Success Stories

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University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)

How a leading Ontario university is fostering innovation through collaboration.

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) External link has been around for less than a decade, but it is already a hotbed for innovative collaborations.

In just over seven years, UOIT has begun the transformation of industry in Durham Region, fostering tomorrow’s business technologies, products and services through successful research-industry collaborations — collaborations that will attract new talent, new business opportunities and more jobs for families in the region.

This past September saw the opening of the Clean Energy Research Lab (CERL) External link on UOIT’s north Oshawa campus, home to Canada Research Chair in Advanced Energy Systems, Greg Naterer External link, and his cleantech team.

A big part of their research involves the Marnoch Thermal Power External link heat engine. It is used to uncover new ways of generating electricity using industrial heat waste. An idea Marnoch’s president, Ian Marnoch, had several years ago that needed collaboration to be realized.

After getting in contact with the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) External link a member of the Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE) External link, he was connected with Naterer, who had the expertise to bring his idea to life.

By bringing together leading research minds with engineering and industrial expertise, Marnoch’s heat engine is projected to be fully commercialized by 2011. With the potential to produce enough clean energy to power a community, Marnoch is confident his product will be successful.

“Each university has their own model when it comes to working with industry and UOIT’s has been very conducive, very pro-active. This wouldn’t have been possible without their help and the help of the OCE,” said Marnoch.

The university is also at the front of the line in advanced automotive technologies and energy solutions through the development of the General Motors of Canada Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE) External link. Now in its final phase of construction, this cutting-edge centre for automotive safety and alternative fuel research is being built by partners, General Motors of Canada External link, the Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE) External link, the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada.

Researcher managing beet crop at the University of Guelph's Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility.

The interior of ACE’s one-of-a-kind climatic wind tunnel

This state-of-the-art facility will house one of the largest and most sophisticated wind tunnels in the world. It will enable researchers to test a vehicle under any weather condition imaginable, with the ability to create wind speeds in excess of 240 kilometers per hour and a 100 C temperature range, from -40 C to 60 C.

The ACE will also be hydrogen-capable, allowing for alternative fuel cell development, which GM plans to input into their vehicles.

With so much already accomplished in so few years, UOIT is delivering a bright future for Durham Region.