Applied Research

College receives research grant to continue partnership on solutions for dust control

September 24, 2015

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Red River College has received a $65,000 research grant to continue product development work with a local company specializing in environmental solutions for dust control.

The Applied Research and Development (ARD) grant — awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) — will allow RRC’s faculty researchers, staff and students to collaborate with Cypher Environmental staff to continue development and testing of Dust Stop, their dust control and dust suppression product.

This project will significantly enhance R&D capacity at RRC by engaging staff in a challenging multi-disciplinary area of research. The knowledge and experience generated will enrich curricula and teaching in different departments at the College; student engagement will contribute to new applied learning and expose students to real life experiences.

Through the National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), Cypher has been working with RRC researchers from Civil Technology (Neil Chandler) and Life Sciences (Aman Abrha, Said Hassan and Michael Judge) on different facets of product characterization and testing. Judge and Hassan will lead the next phase of the year-long NSERC ARD project, which commences this month. Read More →

RRC earns national award for innovation in applied research

May 27, 2015

IMG_4120Red River College earned a bronze award for Innovation in Applied Research this week, during the closing gala of College and Institute Canada’s (CICan) annual conference in Winnipeg.

The award celebrates the College’s dynamic applied research partnership with Manitoba Hydro.

“We are pleased to be recognized for the work we have done with Manitoba Hydro, one of our most important research partners and graduate employers,” said David Rew, interim president and CEO of RRC. “What an excellent opportunity to celebrate our research achievements in sustainable technology and design.”

The College’s research collaboration with Manitoba Hydro has focused primarily on green building design and technology, and on the electrification of vehicles. Two of its most notable projects include Manitoba Hydro’s award-winning energy efficient downtown office tower and more recently, the all-electric transit bus.

“Our partnership with RRC has fostered an environment for creative integration on leading-edge technology that contributes to a more sustainable future,” said Scott Thomson, president and CEO of Manitoba Hydro. “We view our relationship with the College as an important driver for long-term change that will promote continued innovation and advancement of energy efficiency in Manitoba.” Read More →

Business students explore social innovation through newly-launched partnership with National Leasing

April 27, 2015

Social InnovationNational Leasing has opened up new doors for students in Red River College’s Business Administration and International Business programs, through a $50,000 donation that has enabled research in the emerging area of social innovation.

The first step of the resulting student project — which culminated last week with a series of judged presentations — was for students to learn exactly what social innovation is, and to identify ways in which it can be implemented in different communities.

Tatjana Brkic, instructor of Applied Commerce and Management Education at RRC, says the ‘social innovation’ tag is one people are still struggling with.

“Social innovation is something that we as a global community have to figure out how to unravel,” Brkic said.

In its most basic form, social innovation occurs when an organization or concept meets a community’s needs. Social innovation fills gaps, addresses social issues, and develops the community. It’s about reducing negatives — like crime and poverty — and boosting economic development. Read More →

Five for five: RRC again recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers

April 22, 2015

Greenest Employer 2015 logoFor the fifth year in a row, Red River College has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers. This annual award acknowledges RRC’s environmentally-friendly policies, and programs that effectively engage staff in their sustainability efforts.

“Red River College continues to be a champion of sustainability in Manitoba, and I congratulate Sara MacArthur, Kristine Koster and Sue Hayduk from our Sustainability team for their efforts in continuing to cultivate a culture of sustainability,” said David Rew, Interim President and CEO, Red River College.

“As the only post-secondary institution in Manitoba to receive this honour each year for the past five years, this is something every member of our College community takes pride in.”

RRC works hard to be designated one of Canada’s Greenest Employers and is proud of the many sustainable initiatives launched by the College, including: Read More →

RRC Research Chair nominated for YMCA-YWCA’s Women of Distinction Award

April 16, 2015

12103039003_68be9c0d25_zShe’s devoted years to the development of a global online resource that links early childhood educators with the latest in research and knowledge.

So it’s no surprise that Red River College’s Janet Jamieson — Research Chair for the School of Health Sciences and Community Services, and the driving force behind the College’s world-renowned Science of Early Child Development (SECD) research project — has been nominated for a 2015 Women of Distinction Award.

Jamieson (shown above, at centre) was nominated in the category of Community Activism and Social Enterprise — a perfect match, given she’s been the principal researcher and lead developer on a series of projects for RRC that are grounded in the advancement of social equity, and have in turn led to the advancement of economic and environmental priorities.

The most notable of these is SECD, a knowledge mobilization initiative designed to make current research accessible to anyone interested in learning more about the profound impact of the early years on lifelong health and well-being.

First developed as a tool to help share the emerging science about early brain development and its implications for practice across sectors, SECD has grown and evolved into three online living textbooks, as well as other educational resources. Updated regularly, it brings research and concepts to life with hundreds of readings, videos, links and interactive activities. There have been many versions and modules developed to support its use with a variety of audiences throughout the world. Read More →

Red River College unveils Manitoba’s first rapid charger for electric vehicles

March 25, 2015

_99A4408_smRed River College is giving Manitoba’s electric vehicle (EV) owners a boost, via the recently installed and operational Level 3 (30kW DC) quick charging station, the first of its kind in the province and one of only two dozen or so across Canada.

Drivers of Level 3-compliant EVs – including Nissan Leafs, Mitsubishi i-MiEVs, and Teslas – can now drop by the College’s Notre Dame Campus to charge up, while contributing to research on the charger’s performance in Manitoba’s climate.

“With the installation of this new charger, we continue to play a leading role in Manitoba’s green transportation future,” says David Rew, interim RRC president. “This rapid charging station is another key element in our Mobility from Green Energy Initiative and a logical next step in our vehicle technology research program.”

Level 3 stations can charge an EV to at least an 80 per cent charge in 15-30 minutes; this is compared to a 220/240V Level 2 charger, which can take four to six hours to get to full charge, or an 110/120V Level 1 charger (like those found around your house), which can take about 24 hours.

“There are currently no other rapid charging stations of this level in a climate as diverse as Winnipeg’s,” says Ray Hoemsen, director of Applied Research and Commercialization at Red River College. “The effect on both the lithium ion battery and vehicle performance when utilizing rapid charging in extreme winter weather is still unknown.”

The new charging station will be handy for compliant EV owners – especially those traveling from out of town – who need a quick boost to make it to their next destination. Read More →

RRC partners with local food processor startup to win Best New Product award at industry gala

March 11, 2015

15616372574_077c3d51e9_zA series of innovative dishes created by Red River College’s lead research chef have been named Best New Product by the Manitoba Food Processor’s Association (MFPA).

The dishes — created by RRC Chef Brad Gray (above right), using ingredients from Canadian Prairie Garden Puree (CPGP) — won over the judges’ hearts, minds and taste buds at the MFPA’s annual awards gala on Feb. 25.

“I think the judges were most impressed with the versatility of vegetable purees,” said Chef Gray of the dishes, made possible through CPGP technology that transforms non-GMO, Manitoba-sourced crops into additive- and preservative-free purees.

“When you think vegetable puree, tasty mac n’ cheese and chocolate cake aren’t typically the first things to come to mind.”

But those are exactly the dishes Chef Gray created to showcase the versatility, quality and flavours of CPGP’s purees: a gingered carrot mac n’ cheese and a beet chocolate cake parfait with carrot sabayon, Saskatoon sauce and milk chocolate ganache.

“This is an excellent demonstration of the role the College plays in Manitoba’s food research and development ecosystem,” said Ray Hoemsen, Director of Applied Research and Commercialization (AR&C) at RRC.

“We challenge our research chefs and students to showcase the commercial potential of food products created by innovative local producers.” Read More →

Full of beans: RRC dishes up local pulse products, promotes innovation in healthy cuisine

January 8, 2015

IMG_0604Red River College helped to showcase the latest in culinary research and innovation today, incorporating bean flours and purées into delicious and healthy dishes.

The ‘Plating Pulses’ showcase, held at Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, was the product of a research partnership between RRC and the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association (MPGA), a not-for-profit organization representing 3,000 farmers of edible pulses such as soybeans, dry beans and peas.

“We are thrilled with the work the College has been doing to develop nutritional and delicious recipes that demonstrate to consumers how locally-produced pulses can be incorporated into their everyday diets,” says Kyle Friesen, MPGA president.

Research has shown that only a half-cup of beans per day can reduce bad cholesterol, help manage hunger, and provide a sustainable source of protein.

“That is why we partnered with College,” says Friesen. “We know about the amazing health benefits of pulses, but we wanted to create more awareness among consumers and the Manitoba food industry by modifying traditional dishes that feature pulses, without affecting the taste or texture of the food.”

The dishes showcased include perogies made from bean flour dough, chicken potpie with a bean flour crust, and crème brulée with half of the fat cut using navy bean puree.

“This showcase is an excellent example of the role that our culinary institute plays in supporting the growth of Manitoba’s food producers,” says Ray Hoemsen, Director of Applied Research and Commercialization at RRC. “Along with training the culinary innovators of tomorrow, RRC provides a wealth of applied research resources for local businesses, including recipe development, test marketing and demonstrations.” Read More →

RRC-supported electric buses enter into service with Winnipeg Transit

November 27, 2014

electric busWinnipeg Transit will soon begin daily service using up to four battery-electric transit buses developed and designed by a consortium that includes researchers from Red River College .

The New Flyer Xcelsior® buses will be in daily operation on a 40-kilometre, two-hour route starting at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, making its way through the city centre to East Kildonan, and returning to the airport.

The route was chosen because its length, speeds and loads are typical of many central business district routes in Canada and the U.S., and because the Winnipeg Airports Authority permitted New Flyer to install a high-power charging station at the airport – a project that was completed in October 2014.

“We didn’t want an easy route,” says Paul Soubry, New Flyer’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We encouraged Winnipeg Transit to select a route that would showcase the technological capability of our Xcelsior battery-electric bus in a real life in-service situation that will experience a wide range of weather and traffic conditions.”

The project is a continuing collaboration between New Flyer, the Province of Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Red River College and Winnipeg Transit. The project team – which started the effort in May 2011 – received additional assistance in October 2012 when Sustainable Development Technology Canada announced funding of $3.4 million to take the project from prototype to full production and field demonstration, and in 2014 when Manitoba’s Vehicle Technology Centre provided an additional $94,000 for charging station development.

“This electric bus project is a key element in Manitoba’s Clean Energy Strategy and supports our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote the use of effective, cost-efficient, renewable energy,” said Eric Robinson, Minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro. “Our innovative advancements in clean energy technologies have contributed to our placement as the first in Canada to employ the new, unique on-route rapid charging system, promoting affordable public transportation and electric vehicle knowledge which will create jobs.”

Zero-emission battery-electric propulsion transit buses are expected to significantly reduce green house gas and smog-causing criteria air contaminant emissions. In Manitoba, where the electrical grid is highly renewable (nearly 100 per cent of electricity is generated without burning fuel), the use of electric propulsion buses are expected to translate to an estimated reduction of 160 tonnes of green house gas emissions, per bus, per year.

“Red River College is proud to support community economic development as a participant in this project,” said David Rew, Interim RRC President. “Our instructors, staff and students have all contributed to the success of the consortium and we look forward to the zero emissions bus going into commercial use at many transit authorities across North America.”

RRC Transportation Chair named top associate by Manitoba Trucking Association

November 24, 2014

Neil Cooke_20141119_0012_smNeil Cooke, Chair of Transportation and Heavy Apprenticeship Trades at Red River College, has been named 2014’s Associate of the Year by the Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA).

Presented annually in conjunction with Payne Transportation LP, the award recognizes an MTA member who’s made a positive contribution to association programs, or otherwise contributed to the development of the association.

“This recognition is a testament to the leadership and dedication Neil brings to the College and the strong relationships he has developed with the trucking industry,” says RRC President David Rew. “Neil is not only a leader at the College but a leader in our community and vital to ensuring both staff and student success.”

Cooke has nearly 40 years of experience in Manitoba’s transportation sector, where he worked extensively in the heavy truck industry as a technician, mechanic and consultant. He worked for 11 years as an RRC instructor before assuming his role as Chair in 2006.

These days, Cooke oversees a team of more than 60 people who provide essential industry training and applied research capabilities for the transportation industry. Cooke and his team have contributed towards research on electric vehicle technology, biodiesel, and hydrogen production methods for RRC’s hybrid vehicles.

In early 2014, the federal government appointed Cooke to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), a major distinction — and one currently shared by only 12 council members across Canada.

“Neil has been pivotal in working with industry and helping further many of our applied research initiatives here at the College,” says Don MacDonald, Chair of RRC’s School of Transportation, Aviation and Manufacturing. “He’s a valued and dedicated member of this team and most deserving of this honour from the MTA.”

Click here to watch the Associated Trade Award video presentation.

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