Applied Research

Red River College Exploring Air Leakage in Manitoba Buildings

November 21, 2012

Originally posted on Red River College's Applied Research blog.

While some buildings in Manitoba’s harsh climate perform well over time, others experience major problems ranging from high-energy bills to crumbling facades. Researchers with Red River College are aspiring to determine why.

With funding from Manitoba Hydro, RRC will test 20 commercial buildings throughout the Province over the next 16 months for air leakage, a critical factor in a building’s energy use, durability, air quality and comfort.

“It is a significant but essential step to better understand how air leakage affects Manitoba’s commercial buildings,” said Rob Spewak, RRC’s research manager. “Manitoba Hydro’s support and assistance reinforces the importance of this issue.”

The need for airtightness in buildings was initially seen only as an energy issue, since excessive air leakage can significantly increase heating and cooling costs, but other significant problems can occur.

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RRC Awarded $1.7 million for Technology Access Centre

November 13, 2012

(From left): Fred Doern, Chair of Mechanical, Manufacturing & Communications at RRC; the Hon. Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport); James Knight, President, Association of Canadian Community Colleges; MP Joyce Bateman (Winnipeg South Centre); the Hon. Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology); Stephanie Forsyth, President of RRC; and Dr. Suzanne Fortier, President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, announced today that Red River College will receive almost $1.7 million through NSERC's Community and College Innovation Program to establish the A2i2: Advanced Aerospace Innovation Initiative.

This new technology access centre will focus on making RRC's facilities, technologies and expertise available to small and medium enterprises in the aerospace and manufacturing sectors.

“This technology access centre builds on the partnerships RRC has formed with companies like StandardAero and Magellan Aerospace to enhance innovation and productivity in these key industry sectors," said Stephanie Forsyth, President of Red River College. "Ultimately, the research done through A2i2 will create new jobs and other economic opportunities right here in Manitoba."

Over the past decade, Red River College and its partners have invested over $20 million in acquiring state-of-the-art technologies specializing in advanced materials and bonding, imaging and automation, and machine vision and simulation. The A2i2 initiative will bring these facilities under one umbrella, making it easier for industry to access equipment and College researchers.

Red River College is Manitoba's second-largest post secondary institution with over 30,000 enrolments in full-time, part-time and apprenticeship programs each year. RRC is also one of Canada's leading colleges in the area of applied research, with a particular focus on sustainable infrastructure, alternative energy vehicles, and aerospace manufacturing.

Aerospace Training Programs at RRC Benefit from Newly-Donated Engine

November 7, 2012

(From left): Peter Bjornson, Provincial Minister of Entrepreneurship, Training & Trade; Stephanie Forsyth, President of RRC; and Kim Olson, Senior Vice-President, Helicopters, Energy & Engineering for StandardAero.

Red River College will continue to serve as an engine of economic growth in Canada, thanks to a recent donation worth $1.2 million from industry partner StandardAero.

Earlier this month, the company transferred ownership of a GE CF-34 turbine aircraft engine to RRC. The engine will be used as part of the College's apprenticeship and training programs, in particular the Gas Turbine Repair and Overhaul program, which promotes engine maintenance, repair and overhaul skills.

"Here at Red River College, we pride ourselves on giving students the opportunity to train using state-of-the-art technology and industry-approved equipment," says RRC President Stephanie Forsyth. "This donation, and our partnership with StandardAero, will allow us to continue to serve as a leader in aerospace training, and to continue supplying highly-trained employees to the workforce."

The College's partnership with StandardAero has been ongoing for several years, and has also resulted in the development of the Centre for Aerospace Technology & Training (CATT), a unique industrial campus model that serves as a technology validation site for RRC's Applied Research and Commercialization department. StandardAero is also an active participant in RRC's co-op and internship programs.

"Our (latest) donation serves as a key workforce skills strategy, not only for StandardAero, but also for Manitoba's continued economic sustainment and growth," says Kim Olson, Senior Vice-President, Helicopters, Energy & Engineering at StandardAero.

"Training on real-world products without incurring capital costs is paramount to the learning and development of a highly skilled workforce in Manitoba. Our partnership with Apprenticeship Manitoba and RRC is nationally recognized as a leading contributor to the growth of the aerospace sector in Manitoba."

Electric Bus Partnership Benefits from New Federal Funding

October 31, 2012

A consortium involving Red River College, New Flyer Industries and other industry partners has been awarded $3.4 million in new federal funding to further develop battery-electric bus propulsion technology.

The new funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada builds on the $1-million investment made by the provincial government last year to develop an all‑electric transit bus and charging system, said Innovation, Energy and Mines Minister Dave Chomiak, who extended his congratulations to all involved in the project for this latest development.

The all-electric bus development and demonstration project is a partnership between RRC, New Flyer, the Province of Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

“Together we are developing an entirely electric bus system to get families around, not only in Winnipeg, but in cities all over North America,” said Chomiak. “The development of renewable and sustainable technologies is a priority for our government and the support being offered ensures we keep can keep moving forward.”

In addition to the $1-million investment in 2011, the province has invested $100,000 for the creation of an electric-vehicle learning and demonstration centre at RRC under Manitoba’s Electric Vehicle Road Map. Read More →

New Research Facility Features Canada's Second Laser UT System

October 3, 2012

(From left): RRC President Stephanie Forsyth; Don Boitson, VP & GM of Magellan Aerospace; Western Economic Diversification Minister Lynne Yelich; and Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.

Leaders from government, education and aerospace gathered to celebrate the opening of Red River College's new Centre for Non-Destructive Inspection (CNDI) on September 29th. The facility is housed within a new RRC "industrial campus" located at Magellan Aerospace's production plant in Winnipeg.

Featuring some of Canada's most advanced inspection equipment — including one of only two laser ultrasonic testing (Laser UT) systems in the country — CNDI provides a competitive advantage for the manufacturing sector in Manitoba while addressing the industry demand for skilled inspection staff.

“The productivity enhancements, when compared to other traditional methods of inspection are significant," explained Don Boitson, Vice President and General Manager of Magellan Aerospace. "A component that would take eight hours to inspect using conventional methods can take as little as one hour to inspect utilizing Laser UT. The benefits provided through this technology are considerable in terms of efficiencies to both cost and schedule.”

In addition to the direct benefits for industry, Red River College students are in the unique position of being trained to use this leading edge technology.

“One of the key themes of Red River College’s strategic plan is to fuel Manitoba’s economic growth and community development,” said Stephanie Forsyth, President of Red River College. “By partnering with the federal government and Magellan Aerospace on the creation of CNDI, we’re helping spark innovation within the aerospace sector and giving researchers and students access to state-of-the-art inspection equipment.” Read More →

Research Director Speaks Before Senate Committee

December 7, 2011

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. Read More →

RRC Partnership with Magellan Aerospace Takes Flight

November 4, 2011

(From left): Don Boitson, Vice-President and GM of Magellan Aerospace; Murray Edwards, Magellan Aerospace Chairman of the Board; Ken Webb, Vice-President, Academic and Research at RRC; David Leis, Vice-President, Business Development at RRC; Stephanie Forsyth, President of RRC; Hon. Peter Bjornson, Manitoba Minister of Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade; Hon. Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence; and Jim Butyniec, President and CEO of Magellan Aerospace.

Representatives from Red River College took part in the official opening of Magellan Aerospace's new Advanced Composites Manufacturing Centre last week, marking the College's ongoing role as one of the Centre's key educational partners.

The new 138,000-square foot facility, located at 1855 Ellice Ave., is in the final stages of being equipped with state-of-the-art technology required to manufacture complex composite fabrication and assemblies — among them, the horizontal tail components of the F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, which are being built to replace Canada's fleet of aging CF-18s. Once fully commissioned, the new facility will be one of the most advanced composite manufacturing and assembly centres in North America.

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Vision-enabled Robot Technology Speaker Seminar

October 18, 2011

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.

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RRC and StandardAero Honoured for Contributions to Technology and Training

August 31, 2011

Red River College and StandardAero have been named recipients of the 2011 John Convey Innovation Award, for the contributions to training and technological development made possible by the Centre for Aerospace Technology and Training (CATT).

Awarded by ASM International (formerly the American Society for Metals), the annual honour recognizes companies for their contribution to furthering the development of the materials engineering industry in Canada.

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