Applied Research

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


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.

RRC encouraged by Federal Budget 2014

February 11, 2014

Red River College is pleased to see infrastructure and skills training identified as top priorities in the Federal Budget 2014.

“We welcome a collaborative approach with government, industry and community partners in expanding our ability to train Manitoba’s workforce,” said Stephanie Forsyth, President & CEO, Red River College. “This approach will ensure we meet the needs of education in the 21st century and prepare students for the demands of the modern workforce.”

With the creation of the Canada Apprentice Loan, additional funding by the federal government will reduce waiting lists for access to education and meet employer demands for skilled workers. This can help address youth unemployment at the same time.

The government’s pledge of $305 million over five years to extend and enhance broadband high-speed Internet access for rural and Northern communities is welcomed. This aligns with RRC’s strategic plan in ensuring access to education for all Manitobans. RRC is equipped to provide distance education via Internet training but we are hampered in rural areas, particularly in the north for Aboriginal students. Expanding broadband networks and making the Internet more available is a way to open the door to post-secondary education for many, while also providing another solution to the anticipated skills gap.

Read More →

New Poultry Products Developed at RRC

November 4, 2013

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.”

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.)

“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”.

Read More →

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