Research partnership with Manitoba Hydro nets national innovation award

February 16, 2016

NSERC Award CeremonyA research partnership with Manitoba Hydro focusing on sustainable building infrastructure and transportation has earned Red River College the top honour from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Presented today at a ceremony at the Governor General’s residence in Ottawa, NSERC’s Synergy Award for Innovation recognizes outstanding research and development partnerships between colleges and industry partners in the fields of natural sciences and engineering. Only one Canadian college receives the award each year.

“This award is the highest level of validation a college can receive for the impact and lasting benefits of its research partnerships efforts,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “Our partnerships with industry stakeholders like Manitoba Hydro are critical to our mandate for supporting innovation in Manitoba, and providing our graduates with the skills that industry requires.”

Dating back more than a decade, the partnership between RRC and Hydro includes collaboration on such high-profile projects as the award-winning Manitoba Hydro Place and the development of a zero-emissions electric battery transit bus.

“The legacy of the relationship between Manitoba Hydro and RRC will live on in our downtown office tower and zero-emission buses operating within many North American cities for decades to come,” says Lloyd Kuczek, Manitoba Hydro’s vice-president of Customer Care and Energy Conservation.

“These projects provide daily reminders of what we can accomplish through collaborative research and of the importance of leveraging the capabilities of research partners like RRC.”

Read More →

Province’s post-secondary institutions sign historic agreement advancing Indigenous education

December 21, 2015

image1Red River College helped make history last week, joining with every post-secondary institution in Manitoba — as well as the Manitoba School Boards Association — in signing the Indigenous Education Blueprint, an unprecedented commitment to advance Indigenous education in the province.

The transformational framework is the result of a new partnership between Manitoba’s public school boards and the post-secondary education sector, now united in their efforts to enhance Indigenous education and reconciliation, and to make Manitoba a global centre of excellence for Indigenous education, research, languages and culture.

The Blueprint takes action on recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and will translate into success for Indigenous students and their families, thereby enriching the lives of all Manitobans.

“Indigenous youth are one of the fastest growing populations in Canada,” said RRC President Paul Vogt. “They are our future — our future leaders, entrepreneurs and builders — and the next generation of our country. As colleges, we have a responsibility to work with other partners to continue to build upon our diverse range of post-secondary programs that support Indigenous learners on their educational journey.”

Next steps include such action items as establishing a steering committee with all signatories, creating a collaborative website and social media platform, and hosting a conference on Indigenous education.

The partners who met Friday to sign the historic Blueprint include RRC, the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, Brandon University, Université de Saint-Boniface, Canadian Mennonite University, University College of the North, Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, Assiniboine Community College and the Manitoba School Boards Association. Read More →

College preps for new era in autobody repair through partnership with MPI

November 20, 2015


By investing in a new Centre of Excellence in automotive repair research and training — and by increasing apprenticeship opportunities and fostering partnerships with Red River College, Apprenticeship Manitoba and provincial high schools — Manitoba Public Insurance will ensure that autobody technicians remain highly skilled and able to respond to a rapidly evolving industry, it was announced today.

“With an eye to the future, we all recognize that the auto manufacturing industry is going through significant change. The autobody repair industry must keep pace for the sake of its customers,” said Gord Mackintosh, Minister Responsible for MPI, while unveiling plans for the soon-to-be-built Centre of Excellence.

“The new research and training centre provides an excellent opportunity for Manitobans to pursue highly skilled careers, and ensures there is the capacity to do cutting-edge autobody work in Manitoba.”

Through collaboration with industry partners like RRC, Apprenticeship Manitoba, the Automotive Trades Association, the Manitoba Motor Dealers’ Association and the Manitoba Commercial Vehicle Repair Association, MPI will offer improved training for workers in the province’s autobody repair industry.

By doing so, they’ll ensure vehicles damaged in collisions continue to be repaired safely and to original manufacturer standards, resulting in increased safety to the benefit of all Manitobans.

“The collaboration between Manitoba Public Insurance and Red River College will augment the educational experience for our students,” said RRC President Paul Vogt. “We recognize the importance of autobody repairers staying abreast of new vehicle design, construction, technology and repair techniques. Partnership with MPI is an innovative learning approach to meet the high demand for skilled employees throughout the industry.”

In addition to the academic outcomes, joint research studies between RRC and MPI involving composites and advanced trades techniques will ensure the completion of safe and reliable vehicle repairs by autobody repairers in Manitoba, said Vogt. Read More →

Winnipeg to host hundreds of tradespersons-in-training during 2017 national Skills Canada competition

November 4, 2015


Winnipeg will play host to the 2017 Skills Canada National Competition, Jobs and the Economy Minister Kevin Chief announced today.

The event — for which Red River College will serve as one of several partners — is scheduled to take place from May 31 to June 3, 2017, at the RBC Convention Centre in downtown Winnipeg.

The competition is expected to attract more than 18,000 visitors and 500 youth participants — the latter group comprised of students and apprentices enrolled in trades training programs in colleges and high schools across Canada.

“Hosting the Skills Canada competition will mean thousands of Canadians will travel to the city to share their talents and see what Manitoba has to offer,” said Chief (kneeling in above photo), who stopped by RRC today to take part in the College’s annual Engineering Technology Student Pep Rally.

“We’re proud that our government has supported youth in the trades by offering them educational opportunities, financial support and a strong economy that offers people entering the trades a world of options.”

As always, the goal of the event is to promote the skilled trades and reinforce their importance in building a strong provincial economy — a mission RRC has for years shared with Skills Canada’s provincial arm.

“[The College] has been the host site for the annual Skills Canada Manitoba competition and we are very excited to be part of the 2017 Skills Canada National Competition coming to Winnipeg,” said RRC President Paul Vogt.

“We applaud the government of Manitoba on making skilled trades and technology a priority, and on their investment in our new state-of-the-art Skilled Trades and Technology Centre (STTC), currently under construction at the Notre Dame campus.”

RRC to help train tradeswomen to impart skills and expertise to next generation of workers

October 29, 2015


Red River College will train 10 Manitoba women who are already leaders in the skilled trades to become qualified instructors who can share their knowledge with the next generation of journeypersons, it was announced this week.

The women will receive a combined $55,000 in provincial funding to complete the Technical Vocational Teacher Education diploma program at RRC. Five are completing an accelerated one-year program, while the others will complete the program through part-time study.

“Some of our best role models will show young women the opportunities waiting for them with this program, and provide them with the skills and tools to succeed,” said Jobs and the Economy Minister Kevin Chief. “A career in the trades means a chance for them to earn a good living for themselves and their families, and a chance to give back in their hometowns and neighbourhoods.”

The news finds RRC continuing to play a central role in building capacity and driving the economy in Manitoba, says College President Paul Vogt.

“I am very proud that Red River College could demonstrate its leadership on this initiative,” said Vogt, “so we can help create pathways to success that will continue to encourage women to enter into many meaningful and rewarding careers in the skilled trades.” Read More →

Newly donated Jetstream touches down at RRC’s Stevenson Campus

October 22, 2015


Red River College President Paul Vogt accepted the keys to a $1-million Jetstream aircraft this morning, at a ceremony held to celebrate the history of Alberta’s Swanberg Air, and the company’s generous contribution to staff and students at RRC.

The British Aerospace Model Jetstream 31, along with associated equipment, manuals and training aids, was donated by the Swanberg family of Grande Prairie, Alta., and Fort St. John, B.C., in memory of company founder Sylvan Swanberg and his wife, Dorothy.

The Swanbergs’ daughter, Ann Sawyer, together with her son Konnor and employees of Swanberg Air (now Landsman Properties), were on hand at RRC’s Stevenson Campus to announce the donation, made in support of the College’s Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) program, which trains students in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of fixed-wing planes and helicopters.

“Our family is very proud to be able to support the next generation of aircraft maintenance engineers,” said Sawyer. “Continuous education and hands-on training is so important in the aviation industry, and we’re happy the donation of the Jetstream 31 to Red River College will have a positive impact on students and industry.”

Vogt says the Jetstream will allow RRC to continue meeting the labour needs of the aerospace and aviation sectors.

“There is an increasing demand in the aviation industry for highly skilled graduates, and with Manitoba being home to the third largest aerospace sector in Canada, this working aircraft will enhance training opportunities,” said Vogt.

“We are grateful to the Swanberg family for their impactful donation, which allows students to train on state-of-the-art equipment and become leaders in their field.” Read More →

RRC leads nation’s colleges in research partnership growth, ranks among Top 10 research colleges for third consecutive year

October 22, 2015


Red River College ranks first among its Canadian contemporaries in the category of research partnership growth, and eighth overall on a new list of the nation’s Top 50 research colleges.

Announced today, the findings mark the third year in a row that RRC has placed in the Top 10 of the annual ranking, first released by Research Infosource in 2013.

Applied Research & Commercialization at the College continues to create and deliver more applied research and innovation resources for our partners and the communities we serve,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

“Next to workforce-ready graduates, applied research offerings are key to our business community. They have led to many innovations in products, production methods and services delivered by Manitoba enterprises.”

Along with leading the nation in partnership growth (a new category), RRC increased its ranking in total number of research partnerships from twelfth to sixth, and total number of research projects from fifteenth to eleventh.

Read More →

Province to create new hybrid engineering pathway between RRC and U of M

September 14, 2015


Manitobans who want to work as engineers will soon have more opportunities to enter the faculty of engineering, thanks to $500,000 in new provincial funding that’ll create 18 new seats and a hybrid pathway between Red River College and the University of Manitoba.

“Civil, electrical, industrial and mechanical engineers are in demand in our province, and increasing the number of engineering graduates is necessary to create more good jobs and keep our economy growing,” Premier Greg Selinger said today.

The U of M is the only institution in the province to offer accredited engineering degrees and the current seat capacity in the program is 336. Undergraduate engineering enrolment has increased by 48 per cent at the U of M since 2008.

The new hybrid engineering pathway will be introduced over several academic years through collaborative efforts between the U of M and Red River College, supporting increased credit transfer and recognition of prior experience for hybrid engineering students.

“Red River College is proud of the quality of its graduates and we welcome opportunities for them to further their education as a result of this pathway program with the University of Manitoba,” said RRC President Paul Vogt (shown above). “When you combine the experience our students receive from both institutions, it’s a recipe for success that will have a considerable benefit to many industries here in Manitoba.”

Once fully established, this new hybrid pathway will transition between 10 and 15 hybrid engineering students annually from RRC and other post-secondary institutions to U of M’s engineering degree programs.

“Engineers provide services that drive our economy,” said John Bockstael, president and CEO of Bockstael Construction, and a graduate of the U of M’s Faculty of Engineering. “It’s important that we provide opportunities for our students to receive a first-rate education in their home province where they can then build careers and contribute to our economy.”

Outgoing RRC president David Rew reflects on his 12 months in office, and on his 36-year career

September 2, 2015


This week, as students at Red River College settled into their first week of classes, staff and faculty gathered to pay tribute to David Rew (shown above, at right), who capped off an already impressive 36-year career by serving as the College’s interim president and CEO for the last 12 months. As Rew prepares for his retirement, we thought it only fitting to sit down for a follow-up Q&A session — much as we did when he took over the role one year ago.

At this time last year, you’d just taken over as Interim President — at what can only be described as a low point in the College’s history. The province had launched an audit of our operations, our former president had departed somewhat suddenly, and employee morale was suffering. What did you consider to be your top priority?

Our Executive had identified about 10 priorities, all of which were really important at the time. One of the top ones was internal communications … how we communicated with staff in a variety of ways. Probably the most important piece in all of that was to make sure that staff were informed of events that had occurred before anyone else, so they weren’t going home and watching the news or reading the newspaper and getting their news there.

And how do you think you did?

We made a lot of progress on that one. I think the most telling example was when the provincial review came out. We had an arrangement with the [Minister of Education’s] office where we could tell our staff about the release of the review first, which the province agreed to. So our staff were made aware of that before anyone else. A lot of people commented on that, as they did the Town Hall sessions — the “On the Road with Rew” tours — those also worked really well.

With respect to the last 12 months, what would you say you’re the most proud of?

I’m very proud of the Executive team and how they came together as a group. They’re an incredibly courageous lot, taking on their roles and really going for it — and working to turn the College around. Read More →

RRC awarded $1.75-million grant to establish new Centre for Building Envelope Performance

July 8, 2015

DSC00391Red River College has been awarded $1.75 million over five years from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), to establish the Centre for Building Envelope Performance (CBEP) at the Notre Dame Campus.

Lawrence Toet, MP for Elmwood-Transcona (shown above, at centre), was on campus yesterday to announce the new funding, which comes in the form of a Technology Access Centres Grant under NSERC’s under College and Community Innovation (CCI) program.

Work on the CBEP will see RRC partnering with the local construction industry to conduct applied research, provide specialized education and training, and support innovation in building envelope design and construction.

“Colleges play a key role in supporting innovation and business, and RRC has been a leader in applied research for more than 10 years,” says Interim RRC President David Rew (above, second from right).

“This grant will help enhance our ability to serve Manitoba’s construction sector with advanced graduates and professional training, as well as foster innovation in a critical component of building design and construction.”

The CBEP is expected to significantly increase access to the College’s facilities, equipment and expertise for Manitoba’s building industry, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises whose products and services directly impact a building’s envelope. Read More →

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