Author: Julie Greco

Niagara College home to first 3D printer of its kind in Canada

Classic car collector Phil Foster searched years for a matching window trim for his beloved 1934 Dodge DR.

And although he and his wife Gwen have access to a network of other vintage car enthusiasts – they’re founding members of the Antique & Classic Car Club of Canada, Niagara Chapter – they still could not find the rare part.

“These garnish mouldings just aren’t around anymore,” explained the retired contractor/welder, who had all but given up once his grandson’s online search proved unsuccessful.

Then a friend suggested he enlist the help of applied research students at the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre at Niagara College. As luck would have it, the Research & Innovation division was in the process of installing a brand new 3D printer at the Welland campus – the first of its kind in Canada and the only one at the Centre capable of handling the size of Foster’s project.

The research team reverse-engineered Foster’s existing window garnish moulding (window trim), designed a 3D CAD mirror copy and then printed the new component. Mission accomplished!

The exclusive 3D printer that put an end to Foster’s search is the Fortus 900mc Gen. 2, a machine that’s leading edge in terms of size and scope and materials capabilities. The NC Centre is now also the country’s only material beta testing facility for Stratasys, a worldwide leader in 3D printer manufacturing.

This gives NC’s industry partners and customers exclusive access to materials not currently on the market and also offers a rare opportunity to drive the development of potential new materials, said Jim Lambert, Centre manager.

“Having this beta testing status will give Niagara College recognition as having world-class metrological inspection capabilities,” said Lambert. “Any in-development testing will quite literally be the first of its kind in the world.”

Foster described the venture as a “win-win” and, while happy with his custom part, he is also proud that his project has provided real-world applied research experience for the students. “We never had this when I was younger – I’m all self-taught.”

With funding support from the Federal Development Agency for Southern Ontario, the NC advanced manufacturing division acquired the new printer to improve its capabilities, and in turn provide more opportunities for key industry for prototypes, production parts, jigs and fixtures, and factory tooling.

Depending on the materials and the complexity of the project, having a prototype 3D printed at the Technology Access Centre could cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

The Centre team at NC specializes in engineering design, 3D technologies, lean manufacturing processes and additive manufacturing. The division works with Ontario businesses to bring ideas to life, from concept through to developing working prototypes, utilizing leading-edge technology, including equipment and software. For more information, visit www.ncinnovation.ca.

The Fortus 900mc Gen. 2
– Housed at the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre at NC’s Welland campus, this state-of-the-art 3D printer is the first of its kind installed in Canada.

– The Centre is now also the country’s only material beta testing facility for 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys, making any in-development testing the first of its kind in the world.

– The Fortus 900mc is the most advanced FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) system available, providing an unlimited materials selection – even for materials unique to the market, which includes many new polymers and composite materials as well as highly specialized materials for medical, dental, aerospace, automotive, food production and general manufacturing.

– The size and scope of this new machine expands the printing envelope, giving the Centre’s lab the means to print objects that measure more than 36” x 14” x 16”. Prior to this recent purchase, the research team has been utilizing the printer’s smaller sister, the Fortus 400 – which has a print envelope of 16” x 14” x 16”.

Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre – a Technology Access Centre
– The Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Welland is one of two of NC’s Technology Access Centres (TACS) – the other being the Canadian Food & Wine Institute Innovation Centre. TACs are specialized applied research and development centres affiliated with Canadian colleges or cégeps.

– Niagara College is only one of two colleges in Canada with two TACS.

– Marc Nantel, NC associate vice-president, Research & Innovation, was recently appointed to the advisory board for Tech-Access Canada, a national network of Canada’s 30 TACs.

– Tech-Access Canada serves vital industrial sectors across the country, responding to industry applied research needs through innovation support services delivered by college faculty, staff and students. For more information on Tech-Access Canada, visit www.tech-access.ca.
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Currently celebrating its 50th year as a College of Applied Arts and Technology, NC is a leader in applied education and a key contributor to the economies of Niagara and Ontario. A regional college with global reach, NC offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs.

For media inquiries, contact:

Susan McConnell, Media Advisor, 905 641-2252 x 4330 smcconnell@niagaracollege.ca

 

Live music, brewery and winery tours, inspiring gardens, great food and a preview of terrific courses, all at Niagara College March 25

Itching to see what is going on behind the walls at Niagara College’s Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses?

Head to NC Saturday, March 25 and enjoy hours of special events and information sessions, designed to help prospective students and the community experience Niagara College first-hand.

Part of the spring annual house, NC is offering a wide variety of displays, information sessions, and tours of facilities, including residences on Saturday, March 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition, one lucky future student will be the recipient of a $3,000 award applicable towards 2017-18 tuition.

“This is a great opportunity to meet students, faculty and staff, in an informal atmosphere,” said NC president Dan Patterson. “There is a wide variety of special events to appeal to all interests.”

Enjoy the onset of spring through plant sales at both campuses, and a display of unique plantings that will inspire your inner gardener in the greenhouse at the NOTL campus where visitors can also view the aquaponics operation and the new Commercial Beekeeping program. Both campuses will feature live music and tours of residences. Tours and tastings are available at the NOTL campus of both the winery and brewery, and culinary selections from Benchmark restaurant chefs are available including complementary desserts, commemorating NC’s 50th anniversary this year.

Information sessions include: Student Services Fair; financial aid; program sessions; and for the first time, NC will feature Meet the President Hour –in Welland at 10:30 a.m. in the Learning Commons, and in NOTL, from at 12:30 at the cafeteria entrance, with Patterson as host of the hour. Parking is free during the event; advance registration is not required and visitors will enjoy a 20 per cent discount at campus stores. For additional information, visit: www.niagaracollege.ca/open house

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Currently celebrating its 50th year as a College of Applied Arts and Technology, NC is a leader in applied education and a key contributor to the economics of Niagara and Ontario. A regional college with global reach, NC offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs.

For media inquiries, contact:

Susan McConnell, Media Advisor, 905-641-2252 x 4330 smcconnell@niagaracollege.ca

New GO Bus Stop opening at Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus

Ministry of Transportation News: Ontario Improving GO Service for Students and Families in Niagara

Ontario is making it easier to get around the Niagara and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area by expanding and improving local GO Transit services to better meet the needs of students, families, and commuters.

Starting April 8, the Route 12 GO Bus will stop at Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus to make it easier for students and staff to get to and from school and for more people to take transit in Niagara Region. Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca and St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley made the announcement while engaging with students in a roundtable at Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus on March 15.

Buses will run between Niagara Falls and Burlington, with stops in St. Catharines, Grimsby and Stoney Creek, connecting to Lakeshore West GO Train service at the Burlington GO Station. GO Transit will provide hourly service throughout the day and into late evening, seven days a week.

Expanding GO Transit service to improve people’s commute is part of our government’s plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

QUOTES

“It was a pleasure meeting with Niagara College student leaders today to discuss local transit and transportation issues. We know that transit directly affects students, as well as local commuters and travelers, which is why I am so pleased to announce that we are expanding and improving local GO Transit services. Improvements like these will help reduce congestion on our roads and make it more convenient for locals to travel across the Niagara region.”
— Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation

“More transit options will help everyone who lives, studies or travels in our region. This is great news for the people of Niagara and for the students at the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus.”
— Jim Bradley, MPP for St. Catharines

“Bringing GO bus service to this campus will make it easier to get to school, home, and anywhere in between. It’s all part of our plan to expand and improve GO services throughout our region so we can bring more transit to more people.”
— Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO, Metrolinx

“Having GO Bus service directly to campus will open up huge opportunities for students from West Niagara, Hamilton and the GTA to come directly to Niagara College. It also creates a much greater range of co-op and internship options for our students accessing employers beyond Niagara. We can now say, GO to Niagara College!”
— Dan Patterson, President, Niagara College

QUICK FACTS

 The new GO Bus stop will be located near the entrance of the main building where Niagara-on-the-Lake Transit, Niagara Region Transit, St. Catharines Transit and Welland Transit buses stop.
 Detailed schedules will be available during the week of March 20. Customers should check gotransit.com/schedulechanges for more details.
 Students can have their PRESTO cards set with a student discount and save even more.
 Niagara’s seasonal GO Train service will resume Victoria Day weekend, Thanksgiving weekend and throughout the summer on Friday evenings, Saturday, Sundays and holidays, for the ninth consecutive year.
 Metrolinx continues to work closely with local transit service providers to ensure better alignment between GO Transit and local transit services.

LEARN MORE
GO Transit
PRESTO

Media inquiries, contact:

Andrea Ernesaks, Minister’s Office, Andrea.Ernesaks@ontario.ca
Bob Nichols, Communications Branch, 416-327-1158 ontario.ca/transportation-news
Niagara College media contact:

Susan McConnell, Media Advisor Niagara College Office: 905 641-2252 ext. 4330

Special weather statement for March 15: Alerts in effect

Issued at 05:07 Wednesday 15 March 2017
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for the Niagara Peninsula.

Periods of snow will continue today across most of the Niagara Peninsula, accompanied by strong and gusty northwesterly winds. Poor winter driving conditions are expected today due to reduced visibility at times in blowing snow. Untreated roads may be snow covered and slippery.

Staff and students should plan for extra time to reach their destination today.

Travel conditions will slowly improve beginning this afternoon as the snow tapers off to scattered flurries.

Together, our Facilities Maintenance staff and our winter service provider are continually working to plow and salt walkways and parking lots as the winter weather continues.

Staff and students are reminded to drive and walk according to road, sidewalk and winter weather conditions, and to wear proper footwear and dress appropriately.

As winter maintenance equipment is operating during school hours, please ensure that you stay a safe distance away where possible.

Please continue to monitor alerts issued by Niagara College and forecasts issued by Environment Canada.

Inclement weather update: Monday, March 13

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect.

Heavy snowfall with blowing snow is expected tonight with snow continuing into Tuesday night. The snow will be heavy at times tonight with total snowfall amounts of 15 to 25 cm expected with local totals of 30 cm possible in the Hamilton to Niagara corridor.

Northeast winds gusting to 60 km/hr are also expected this evening into Tuesday resulting in widespread blowing snow.

Travel conditions may become hazardous as a result of snow and blowing snow.

Staff, students and visitors should use caution when travelling and plan for extra time to reach their destination tonight through Tuesday.

Evening classes and College activities are running at all NC campuses tonight as scheduled
College staff and our winter service provider will monitor the weather and salt walkways and parking lots as required.

Staff and students are reminded to drive and walk according to road, sidewalk and winter weather conditions and to wear proper footwear and dress appropriately.

As winter maintenance equipment may be operating during school hours please ensure that you stay a safe distance away where possible.

Please continue to monitor alerts issued by Niagara College and forecasts issued by Environment Canada.

In the event of a college closure on Tuesday morning, an announcement will be posted to NiagaraCollege.ca and on social media by 7 a.m.

Inclement weather expected for Niagara and surrounding area

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Niagara and the surrounding area.

Heavy snowfall is in the forecast for Tuesday, March 14. Snow is expected to develop during the day today (Monday, March 13) and continue into Tuesday night. Snow will remain fairly light through the day but some areas may receive 5 cm by this evening. The heaviest snow is expected to fall through the overnight hours into Tuesday morning. While total snowfall amounts of 15 to 25 cm are expected, some areas in the Hamilton to Niagara corridor could see locally higher amounts of 30 cm.

Northeast winds gusting to 60 km/h are also expected this evening into Tuesday resulting in widespread blowing snow.

Travel conditions may become hazardous as a result of snow and blowing snow.

Staff, students and visitors should use caution when travelling and plan for extra time to reach their destination Tuesday morning.

College staff and our winter service provider will monitor the weather and salt walkways and parking lots as required.

Staff and students are reminded to drive and walk according to road, sidewalk and winter weather conditions and to wear proper footwear and dress appropriately.

As winter maintenance equipment may be operating during school hours please ensure that you stay a safe distance away where possible.

Please continue to monitor alerts issued by Niagara College and forecasts issued by Environment Canada.

NC students, alumni: It’s time to pitch your creative projects for William G. Davis Innovation Fund

Have an idea to improve your community or beyond? Online registration is now underway for the William G. Davis Innovation Fund!

Launched by Colleges Ontario help mark the 50th anniversary celebrations in 2017, the William G. Davis Innovation Fund contest encourages students and alumni from colleges across Ontario to pitch creative projects and initiatives that will compete for cash prizes Applications can be made in the categories of Entrepreneurialism, Health and Welfare, Arts and Culture or Community Benefit. Ideas must be achievable, sustainable, measurable, original, and linked to your college experience.

Entrants can be a graduate or current full-time student from one of Ontario’s 24 colleges with an idea that could improve Ontario and beyond.
The fund aims to support innovative thinking and initiatives from aspiring visionaries, artists, humanitarians or entrepreneurs who want to leverage their college education to start something amazing.

The first-place winner will receive $15,000 to help fund the project and the second-place entry will receive $5,000.

Online registration began on March 1 and will continue until May 30. Preliminary online voting will take place between June 1 and July 31. Finalists will be announced on August 15. Final online voting will be held between August 15 and November 5 and the winners will be announced on November 10.

“Niagara College students and alumni consistently demonstrate original thinking and entrepreneurship,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “I encourage our students and alumni to submit their creative ideas and make a pitch in this unique contest.”

The fund has been named after former premier William G. Davis, who served as Ontario’s education minister from 1962 to 1971 and brought in the legislation that established the college system. The fund has been named in his honour as a tribute to the bold and creative thinking that revolutionized post-secondary education in Ontario.

“When we launched the Ontario college system 50 years ago, I had hoped that we would create a meaningful and rewarding system that prepares students for a broad range of careers,” said the Honourable William G. Davis. “That hope was not only realized but surpassed. Today’s colleges are preparing students for many of today’s most challenging careers.

“This new fund will promote some of the truly innovative ideas being developed at colleges throughout the province,” he said. “It is truly an honour to have it established in my name.”
Full details about the fund, including full contest rules and regulations, can be found here: amazing50.ca/innovationfund

Niagara College business prof tops the X-Culture list

NC faculty member Navjote Khara, PhD, has won the Best X-Culture Instructor award.

X’ marks the spot for Niagara College (NC) professor Navjote Khara on the X-Culture’s score card for Best Instructor award.

Dr. Khara (PhD) a Niagara Falls resident, won the Best X-Culture Instructor award for 2016 from a field of skilled colleagues who participated in a global competition.

A partnership of 400 international business professors from around the world, X-Culture features virtual teams of six students – with each team member competing from a different country – spending a semester solving real business challenges represented by real companies. The best teams are invited to participate in the annual X-Culture symposium where they meet their team partners and top managers from the client company.

Khara, coordinator of NC’s Bachelor of Business Administration, International Commerce and Global Development program, teaches students who compete in the X-Culture event. She was among 30 of the highest ranking instructors to receive the award from a field of 100.

X-Culture project coordinator Vas Taras, X-Culture project coordinator, said Khara was among the best.

“We carefully measure their and their student’s performance. In 2016, based on our data, Khara was among the very best,” added Taras.

“The work that Dr. Khara does in bringing international collaboration into the classrooms enabling students to work on real, hands-on business projects is a great example of our global learning environment,” said NC dean of business, hospitality and environment, Vivian Kinnaird. “We are very proud of her commitment to our students.”

Khara was quick to focus the spotlight on her students, noting that when the instructors do well, so do the students.

“This achievement is linked to the student performance in terms of effort, intellectual contribution collegiality and other factors – I would say this award is for the best class,” said Khara. “It also reflects on the quality of our students, faculty, leadership and the School of Business’ efforts and capabilities to deliver high academic standards as well as benchmark our performance with the leading world colleges and universities.”

Undergraduates from 100 universities on six continents participate in X-Culture every semester. This is the third year that NC students have been participating, as a course requirement. Last year, NC student Gwendolyn Kitiwano won the prize for Best Report.

Only three Canadians received the Instructor award and Khara was the only winner from an Ontario college.

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For details about X-Culture, visit: x-culture.org
Currently celebrating its 50th year as a College of Applied Arts and Technology, Niagara College is a leader in applied education and a key contributor to the economies of Niagara and Ontario. A regional college with a global reach, Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs. Learn more at: www.niagaracollege.ca
For media inquiries:

Susan McConnell, Media Advisor
905-641-2252 x 4330
smcconnell@niagaracollege.ca

Knights Curling captures OCAA silver

The Niagara College women’s curling program captured a silver medal at the 2017 OCAA Curling Championship, hosted by Sault College in Sault St. Marie, on Sunday, February 19.

The Knights defeated the top-seeded Fleming knights in the semi-finals by before losing a tight 6-4 battle to the Humber Hawks in the Gold Medal game.

In addition to the silver medal, St. Catharines native Emma Caldwell was named an OCAA Second Team All-Star, while head coach Jordan thin was named OCAA Curling Coach of the year. This marks the second consecutive year Thin has earned the accolade.

The second place finish gives Niagara College intercollegiate athletics its first OCAA women’s curling medal since the 2012-13 season when they captured gold. The medal also gives the Knights five OCAA medals so far in 2016-17. The Niagara Knights women’s curling team consists of Lorelle Weavers (Burlington), Renee Boyce (St. Catharines), Courtney Smith (St. Catharines), and Emma Caldwell (St. Catharines).

The four-day event saw the Knights finish round robin play with a record of 4-2. In round robin play, the Niagara side secured victories over Mohawk (6-3), Fleming (8-5), Fanshawe (5-2), and Seneca (5-3). The team was beaten by St. Clair (7-5) and Humber (7-1).

The Knights advanced the medal round as the number four seed and faced the 5-1 Fleming Knights in the semi-final. The tight battle saw the two teams tied 3-3 after five ends. The turning point proved to be the sixth frame, when the Knights stole a pair, to go up 5-3. Fleming would take two points of their own in the seventh, but in the process gave Niagara the hammer for the eighth and final end. Niagara made no mistake, scoring two points to secure the 7-5 victory while advancing to the gold medal match.

The Knights faced the Humber Hawks in the championship game. In the round robin, the Hawks cruised to a lopsided 7-1 victory, in a performance that Knights Curling head coach Jordan Thin simply chalked up to “flat game” by his team.

The gold medal match proved to be much tighter. The two teams traded single points in the early stages. Niagara led a 2-1 after three ends. With the hammer in the fourth, the Hawks managed to score the elusive first two-point end. The Knights tied the game up in the fifth, but the Hawks once again scored a deuce in the sixth end to lead 5-3.
With the Hawks doubling down on clean and defensive play, Niagara managed to score a single point in the seventh end giving the Hawks a 5-4 lead heading into the final frame. The Hawks played clean, picked up a single point, and captured the hard fought 6-4 victory.

With the silver medal performance, the Knights now advance to the CCAA National Curling Championship being hosted from March 21-24 by the University of Alberta-Augustana in Camrose, Alberta.

A ‘crackling’ prototype

Niagara College won’t go breaking any ‘hearts’ this Valentine’s Day.

That’s because its Research & Innovation team has discovered a way to automate the process of cracking delicious heartnuts without breaking their heart-shaped shells or kernels!

After a 20-year search for a mechanized ‘heartnut sheller,’ local industry partner Grimo Nut Nursery has found new hope with the team of students, faculty and research experts with the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre at Niagara College.

Heartnuts are in high demand due to their attractive shape, mild subtle flavour and heart-healthy properties; however, without automation, commercialization of the heartnut-growing industry in Ontario has stalled. Until now, this specialty nut has had to be cracked manually due to the complexities of precisely breaking each nut, so the heart-shaped shell opens like a locket and inside remains an intact, heart-shaped kernel.

Grimo Nursery has partnered with the NC Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre for its research team to design, develop and fabricate a working prototype that automatically cracks heartnuts without breaking the aesthetic heart-shaped shell or inside flesh. There have been four other previous attempts, (by other businesses, individuals and another academic institution) at producing such a device.

“Niagara College was our last hope,” says Linda Grimo owner, along with her father Ernie, of the nut nursery. “Everyone struggled with the main complexity of aligning the nut to be oriented to crack on its seam, as it required innovative thought and an understanding of computer and electronic knowledge.”

The project was certainly a challenge, agrees Gord Maretzki a mechanical engineer and research lead with the Research & Innovation (R&I) division at NC. “We had to design a machine that was able to crack the variations in organic structure because each nut is asymmetrical and takes a different amount of cracking force.”

During the project Maretzki mentored two engineering students to have a crack at the complex mechanism. They incorporated the array of technology at their disposal within the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre, such as a state-of-the art 3D printer and a lab to devise a programmable logic controller and electrical pneumatic circuit schematics.

Like many, Brian Cunningham, an electrical engineering technology student and part of the research team at NC, had never heard of the heartnut before starting his research co-op in October, along with fellow mechanical engineering student Jacob Morris. “This challenge was very intriguing, but the most exciting part for me was the prospect of helping to expand a relatively niche industry right here in the Niagara Region. I’ve lived here my whole life, and seeing local businesses grow gives me a lot of pride.

“This experience has been nothing short of fantastic! Gord Maretzki has been an amazing mentor – he’s overflowing with knowledge and experience so I’ve tried to absorb as much information as I can,” added Cunningham.

Combined with his class studies at the College, Cunningham says he’s been able to gain a greater balance of technical skills, theoretical knowledge, and a better understanding of how a research and development project comes together as a whole. “I’ve also been able to improve my interpersonal skills by working directly with actual clients and collaborating with my research team,” he said.

As for Grimo, she is quick to praise the research team at NC. “The Niagara College team was enthusiastic right from the start. They saw the value in our idea. They developed a work plan and have kept us engaged in the process.

“We are so impressed with the students’ professionalism and their keen interest.

“It’s almost hard to believe that ‘we’ are contributing to their real-world experience when they have made this possible for us.”
Background

Grimo Nut Nursery, a company and farm based out of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., since 1974, is best known for selling Canadian hardy nut and fruit trees to backyard growers and nut-tree farmers. Trees for sale from their 14-acre farm include walnut, hazelnut, butternut, chestnut, pawpaw, quince and mulberry, to name just a few. The heartnut is a cultivated variety of the Japanese walnut tree that has been shown to be well-suited to the Great Lakes fruit-growing region. The heartnut is less bitter and has twice the protein and fibre than the English walnut cultivate; it is loaded with antioxidants and is low in cholesterol.

Niagara College’s Research & Innovation division provides real-world solutions for business, key industry sectors and the community through applied research and knowledge transfer activities. We conduct projects that provide innovative solutions, such as producing and testing prototypes, evaluating new technologies, and developing new or improved products or processes for small-and medium-sized businesses. Students and graduates are hired to work alongside faculty researchers to assist industry partners leap forward in the marketplace. For more information, visit ncinnovation.ca
Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs, as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Continuing Education courses. www.niagaracollege.ca

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Media inquiries, please contact: Susan McConnell
Media Advisor, Niagara College, 905 641-2252 ext. 4330