On Sept.24, a crowd of more than 35 faculty and students filled the Applied Health Institute boardroom to learn about the work of Niagara Research in advanced manufacturing.
After a brief introduction to the department and their function within the College and the community, senior research Associate Mike Holderney recapped a few successful advanced manufacturing projects over the past year. These included projects in reverse engineering, product re-design, and process improvement for local businesses such as Koppers Fishing and Tackle Corp., Abatement Technologies, Norgen Biotek and Calhoun Sportswear. Then, with the aid of student research assistant Jonathan Pinchbeck, Holderney discussed current projects and the potential economic impact they may have for their industry partner. Current projects involve a brand new group of five industry partners with the exception of Norgen Biotek, a local biotechnology company approved for a second round of funding after a very positive first experience.
The captivating material led the majority of the crowd to remain after the presentation to discuss the projects in greater detail. Current first year Mechanical Engineering student Chris Grandmaison was highly engaged in the event.
“It is definitely a unique opportunity for the region to have academia help improve operations of a business, and it’s a great opportunity for us as students,” he said, following the presentation.
Marc Nantel, associate vice-president of Niagara Research, stated that of the 15 research projects conducted under a particular funding agency last year, 22 jobs were created. This statistic reflects the growth in business that Niagara Research can create, and the employment opportunities Niagara Research can present to students and recent graduates directly involved in the projects.
The Niagara Research Speakers Series continues on Monday October 29th (1:30-2:30pm, NOTL Campus – W212) with a focus on Food and Beverage Innovation, presented by research assistants Scott Dupuis, Becky Scott, Oksana Sytchouk, and Mike Ninhuys. A range of projects will be discussed, such as the recently completed project with MADD Virgin Drinks in which the research team created an alcohol-free lager that closely resembles the flavor profiles of a regular lager, but with less alcohol in it than Coca-Cola!