Improving earthquake safety with Mitacs-Accelerate

It is this knowledge that Kamloops-based firm West Edge Engineering Ltd. was looking for when they approached UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering.

There, they were teamed up with Engineering Masters student Konrad Duerr, through a Mitacs-Accelerate internship.

Konrad worked on implementing seismic hazard assessment computer software at West Edge, allowing the company to carry out earthquake risk assessments on buildings – something they had not been able to do before the internship.

Improving wheelchair safety

Airbags have been widely used to prevent injuries in automobile accidents for many years and Vancouver-based Mobisafe Systems Inc. has been examining ways to make wheelchairs safer using similar technology.

They approached the School of Engineering Science at Simon Fraser University, seeking academic research expertise on how to develop an “airbag” safety system for wheelchairs using a foam cushion.

Globalink Professor Profile: Dr. Elizabeth Croft from UBC

Having hosted Globalink students from India and Brazil at the CARIS Lab in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Dr. Croft was impressed by the strong work ethic and quick learning ability of the undergraduate visitors with whom she worked.

“Hosting a Globalink student helps my Masters and PhD students to learn and grow by giving them teaching and supervisory experience. But mostly, they gain from the diversity of experience and the different kinds of questions that our Globalink student brings every year.”

Mitacs-Accelerate Professor Profile: Dr. Afzal Suleman

A professor at the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Engineering, Dr. Suleman has been participating in the program since its inception, with more than 15 internships supervised so far.

“Because each project has an industry partner that is a for-profit company, there is a commercial element to it, so the research is more focused on industry needs and we get results much more quickly than if it was just academic research.  We can then identify other research issues and expand the project – we can go big.”

Mitacs-Accelerate on display for British Columbia’s technology industry

Ten BC  graduate student interns and their partner companies came together to exhibit the results of their Mitacs-Accelerate internships to the CEOs and venture capitalists of British Columbia’s technology community who were attending the BC Innovation Council’s A Dialogue…Building and Sustaining BC’s Technology Ecosystem.

Lighting the way to an energy-efficient future

With the cost of electricity continuing to rise, businesses and homes are looking at increasingly innovative ways to reduce consumption and help the environment.

While energy-efficient light bulbs and heating systems are now commonplace, Vancouver-based Unity Integration Corporation (UIC) looked to develop other technologies to help cut energy use in buildings even further.

UIC turned to Mitacs-Accelerate and Simon Fraser University for expertise on how to turn their idea of a low-cost, energy-efficient sensor system into reality.

Cultivating children’s creativity

Kibooco (short for “Kids Book Company”) Interactive is a technology startup whose aim is to encourage children’s creativity by developing an online e-book tool where children can create their own virtual and physical storybooks.  Being a small company with limited research resources, Kibooco reached out to the Mitacs-Accelerate program for support and expertise – and found Allen.

Stepped up networking skills

The networking workshop has helped boost his confidence in sharing his research outcomes.  “I am a social person naturally, but I lacked the formal training in how to act in a proper networking event.  Learning the little things, like carrying business cards, building a LinkedIn profile and simply how to approach a stranger and make small talk were all very beneficial, and the instructors were excellent.   Since I took the workshop, I have found that when I go to large events, I am better prepared to make meaningful connections with people in a natural way.”

Planning for growth in First Nations communities

Recognizing this challenge, EcoPlan International set out to develop communications tools that would assist First Nations leaders as they move forward on key community planning decisions.  They did so by partnering with University of British Columbia School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) Masters student, Juliet Van Vliet through Mitacs-Accelerate to develop a custom Geographic Information Systems (GIS) map database for several Métis communities in Alberta.

Discovering an engaging international community via Globalink

When Zoey’s professor in China described Mitacs Globalink as an international research program that could transform her perception of the world forever, she immediately applied.  Becoming part of a global community was a lifelong dream for this passionate medicine student and she was thrilled when she received the offer to do cancer detection research with Dr. Tim Storr in the Department of Chemistry at Simon Fraser University.

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