Applied Research

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.

RRC earns global award for commitment to social development

October 24, 2014

IMG_2158Red River College’s commitment to social development was recognized today with an International Award of Excellence from the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP).

The bronze award, presented at the WFCP’s World Congress in Beijing, China, recognizes colleges and polytechnics from around the world for their commitment to community engagement, diversity and sustainability — with an emphasis on international campus collaboration, best practices and technologies, and advancing institutional diversity.

“This is another outstanding achievement for the College,” says David Rew, RRC’s interim President and CEO. “Sustainability, international collaboration and diversity are  key focus areas for the College. Our staff and students make substantial investments in these areas, so it is very satisfying to receive this type of recognition.”

The College’s award application focused on international applied research collaborations relating to the Zero Emissions Transit Bus, the Science of Early Child Development (pictured above), sustainable infrastructure, and clean water technologies.

In 2013, RRC marked a decade of applied research, and in recent weeks was ranked one of the Top 10 Canadian Research Colleges for the second year in a row.

“From day one, we have been very engaged in sustainable infrastructure research in response to local industry demand and community needs,” says Ray Hoemsen, Director of Applied Research & Commercialization at RRC. “Social development is a key strategic heme for the College and related research initiatives have been advancing rapidly. We are also seeing the results of our relationship-building efforts with international partners.”

RRC climbs to sixth spot on list of Canada’s top research colleges

October 22, 2014

For the second year in a row, Red River College has ranked among the top Canadian research colleges and polytechnics, climbing to sixth place on the list of Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges, released this month by Research Infosource Inc.

The College posted $5.82 million in research income during the 2013 fiscal year, an increase over the previous year, when it ranked seventh with $4.37 million.

“Red River College has been a leader in applied research over the last decade, and we’ve seen a steady increase in research income each year,” says David Rew, Interim President at RRC. “Applied research is an integral part of our overall strategy — it contributes in a very productive way to our communities and the experience of our students.”

RRC remains best known for applied research capabilities relating to extreme climate and cold weather technologies and applications, but a number of other research thrusts are rapidly emerging.

“We have built our applied research enterprise in response to community needs, especially our partners in industry.” says Ray Hoemsen, RRC’s Director of Applied Research & Commercialization. “With the support of both the federal and provincial governments we’ve been further developing capacity based upon our core capabilities within the schools and their respective faculty, staff and students.” Read More →

RRC instructor harnesses robotic imaging in exploration of embryonic cell development

September 23, 2014

To what extent are cells affected by outside forces as animals evolve from the embryonic stage to birth? That’s the question Red River College’s Susan Crawford-Young hopes to help answer through research showcased at a noon discussion today.

Shown: a male axolotl salamander.

Shown: a male axolotl salamander.

An instructor at RRC’s Winkler Campus Adult Learning Centre, Crawford-Young explores a range of interest areas encompassing biology, imaging and electronics. Her Master’s thesis involved the development of a robotic microscope to acquire 3D-plus sequenced images of a developing salamander egg.

That research work continues in what has been termed the Google Embryo project — which studies how embryos develop in order to better understand the forces affecting cells as they evolve and acquire nerves, skin and muscle.

The aim of the project is to use the new microscope to take time-lapse images of the entire surface of an amphibian embryo, then map those images on a globe using Google Earth software.

“The theory is that cells respond to forces which cause them to change their cell types and their chemistry — which causes further changes in the cells,” says Crawford-Young. “Development is all about how cells change physically and chemically due to their position in an embryo’s structure. I’m interested in developing tools and taking measurements of embryonic tissue, using model animals such as the axolotl salamander and the Manitoba mudpuppy to further this research.”

Crawford-Young will discuss her research at the Notre Dame Campus’ eTV Studio B, from noon to 1pm on Wednesday, Sept. 24. Hers is the first in a series of such presentations made possible by the College Applied Research Development (CARD) Fund and the Program Innovation Fund (PIF).

The series is co-sponsored by RRC’s Applied Research and Commercialization and the Centre for Teaching Excellence, Innovation and Research.

Watch the live stream at noon, courtesy of eTV.

RRC awarded federal funds for robotics, sustainable buildings, and electric vehicle research tools

April 17, 2014

electric busRed River College was awarded new funding today from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), to continue applied research in the fields of electric vehicle (EV) testing, large building envelope research, and robotics innovation.

A total of $327,842 was awarded as part of NSERC’s College and Community Innovation Program Applied Research Tools and Instruments grants.

“This funding allows us to purchase and install specific research tools and equipment that will have an immediate impact on our applied research capacity across several industrial sectors,” said Stephanie Forsyth, President and CEO of RRC.

The tools and equipment being purchased and/or built include an EV rapid charging station and battery testers, a building envelope test chamber to test wall sections and materials, and new end-of-arm and imaging tools for existing robotics.

“These are assets that will directly support our industry partners’ research and training needs as well as enhancing student and instructor applied learning at the College,” said Ray Hoemsen, Director of Applied Research & Commercialization at RRC. “They support our strategy to drive Manitoba’s economy in an innovative and sustainable way.” Read More →

New partnership establishes one-of-a-kind robotics training lab at RRC

March 31, 2014

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Red River College has renewed its training partnership with Yaskawa Canada Inc., to become the only current provider of Yaskawa Motoman robotics training in Canada.

“Robotics and automation are critical innovations which enable manufacturers to effectively compete in the global marketplace,” says Don MacDonald, Dean of RRC’s School of Transportation, Aviation and Manufacturing. “This partnership establishes RRC as a Yaskawa Canada site for certified Yaskawa Motoman robotics training, and we are thrilled to be working with them.”

Under the terms of the partnership, robotics training is available to industry in a dedicated one-of-a-kind training lab located at RRC’s Notre Dame Campus. The College has been actively involved in supporting innovation and productivity initiatives in aerospace and manufacturing, and this renewed partnership is a further step towards offering solutions to meet the needs of industry.

“This partnership is an excellent opportunity to showcase and highlight the value of the services Yaskawa Motoman and the College provide to industry partners in Western Canada,” says Jason Jenson, General Manager of Yaskawa Canada Inc. “We are pleased to be part of the next evolution in the educational technology being offered at the College. We look forward to our continued growth and success together.”

Scheduled DX100 Basic Programming courses offered at RRC can be booked through the Yaskawa Canada website (location listed as “Red River College, Winnipeg”).

New website supports innovation in aerospace and manufacturing

March 20, 2014

10710958685_f761683091_oRed River College has launched a new website in support of its Technology Access Centre (TAC) initiative, serving aerospace and manufacturing organizations at home and abroad.

Funded in part by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC’s) Community and College Innovation Program, the TAC supports both large and small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by providing enhanced access to RRC’s technological assets, subject matter expertise, and specialized facilities and equipment. Organizations benefit by gaining access to technology and expertise that was previously unavailable directly to industry.

The new website provides an industry portal through which aerospace and manufacturing organizations can view RRC’s resources, including: information on full-time student programming (from which they can draw their future workforce), information on hiring co-op students and interns, information on facilities and equipment available to assist them in projects, and information on how the College can support industry through applied research, technical services and training activities.

The site also highlights success stories and student projects, along with an events calendar listing upcoming seminars and events, and an area for posted tips and tricks helpful for practitioners in the workplace.

“This new website continues to promote the valued partnership we have with companies like StandardAero and our industrial campus, the Centre for Aerospace Technology and Training (CATT),” says Don MacDonald, Dean of RRC’s School of Transportation, Aviation and Manufacturing. “This new resource will ultimately mean more opportunities for industry, and for our students studying in these areas.”

Visit the new website to learn more about the Technology Access Centre.

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