Sarah Watts-Rynard is the new executive director with the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum - Forum canadien sur l'apprentissage (CAF-FCA), effective November 8, 2010. Watts-Rynard was previously with the Textiles Human Resources Council. According to Dan Mott, chair of CAF’s board of directors, “A thoughtful and enthusiastic individual, she has a wide array of skill sets, which will prove very valuable to the position with the CAF.”
Honeywell’s annual student competition, designed to inspire innovation in the process industries, is now open to students pursuing degrees in technical fields at accredited colleges and universities in North and South America. The Honeywell Users Group (HUG) student competition — which was originally launched in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region — challenges students to design automation solutions to common problems facing process manufacturers. This year, students can choose to design a plan that solves critical plant issues using either wireless technology or simulation software. Selected students will present their winning entries to leading manufacturing companies and potential employers at the annual Americas Honeywell Users Group Symposium customer conference, held each June in Phoenix, Ariz. “The HUG student competition is part of Honeywell’s overall initiative to help nurture the talent that will drive the future of our manufacturing industries,” said Norm Gilsdorf, president, Honeywell Process Solutions. “Our customers operate some of the most critical facilities in the world, and the goal of this program is to give students a taste of some of those real-world problems that require critical thinking and cutting-edge technology.” Honeywell launched the HUG student competition in 2008 at the 20th annual EMEA Honeywell Users’ Group Conference in Berlin. In addition to uncovering tomorrow’s process industry leaders from diverse countries and academic institutions, the competition seeks to align higher education with the realities and challenges of the industry. For more information, visit
Bringing together teams of entrepreneurs with different backgrounds and expertise to generate new business startups is the core concept behind a new Master's degree program at McMaster University. The Master of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MTEI) degree is designed to bring social science, humanities, arts and business graduates interested in starting up technology-based businesses together with engineering and science graduates. "We're responding to the growing number of inquiries from non-engineering and science students interested in starting businesses needing technology but lacking the technical background," explained Rafik Loutfy, director of the Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which will administer the program. "We also noticed that students in the engineering entrepreneurship program were informally teaming up with students in other disciplines to gain the marketing, finance or discipline-specific insight they lacked," added Loutfy. "It made sense to bring the two together."  Unique to the program will be the self-selection of interdisciplinary teams by the student entrepreneurs with the aim of starting a viable technology-based business. Teams will develop investor-ready proposals, including business, marketing and financing plans, during the 16-month program. Teams will also develop a support network of both technical and business mentors from academia and industry. "While entrepreneurs are celebrated for individual success, the reality is that they are successful because they can bring together and support the right team of expertise," said David Potter, director, Engineering & Management Program. "It's usually the right combination of personalities, background and knowledge working towards a common goal that sees an idea through the start-up phase." Teams will be encouraged to be comprised of individuals who specialize in marketing, finance and a field-specific discipline, such as health or energy, for example. Each team will include at least one engineering student. "Rather than have one or two people trying to learn about marketing, finance or a particular technology to start their business, that expertise can be sitting at the table, with each person having a stake in the success of the company," said Potter. The MTEI program complements the university's popular Master's of Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MEEI) degree, which was launched in 2005.  Students in the programs will learn and use an industry-proven, business start-up methodology, take core courses related to entrepreneurship, and take two electives of their choice. They will apply tools and concepts to the creation of their business as they learn. The new program is scheduled to start in September 2011 pending approval from the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies. Applications are now being accepted. More information can be found at The Faculty of Engineering is also adding an entrepreneurship stream to its five-year Engineering and Management undergraduate program, the first significant addition to the popular program in 30 years. Engineering students in the program moving into their second-year will take entrepreneurship courses and undertake a start-up project. Graduates will receive advance standing for the Master's entrepreneurship programs offered by the Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
SAIT Polytechnic’s Trades and Technology Complex recently received a huge boost when the families of two SAIT alumni – David Johnson and Murray Cobbe – announced that they will each contribute $5 million to the school's Promising Futures Campaign. During a celebration with hundreds of students and staff, SAIT president and CEO Irene Lewis called the gifts inspiring. “We are so very thankful for the generosity of the Johnson and Cobbe families,” says Lewis. “David and Murray are fine examples of what can be achieved through the power of inspiration, a lot of hard work and the knowledge gained through a polytechnic education. Their generosity will have significant impact on thousands of students each and every year, inspiring them to fulfill their own personal goals and achieve great results for Alberta’s economy.” The funds will be put towards construction of the three buildings that will comprise SAIT’s Trades and Technology Complex. When completed in 2012, they will provide the campus with more than 740,000 square feet of new training space to accommodate up to 8,100 more apprenticeship and full-time students every year. Areas of study benefitting most from the new space will be energy, construction and manufacturing. In recognition of the donations, the West Wing of the new Trades and Technology Complex will be named the “Johnson – Cobbe Energy Centre.” The facility will be more than 273,000 square feet and located near the centre of SAIT’s campus, completing the revitalization of the 14th Avenue entry from 14th Street to Heritage Hall.  Johnson and Cobbe have more than 70 years of combined experience in the energy industry. Johnson graduated from SAIT in 1976 from Petroleum Engineering Technology. He is the executive chairman of Progress Energy Resources Corp. and his experience includes production, reservoir evaluation and operations. ”We are impressed that SAIT is run like a business. SAIT’s board and management are accountable, responsible and effective. We truly believe that giving to education is the right thing to do and we, like other donors before us, know our contribution will be used purposefully,” says Johnson.  Cobbe graduated from SAIT’s Petroleum Engineering (Reservoir) program in 1970 and has worked primarily in the well services business.  "We have a real connection to SAIT as it represents the start of our careers. Our education provided us and many others with the basis to succeed,” says Cobbe, the executive chairman of Trican Well Service. “Providing this gift and giving others the opportunity to build a career is one of the most meaningful things I've been able to do. It will leave a lasting legacy." For more information on the Trades and Technology Complex, visit
The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum-Forum canadien sur l'apprentissage (CAF-FCA) has launched the CAF-FCA Employer Toolkit, designed to provide employers with tips on how to recruit and retain apprentices. The interactive web-based Employer Toolkit is aimed at employers who are interested in learning more about apprenticeship training. The toolkit includes: • Information on why it pays to hire an apprentice; • An online forum where employers can chat with one another and get answers to their questions; • Learn directly from other employers' experiences; and • A comprehensive list of all the available supports for employers who hire apprentices that is searchable by province or territory. "This toolkit should prove to be most helpful for all apprentice employers, particularly potential employers," said Terry Burton, Chair of the Workforce Development Committee, Construction Owners Association of Alberta. "I'm very pleased to see that the CAF-FCA is once again showing leadership and vision by championing this initiative. This tool will certainly help to convey the message and understanding that apprentices are essential to our industries', provinces' and country's future success." The CAF-FCA Employer Toolkit can be found at
McMaster University and NVIDIA, a developer of graphics processing units, have established the first NVIDIA CUDA Teaching Centre in Canada. The Centre, one of only 12 worldwide, will teach electrical and computer engineering students how to tap into the processing resources available in graphics processing units (GPU), and use them in computationally demanding applications. CUDA is a parallel computing architecture that enables dramatic increases in computing performance for graphics, 3D content, video and other processing-intensive applications by harnessing the power of GPUs. GPUs can potentially increase processing speeds by a factor of 10 to 100 times at a very minimal cost. This opens up a wide array of opportunities in multimedia, such as making computer games more lifelike, advancing production of 3D television and movies, developing new medical imaging technologies and surgical tools, and creating large simulation environments, such as those used in designing cars. "CUDA has the potential to revolutionize the way parallel processing is done, and create the next generation of high-performance multimedia applications and services," said David Capson, chair, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at McMaster. "It all hinges on having the expertise that can tap into the processing power and then apply it to other applications. The centre's job is to develop that expertise and use that knowledge." A Master's level course in CUDA began in September. NVIDIA is providing McMaster with teaching materials, high-end graphics cards for six workstations, as well as funding to start up the program. It is being taught by Alexandru Patriciu, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, and the principal investigator behind the initiative at McMaster.  "It's new technology and quite complex, so we're first offering the program at the Master's level," said Patriciu. "But, within four or five years, we plan to offer courses in CUDA at the undergraduate level as well." Richard Fanson, a Master's student in electrical and computer engineering working with Professor Patriciu, has already been using CUDA to accelerate the simulation of his research involving deformable object assembly and automated tissue manipulation, with a variety of potential applications including textile manufacturing and breast biopsies. "Simulations that previously would have taken an hour or two, I could accomplish in seconds," noted Fanson.
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), based in Dearborn, Mich., and Tooling University LLC (Tooling U), based in Cleveland, Ohio, have signed a definitive agreement for SME to acquire all outstanding shares of Tooling U, a provider of online training for the manufacturing industry. The move is an important step in SME's strategy to become the leader of content development and delivery, addressing the global and growing need for skilled labour. SME's certification products, in-person training and webinar offerings will be combined with Tooling U's online training platform and more than 400 courses to provide the global manufacturing community with a comprehensive source of manufacturing knowledge. Educating the current and future manufacturing work force is critical for the health and growth of the manufacturing industry. "By 2012, it is estimated the United States alone will be short three million skilled workers," said Barbara M. Fossum, PhD, FSME, and president of SME. "Acquiring Tooling U is part of a new initiative that will enable us to offer comprehensive learning and workforce development solutions to help companies combat this increasing talent shortage, and to provide a much broader span of continuing education opportunities for member career growth." The transaction is expected to close at the end of September. Following the acquisition, SME's Tooling U will continue to operate without interruption, providing online education with its existing staff from its base in Cleveland. Going forward, SME will invest in additional online courses and a more interactive interface to support all levels of employees, from the machinist and shop-floor worker to manufacturing engineers and management personnel.
To commemorate its 20th anniversary, supply chain and logistics management firm D.W. Morgan Company has launched its "Last Mile" Scholarship for college seniors around the world. Morgan will award a total of $20,000 US in January 2011, allotting $5,000 US grants to four finalists.   Students will be asked to come up with ways to apply emerging technologies and practices to improve the supply chain while making a positive impact on society and the planet. A grand-prize winner will also receive the opportunity for a paid internship in the summer of 2011 at Morgan's corporate headquarters or one of its field offices.   Named after Morgan's exclusive "last mile" service, which guarantees consistent on-site co-ordination of goods up to the very last mile in the manufacturing supply chain, the scholarship is open to students in their final year of post-secondary education, with a major or minor in supply chain management, logistics, transportation studies or a related field. Morgan's aim in creating the scholarship is to support innovative and socially conscious thinking among the future leaders of the supply chain industry, and provide assistance as they launch their careers.   "Whether it's a new feature that our drivers request for our iPhone application, a recommendation for consolidating loads from four trucks to one, or an employee-led incentive to reduce energy, Morgan is always looking for innovative ways to optimize the supply chain and make a positive impact," said D.W. Morgan founder and CEO David Morgan. "This scholarship is one way that we can encourage cutting-edge, socially responsible, and implementable practices for our company and the industry as a whole for the next 20 years."   To enter, students must create a video answering a two-part question: How do you see the supply chain evolving in the next 20 years; and what steps can supply chain executives take to ensure these changes in the industry make a positive impact on society and/or the planet? Students also must submit a college transcript and a written summary of their ideas. Entries will be accepted online at until December 1.   Judging will be done by an independent panel, which will include D.W. Morgan senior executives and other industry experts. Judges will make selections based on the originality, creativity and feasibility of ideas the applicants have presented, as well as the passion they've put into communicating them. Winners will be announced mid-January 2011.
Engineering graduates from McMaster University's class of 1962 have banded together to donate $3,043,000 to support entrepreneurs developing and bringing sustainable technologies to market. The funds will establish the Class of '62 Mechanical Engineering Chair in Eco-Entrepreneurship and a Fund for Sustainable Entrepreneurship. The Chair will reside in the Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice, with funds available to support students developing innovations. A search date for the Chair holder has yet to be determined. It is the largest donation ever made to McMaster's Faculty of Engineering. The six alumni making the donation are: Walter Booth (Burford, Ont.), Julius Brokloff (Mallorytown, Ont.), Irvine Hollis (Chatsworth, Ont.), David Male (Saskatoon, Sask.), George Menzies (Hamilton, Ont.), and Del Smith (Markham, Ont.). "We thought a gift from past students to support future entrepreneurs would be an ideal way to mark the upcoming 50th anniversary of the class," said Walter Booth on behalf of the donors, who still keep in close contact. "Being part of a first class, and entrepreneurial ourselves, we appreciate the type of support and encouragement new ventures need to succeed." The Chair in Eco-Entrepreneurship will investigate how public policy can be developed and implemented to encourage entrepreneurship in sustainable technologies. Government environmental and regulatory policies can strongly influence potential opportunities to develop new products and services, and determine the ability of a business to succeed. "This is a generous, visionary and necessary donation if we are serious about building a sustainable future," said Patrick Deane, president and vice-chancellor of McMaster University. "The donation shows the impact a group of friends, who came together in a class some 50 years ago, can have on the future. That's the power of universities in building lasting and influential friendships. That's the power of alumni." This gift builds on the $3 million previously donated by Booth to help establish the School of Engineering Practice. The School was formed in 2003 to provide engineers and scientists with the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary Master's studies in entrepreneurship and innovation, public policy, engineering design, and manufacturing engineering. There are 120 students currently enrolled. "There is no one better at taking ideas and turning them into reality than engineers who are also entrepreneurs," said David Wilkinson, dean of the Faculty of Engineering. "If anyone is up to the challenge of building a sustainable environment, they are. They already have the problem-solving skills. We provide the guidance and environment for them to become entrepreneurial. The support our alumni have both inspirational and practical in terms of achieving success." The Faculty launched a five-year strategic plan in 2009 focused on engineering a sustainable society. "Generating an idea is just the first step in addressing a problem or opportunity," said Samir Chidiac, director of the Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice. "Developing marketing strategies, addressing regulatory requirements, financing, and design and manufacturing, all weigh heavily in achieving viable solutions. The new Chair will help bring together these considerations to increase opportunities for success." The Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice is home to three centres supported by academic, industry and government partners: the ArcelorMittal Dofasco Centre for Engineering and Public Policy, General Motors of Canada Centre for Engineering Design, and the Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Hybrid vehicle development in Canada has received a huge jolt of propulsion. Professor Ali Emadi, a leading U.S. developer of electric powertrain technology, has been appointed Canada Excellence Research Chair in Hybrid Powertrain and will relocate to McMaster University.  The appointment will see the construction of a new 15,000 square-foot hybrid vehicle research facility at McMaster Innovation Park. The appointment was announced today by federal Minister of Industry Tony Clement and federal Minister of State for Science and Technology Gary Goodyear.  It is one of 19 new Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) appointments at 13 universities.  Each appointment receives up to $10 million in federal funding over seven years. “Canada has just been elevated another notch as a global leader in developing hybrid vehicle technology,” said Peter George, president and vice-chancellor, McMaster University.  “The appointment reinforces McMaster’s leadership in automotive research and places us at the forefront of hybrid vehicle research in this country.” "The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of supporting leading-edge research and world-class researchers," said The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry. "The CERC program confirms Canada's standing as a global centre of excellence in research and higher learning. This program supports our government's commitment to ensuring Canada's future economic growth by investing in innovation and research capacity in priority areas." Prof. Emadi is currently the Harris Perlstein Endowed Chair Professor of Engineering and director of the Electric Power and Power Electronics Centre at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.  He is also the founder and president of Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies, Inc., a spin-off company of the Institute. “The government’s commitment to research through the CERC program and McMaster’s vision for leadership in sustainable automotive research were too strong to resist,” said Prof. Emadi.  “I am looking forward to joining the strong network of automotive researchers in Canada and helping to advance the development of hybrid vehicles.” Prof. Emadi’s hybrid vehicle research facility will be part of a new 50,000 square-foot automotive resource centre being planned for McMaster Innovation Park.  The Centre is to be located within the current Careport building and bring together private and public sector organizations to develop new technologies such as hybrid engines, batteries and lightweight materials. “Dr. Emadi’s appointment adds to the critical mass of expertise being assembled at McMaster for developing the next generation of lightweight, energy-efficient vehicles,” said Mo Elbestawi, vice president research and international affairs.  “He will help attract more like-minded researchers and entrepreneurs, and his experience in spinning off start-up companies will be invaluable to the community.” Prof. Emadi’s research encompasses the development of advanced electric drive vehicles,  power electronics and motor drives, vehicle-to-grid interface of plug-in vehicles with Smart Grid, hybrid battery/super-capacitor energy storage systems, and adaptive vehicle control and power management systems. “One of Dr. Emadi’s strengths is systems integration,” said David Wilkinson, dean of the Faculty of Engineering.  “He has the insight and the knowledge of advanced technologies to shift hybrid vehicle research and development to another level in Canada.  He can move research closer to implementation.” Prof. Emadi is co-author of what is considered the world's leading introductory textbook on hybrid vehicles: Modern Electric, Hybrid Electric and Fuel Cell Vehicles: Fundamentals, Theory and Design. The second edition was published in September 2009. As part of his appointment, Prof. Emadi will also become director of the McMaster Institute for Automotive Research and Technology, known as MacAUTO, the coordinating body for automotive research and education at the university.  It encompasses some 75 researchers in engineering, science, business and other faculties involved in initiatives valued at over $100 million in programs and infrastructure. “His appointment is part of a strategy to introduce new programs and train engineers in the area of power engineering and electronics, control systems, Smart Grid, and related technologies,” said Wilkinson.  “McMaster will have the greatest concentration of powertrain research anywhere in the country.” The CERC program was announced in Budget 2008 as part of the federal government's Science and Technology Strategy to help build expertise in strategic areas. Research conducted by the chairholders will focus on the areas of environmental sciences and technologies, natural resources and energy, health and related life sciences and technologies, and information and communications technologies. The CERC program is administered jointly by Canada's three research granting agencies: the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
  More Ontario schools will put their technology skills to the test through the expansion of the FIRST Robotics Canada competition across the province. Ontario is helping FIRST Robotics Canada offer its competition to all school boards by fall 2010.   The competition is designed to increase student interest in science and technology careers through team challenges based on design, manufacturing, programming and testing.  Students who participate in FIRST Robotics competitions are more likely to attend postsecondary education, pursue a career in science, technology or engineering, and volunteer in their community according to a study by Brandeis University in Boston. Through the competition, students also develop their problem-solving, leadership and teamwork skills. The winners of the two recent Ontario regional competitions -- 10 teams in total -- will be heading to Atlanta, Georgia, for the Robotics World Championships on April 15 to 17, 2010, where they will face 340 teams from around the world.  
What better way to inspire tomorrow’s inventors, engineers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs - and address the future skilled labour shortage – than by launching a summer camp devoted to all things manufacturing? That’s the thought process behind a US-based joint venture involving Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs (NBT), The Foundation of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl. (FMA), and the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE). This summer,18 NACCE member community colleges throughout the United States will offer NBT summer manufacturing camps targeting youth at the critical level of secondary education. The camps will expose the students to math, science, engineering and entrepreneurship principles, while offering them the opportunity to see the technology being used in the industry. “Our new partnership sets in place a model curriculum to enable NACCE schools to conduct a series of summer manufacturing career exploration experiences for young people,” said Gerald Shankel, president & CEO of the FMA. In addition to learning about manufacturing technologies, participants will also learn how products become businesses and how small businesses are run. They’ll use technology to create a product from start to finish providing them practical manufacturing experience in 3D design, computer numerical control (CNC) programming, welding, machining, and more, while learning product creation, problem solving, entrepreneurship and team building. Visits to area manufacturers provide an up-close look at products being made as well as career advice and inspiration from the entrepreneurs who run the companies. While there are no camps scheduled for Canada this year, there are currently four member schools across the country that could be interested in joining the program in the future.
High school students from across the country will gather at the University of Waterloo this weekend for the qualification round of the FIRST robotics contest.
The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology is poised to launch students - and Canada's manufacturing sector - into the future with the country's first nanotechnology diploma
CMC Microsystems (CMC), a non-profit organization that has built a national microsystems ecosystem supporting researchers in 45 Canadian post-secondary institutions, has been awarded $40 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) to continue its innovative work. The announcement was made at the CMC headquarters in Kingston, Ont., by Minister of State Gary Goodyear. The impact of these funds will be felt in every province in Canada and in post-secondary institutions in over 30 Canadian cities. CMC, through its unique National Design Network (NDN), provides some 720 faculty members at 45 Canadian post-secondary institutions (along with several thousand graduate students, post doctoral fellows and research assistants) with resources to design, make and test microsystems prototypes. Over 40 supplier partners are also part of the NDN, through which these suppliers provide Canadian researchers with the latest commercial tools and technologies that otherwise would not be available to the researchers. CMC will also leverage a matching, additional $40 million in cash and in-kind contributions from Canadian industry and other partners. "Microelectronics research is a key component of developing tomorrow's technology. This funding will help maintain Canada's strong R&D capacity in this field," said Minister Goodyear. "CMC is a unique national resource that allows universities to access facilities and services that would otherwise be unavailable." Ian McWalter, president and CEO of CMC Microsystems, commented on the announcement, saying, "Microsystems will be a transformative technology in the next decade. These systems will change the way that health care is provided, the way we drive our cars, the efficiency of our energy use, and how we control our entertainment. This funding will help accelerate Canadian microsystems research, moving it quickly and efficiently on a path to commercialization and establishing Canada as a world leader." "NSERC has supported CMC since its inception in 1984 with funding for operating resources," said NSERC President Suzanne Fortier. "At present, CMC's services are used by approximately 720 professors and over 2,400 students. These students are valued by industry as highly trained personnel, central for exploiting new opportunities that involve microsystems." CMC provides computer-aided design and analysis software to researchers. Researchers are also provided crucial technical services, such as low-cost prototype manufacturing and system testing which are used to validate research and move concepts quickly toward a path to commercialization.
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