Main Content

May 17, 2018

Sharing the fruits of research: studying the state of the apple industry in the Okanagan

The amount of land in the Okanagan Valley dedicated to growing apples dropped by 35 per cent between 2001 and 2011 — a shift that led to substantial changes in the industry, with broad repercussions for processing and distribution, and inspired two Okanagan College School of Business professors, Lee Cartier and Svan Lembke, to examine the situation and the new opportunities it has given rise to. Their work looked in particular at the links among “clusters” — the interconnected businesses, suppliers and other organizations in a geographic area that are all involved in the same industry. Cartier and Lembke found... Read more
Read more
May 17, 2018

Packaging dreams by robot

Bright and shiny lottery tickets get purchasers seats to fantasyland—a destination so popular that it’s hard for Pollard Banknote Ltd., a leading global producer of high-volume gaming tickets, to keep up with the high demand for the tickets it produces in its facility in Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario. But for Pollard to expand its market it needs to make its packaging more efficient — by automating with robotics. That need led it to partner with Sault College researchers, who were asked to develop custom software, and to design and deploy hardware in the College’s Robotics lab. By working with... Read more
Read more
May 17, 2018

A big problem for Little Harbour

In picturesque Little Harbour, Nova Scotia, the livelihoods and pastimes of residents are inextricably linked to the water. More than 650 permanent and seasonal homes, along with six commercial shellfish harvesting areas, lie along Little Harbour’s 31.5 kilometres of shoreline. But the beauty and prosperity of the area is being undermined by water contamination levels in the harbor, which have been on the rise for some years. The main contaminant is fecal coliform—the bacteria found in feces, and one that can accumulate in shellfish tissue. The presence of fecal coliform and the disease-causing pathogens it can contain has had an... Read more
Read more
May 17, 2018

Battling Arctic weather to test climate change monitoring equipment

Temperatures are warming in the Arctic much faster than in other parts of the planet, and are having a serious impact on Northern Canadian ways of life, roads, infrastructure and wildlife, to an extent unimagined in the south. However, it is possible the North is a harbinger of things to come elsewhere and offers an early chance to learn about what climate change does, and perhaps how to mitigate its effects. Furthermore, the arctic contains huge stores of greenhouse gases; the potential impact of their release is not well understood. For all those reasons, tracking changes in arctic temperatures and... Read more
Read more
May 16, 2018

Bridging the gap between parking management and technology

Drivers with smart cars and smart phones are looking for smarter parking spots, and Precise ParkLink is working to meet that demand. Precise ParkLink is a North York, Ontario-based company involved in all aspects of the parking business, from building parking lots to providing equipment and attendants for them, to managing the revenue they generate. Having recognized that as the public becomes more tech savvy and dependant on its mobile phones, its expectation for a different way to pay for parking would grow, Precise ParkLink developed a web-based portal called i PASS, designed to streamline the process. Precise ParkLink then... Read more
Read more
May 16, 2018

A mobile platform to keep patients safely in one place — home

When something goes wrong and patients have to return to hospital for the same problem in the month after they’ve been discharged, it takes a toll both on the individual and the health system. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, hospital readmissions cost the healthcare system as much as $1.8 billion per year. It’s estimated, however, that almost 60 per cent of those readmissions could be avoided if those who were most likely to have to return to hospital could be identified and given better care before and after discharge. Older people, those with multiple health problems, those... Read more
Read more
May 16, 2018

A bit of research today keeps the doctor away — from the apples

Apples, the fruit that famously keeps the doctor away, are getting some help to keep away unwanted visitors themselves. Ontario’s apple trees are facing damage from a new pest – the apple leaf curling midge. The galls (bumps that appear on leaves) produced by the midges can interfere with the normal growth and development of the terminal shoots of young apple trees, which delays or stunts their structural development. It’s a particular problem in Durham Region, where the amount of land dedicated to growing apples has doubled in the last five years, because young trees are particularly affected, but apple... Read more
Read more
May 16, 2018

Easier video surveillance

Lanoptic Video Solutions Inc. designs, sells and supports digital video devices for security and surveillance. It recently developed a system for installing digital video cameras that combines the mounting system with tools and a fastener. Called Novattach, the system makes cameras much simpler and faster to install than traditional methods. Lanoptic, however, wanted to reduce the device’s overall cost without affecting its functionality and turned to researchers and students at Durham College for help, with a goal of ultimately creating a family of engineered solutions. Two students from the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program worked on this project, creating designs for... Read more
Read more
May 16, 2018

Tracking the Wanderers

People with autism or dementia tend to wander, which puts them at risk — so knowing their whereabouts are being tracked 24/7 can give their caregivers peace of mind and help ensure the wandering one’s safety. That’s why Strategic Smart Inc. developed WeTraq. Unlike other tracking tools that use Bluetooth or GPS, WeTraq is an “internet of things” device. That’s the phrase used to describe objects, from cars to heart monitors, which have embedded software and sensors capable of collecting data and sharing it. WeTraq is a credit-card-sized device that works by connecting wirelessly to smart phones via its mobile... Read more
Read more
May 16, 2018

Flying out of college to a job with kiteboarding innovation

Ocean Rodeo came to Camosun College with a problem. The company, a kiteboard manufacturer, wanted to build a new kind of composite control bar for kiteboards — but could a "plastic" bar hold up to the rigours of kiteboarding? After meeting with the Camosun Innovates team, Ocean Rodeo agreed to partner with the college on an NSERC Engage Grant, and first year mechanical engineering technology student Ben Costin was hired to work part time with Camosun Innovates on the project. Ben conducted a series of destructive tests that mimicked and exceeded the stresses and forces that kite-boarders would put on... Read more
Read more