and rubber concrete. He has also studied the applications of health monitoring in infrastructure management and maintenance.

He was the technical coordinator of a study group that reported on the standardization of bridge parapets and roadside barriers to the Government of Hong Kong. He has experience in geotechnical and structural engineering, analysis of geotechnical lab reports, deign of steel frames, power transmission lines and concrete foundations. With a few years of industrial experience in the high-tech industry, another field of his interest is the applications of information technology in civil engineering.

Time: 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Venue: Red River College, 2055 Notre Dame Ave., Room A137

Please register by Monday, Nov. 21, 2011

Please register by contacting:

Brent Wennekes
Technology Transfer & Communications Manager
Applied Research & Commercialization
Red River College



New Funding Supports Student Research in Sustainable Buildings

November 9, 2011 • Written by


Applied Research & Commercialization (AR&C) is pleased to announce that Red River College (RRC) students can apply for and receive grants of up to $5,000 (plus the cost of materials) to conduct applied research on improving the energy performance of commercial and/or institutional buildings.

This grant program is possible due to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) which, through its College and Community Innovation Program, awarded RRC $2.3M to establish and support the research program of the Sustainable Infrastructure Technology Research Group (SITRG).

“The NSERC SITRG Student Innovation Awards are an excellent opportunity for students to get hands-on research experience in what is increasingly becoming one of the most important and cutting-edge aspects of building design, construction, and operation,” says Rob Spewak, Research Manager for AR&C.

The projects are required to focus on one or more of four main research areas: building envelopes, building performance monitoring, mechanical and renewable energy systems, and reducing the embodied energy of building materials.

“We hope to build on the success of our existing faculty-focused Research Innovation Fund (RIF) to provide a similar platform for student innovation and applied learning,” said Spewak.  “And we already have a solid base of tools, facilities, and knowledgeable staff available to assist them with their projects.”

All RRC students in good academic standing are eligible for this award.  They may work individually or in teams of up to four members and each member can receive up to $5,000.  Each individual or team will be asked to find a suitable project advisor. The annual budget for the NSERC SITRG Student Innovation Awards is $200,000, not including any necessary funding for instructor release time.

“We are available to support the students throughout the application and project idea creation process,” says Spewak.

Since this is an open competition – there is NO DEADLINE, therefore applications can be submitted at any time. The application form also has detailed project and funding guidelines as well as contact information for additional support.

“A critical commitment tied to the NSERC award is the active engagement of RRC faculty, staff, and students in applied research projects related to improving the energy performance of commercial and institutional buildings,” said Ray Hoemsen, Director of AR&C at Red River College.  “So we encourage all members of the RRC community to contact our office with their project ideas.”

Project Contact:

Rob Spewak, EIT
Research Manager, AR&C


RRC Completes PHEV Cold-Weather Adaptation and Testing

November 8, 2011 • Written by


Red River College (RRC) recently completed three-year testing of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology at its Advanced Transportation and Energy Centre.

The demonstration project, one of the largest of its kind in Canada, involved participation of instructors from the RRC automotive program and Applied Research & Commercialization (AR&C) staff.  Instructors from the RRC automotive program converted 10 Toyota Prius cars to operate as PHEV using Hymotion Plug-in Conversion Modules (PCMs) from A123Systems Inc.

RRC used one of the vehicles, while the Vehicle and Equipment Management Agency (VEMA) of the Province of Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro, Manitoba Public Insurance, and the City of Winnipeg used the others. The vehicles operated in the vicinity of Winnipeg for three years while undergoing monitoring.

One of the purposes for the demonstration was to test the effectiveness of PHEVs in a cold-weather environment, such as Manitoba’s, and to make cold-weather adaptations as necessary. AR&C staff performed cold-weather monitoring and upgrades to the vehicles.

“The cold-weather improvements undertaken at Red River College turned out to be a critical success factor for the Manitoba PHEV Demonstration,” said Robert Parsons, who acted as the Project Manager for the demonstration and is the Secretary/Treasurer of the non-profit Centre for Emerging Renewable Energy Inc., which acted as administrator.

“Without these modifications, vehicle failures and reduced performance would have resulted.”

Parsons reported the cold-weather findings of the project at the IEEE 2011 Electrical Power and Energy Conference in Winnipeg during October. For more information about cold-weather modification of PHEVs please visit the following link:

The Province of Manitoba provided funding for the Manitoba PHEV Demonstration.

Oct. 26 Speaker Seminar: Vison-enabled Robot Technology

October 17, 2011 • Written by

Join Red River College (RRC) on Oct. 26, 2011 at the Western Canadian Aviation Museum for a discussion about the latest in vision-enabled robotic technology from an international expert in the field of robotics and machinery vision.

Michael Monnin, Products Manager, Robots & Vision, Wayne Trail Technologies, will provide a practical guide of the technology currently available to manufacturers interested in more intelligent robot solutions.

Machine vision technology continues to advance in capability while the complexity and cost of these systems drops.  At the same time, robot systems and software platforms have become more open to integration and device communication.  The marriage of machine vision and robotic technology has never been easier or more cost effective and continues to prove easier to implement with a growing library of successful applications.

Attendees will leave this seminar with practical knowledge of vision-enabled robot technology, a clear understanding of the current trends in robotic vision, and an insight into the future of intelligent robotics.

Following the seminar, attendees will be invited to tour RRC’s Centre for Aerospace Technology and Training (CATT).

For more information on Michael and the topics to be covered at the seminar, please view the event flyer at the following link:


DATE: Oct. 26th, 2011

TIME: 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (Breakfast will be served)

LOCATION: Western Aviation Museum, 958 Ferry Rd. Winnipeg, MB, upper floor classroom


Registration for this event is free. To register, please contact Valerie Howat at or at 204.632.2064 with the following information:

Name & Title
Contact Info (phone or email)
Your intention to join/not join the CATT tour

The deadline for registration is Oct. 21, 2011.




UPDATE – Clean Energy Special Events at RRC on Oct. 17 – Limited seating

October 11, 2011 • Written by



The WADE Building Capacity Workshop from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. will no longer be taking place. The 50 by ’30 Lunch & Learn from 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. will still be on, with some extended networking time at the end of the presentation.




Red River College (RRC) and the Manitoba Environmental Industries Association are hosting back-to-back Clean Energy events on Oct. 17, 2011 at the College. 50 by ’30 will be leading a Lunch and Learn and this will be immediately followed by an event hosted by the World Alliance for Decentralized Energy (WADE).

Lunch & Learn: 50 by ’30 | 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

50 by ’30 will present on its vision to generate 50 per cent of the energy consumed in Manitoba from renewable sources by 2030 without increasing global greenhouse gases.

Through the implementation of the “Green Plan”, 50 by ‘30 hopes to:

  • Grow Manitoba’s green business sector
  • Reduce Manitoba’s environmental footprint
  • Build individual, corporate, and community capacity to design and implement green projects
  • Encourage widespread public support and involvement

Daniel Friesen, leader of the 50 by ’30 initiative, will present on Manitoba’s current energy situation, what can be done to achieve 50 by ’30, and some practical things organizations can do to help.

Building Capacity Workshop: WADE | 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

WADE Canada, one of the country’s leading industry associations for clean and decentralized energy, is hosting this free “Building Capacity” workshop to help SMEs prepare for success.

On November 1 – 3, 2011, the Global Clean Energy Congress & Exhibition will bring together leading experts from around the world in the field of clean energy to discuss emerging technologies and strategies.  The Congress will provide a venue for companies in Western Canada to commercialize their technology, penetrate new markets and identify strategic relationships to grow their businesses.

Companies who attend this workshop will have the chance to earn a free booth at Global Clean Energy Congress.

The workshop topics will include:

  • Domestic and International Market Opportunities in Clean Energy
  • Business Planning and Targeting
  • Pre-Congress Preparation

LOCATION: Both events take place RRC’s Notre Dame Campus (2055 Notre Dame Avenue) in room C709. Parking and directions will be provided following your registration.


Registrations are limited and will be provided on first-come, first-serve basis. You must register to each event separately to attend both events. There is no cost to register.  Registration deadline is Oct. 14, 2011.

To register for 50 by ’30 Lunch & Learn: Please contact Deborah Tardiff at

To register for WADE’s Building Capacity Workshop: Please follow this link

There is no cost to register thanks to the support of:

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Western Economic Diversification, and Economic Development Winnipeg, and the Sustainable Infrastructure Technology Research Group.



ITC To Host 3D Printing Event in Winnipeg

October 7, 2011 • Written by

On October 14, Industrial Technology Centre (ITC) will host a session on 3D printing, an affordable method of rapid prototyping that allows for faster manufacturing speeds and greater design freedom.

The session, which will include speakers from Wohlers Associates, Kor Ecologic, State Industries, and Amphenol, will be held at the Victoria Inn Hotel & Conference Centre in Winnipeg.  It will run from 8:30 am to 11:30 am, with a cost of $25 plus tax per person. More information can be found on the event brochure.

To register for the event, please visit the following link:

The deadline for registration is October 12.

For more information on Red River College’s (RRC) innovative research with 3D printers, please visit this post, which details the recent work of an RRC instructor and grad.

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