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Durham College launches Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation

Durham College (DC) is responding to the ever-changing and complex threat landscape of cyberattacks, including data breaches and service disruptions and misdirections, with the launch of the Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation. The launch of the college’s fourth applied research centre was announced at an event this morning.

“Cybersecurity is an increasingly significant risk to business, no matter what size or scale, and very few are prepared to respond or equipped with the proactive knowledge of how to protect themselves,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “The Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation is our solution for business and industry to help build capacity and the systems they need to protect their interests.”

The centre is designed to be a collaborative enterprise between DC’s Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE), Centre for Professional and Part-time Learning and School of Business, IT & Management.

Services will include:

  • Applied research in cybersecurity with acute focus on technologies for cyber range deployments, threat intelligence, anomaly detection and incident management.
  • Micro-credentials that provide training in industry-accredited programs at various levels. These flexible part-time programs and courses will appeal to individuals seeking development opportunities to advance or change their careers.
  • A Cybersecurity graduate certificate program that prepares aspiring cybersecurity professionals to work in the industry.
  • Conferences and seminars held in collaboration with corporate partners and high-profile industry experts to increase public awareness.

A number of industry leaders attended the launch event and participated in a panel discussion, speaking to the need for the Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation and the positive impact it will have on their industry. Speakers included:

  • Farooq Naiyer, chief information security officer, ORION
  • Ishwinder Cheema, manager, Technical Account Management, Zscaler
  • Jeff Dawley, founder, Cybersecurity Compliance Corp
  • Ted de Vos, president, SIMNET
  • Heather Ricciuto, Academic Outreach Leader, IBM Security

“With ORSIE celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2020, I can think of no better way to kick off this milestone year than with the launch of DC’s fourth applied research centre,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, ORSIE. “DC is an established leader in innovative applied research and the Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation is a natural complement to our AI Hub, Centre for Craft Brewing Innovation and Mixed Reality Capture Studio.”

“The college’s applied research centres embody the vision of our extraordinary employees,” said Lovisa. “It is through their expertise and dedication that DC is leading the way in supporting, transforming and advancing economic prosperity in Durham Region and beyond.”

For more information visit www.durhamcollege.ca/CentreForCybersecurityInnovation.


Durham College opens Mixed Reality Capture Studio

On January 23, Durham College’s (DC) Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE) once again found itself on the leading edge of technology with the opening of the Mixed Reality Capture Studio (the MRC Studio).

What is mixed reality? It’s the result of blending the physical and digital worlds and refers to the merging or combination of virtual environments and real environments where both worlds can exist together.

Designed to offer organizations access to technical expertise, student talent and a state-of-the-art motion capture stage, and featuring one of only three Captury Live systems in Canada, the MRC Studio allows businesses to develop experiential applications that integrate motion capture, virtual reality, augmented reality and virtual production. 

Here are just a few things clients can do at the MRC Studio:

  • Build or import virtual spaces.
  • Develop immersive and interactive simulation scenarios for multiple applications:
    • Use simulations for training.
    • Use simulation environments for performance optimization, safety engineering, testing education and within the entertainment industry.

The third applied research centre at DC, the MRC Studio has been established in collaboration with the School of Media, Art & Design (MAD). It joins the AI Hub and Centre for Craft Brewing Innovation in offering organizations opportunities to increase productivity, growth and market potential while also supporting student experiential learning. 

MAD also offers academic programs that will utilize MRC technologies to train students, augmenting classroom learning and making them job-ready.

For more information visit www.durhamcollege.ca/mrcstudio.


Construction begins on Durham College’s Whitby campus Phase IV expansion

On January 16, Durham College (DC) employees, students and members of the broader community gathered at the Whitby campus to celebrate the start of construction on its Phase IV expansion, which has been designed to shine a spotlight on skilled trades training, innovation and education.

Also in attendance were Member of Parliament for Whitby, Ryan Turnbull; Member of Provincial Parliament, Lorne Coe; John Henry, chair for the Regional Municipality of Durham; and Whitby Deputy Mayor Steve Yamada, who, along with DC President Don Lovisa, spoke of the challenges currently facing skilled trades.

“The college continuously hears from its partners that they need more skilled workers and would like new programs developed to focus on emerging industries,” said Lovisa. “Yet in spite of our current efforts, the ability to keep up with the demand remains a challenge due to the physical space constraints at the Whitby campus. For example, the student population has increased by 130 per cent in the past 10 years.”

Given the skilled labour shortage at the regional, provincial and national level, the timing of this new project could not be better. Colleges Ontario forecasts that by 2030 the province will face a skilled labour shortage of more than 500,000 workers.

When it comes to skilled trades at DC, data from the last three years was recently studied, looking at seats available compared to applications for nine trades programs. It was found there were approximately 2,400 seats available, yet the college received approximately 7,000 applications for these programs.

To address this demand, the college has been undertaking development and diversification in Whitby since 2009. Phase IV will result in a 60,000 square-foot expansion, allowing DC to increase its student intake in Whitby by 700 to 750 over three to five years.

“More space will allow the college to focus on high-priority industries – DC’s post-secondary Electrical Engineering Technician, Electrical Techniques, Mechanical Technician – Elevating Devices and Mechanical Techniques – Plumbing programs, as well as the Electrician – Construction and Maintenance, Elevating Devices Mechanic and Plumber apprenticeship programs,” said Rebecca Milburn, executive dean of the School of Skilled Trades, Apprenticeship and Renewable Technology and principal at the Whitby campus. “Once complete, this expansion will significantly increase DC’s industrial skilled trades training capacity, while also creating more opportunities to participate in applied research projects to advance innovation and knowledge.”

The following are some of the unique features of the expansion:

  • A double-height shop lab to address the specialized needs of both the mechanical and construction programs. Home to a two-storey building model, the lab will allow plumbing students to work underneath it while elevating devices students will be able to work in an easily accessible dual-level elevator shaft.
  • Classrooms with moveable walls and furniture to accommodate various configurations.
  • Training labs with dedicated space and equipment for a range of post-secondary and apprenticeship programs.
  • Student touchdown spaces.
  • A fitness centre.
  • A food services facility.

Partnering with DC to help fund the expansion is the Town of Whitby, who is generously contributing $1 million over a five-year period to support the construction. A Building for Skills capital campaign will also be launched shortly to generate additional donations.

More information about the Phase IV expansion, as well as construction progress updates can be found at www.durhamcollege.ca/skills.


Durham College named one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for 2020

Durham College (DC) has been named one of the Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for 2020. Awarded to organizations for their progressive, forward-thinking employee programs, this is the ninth time the college has received the honour.

DC is proud to be recognized for its culture of collaboration, fostered by events such as the annual Retreat with the President, where employees have the opportunity to provide direct feedback and ideas to college leadership on how to improve the DC experience for the entire campus community.

The various supports offered by DC were also acknowledged including generous contributions to the defined benefit pension plan and subsidized access to the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre.

It was also noted the support does not stop once a DC employee retires. From retirement planning assistance prior to their departure to maintaining the connection between former employees and the college through the Retiree Association, DC encourages and helps its employees from the beginning of their careers, all the way up to their transition into the next chapter of their lives.

Greater Toronto’s Top Employers is an annual competition organized by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. This special designation recognizes the Greater Toronto Area employers that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. Organizations are judged on several categories including physical workplace; work and social atmosphere; health, financial and family benefits; vacation and time off; employee communications; performance management; training and skills development; and community involvement. Employers are compared to other organizations in their field to determine which offer the most progressive and forward-thinking programs. 

More information can be found on DC’s Greater Toronto Top Employers profile.


DC celebrates opening of Energy Innovation Centre and completion of geothermal field

On October 22, Durham College (DC) celebrated the completion of its geothermal field and grand opening of its Energy Innovation Centre (EIC), which together leverage clean, sustainable underground thermal energy for the heating and cooling of the college’s Gordon Willey building.

“This facility is such a great addition to our Oshawa campus,” said Marianne Marando, associate vice-president, Academic at DC. “Not only will the Energy Innovation Centre work in tandem with our green initiatives to reduce the college’s carbon footprint, but it will do so while providing our students with a unique living lab that offers both a self-guided learning experience for all students and experiential learning opportunities for students in select programs.”

Stephane Chayer, vice-president of Smart Infrastructure at Siemens Canada spoke on behalf of the organization at the opening and presented DC with a cheque for $27,500 – a grant awarded via the Siemens Empower Sustainability Education program that will further assist DC in its applied learning student opportunities. Siemens Canada is the primary contractor and industry partner for the geothermal project and EIC and provided valuable expertise throughout the entire process.

“We’re very appreciative of our relationship with Durham College and proud that they chose Siemens as their partner to help make the geothermal field and Energy Innovation Centre a reality,” said Stephane Chayer, vice-president of Smart Infrastructure, Siemens Canada. “DC is a trailblazing Ontario institution in its commitment to sustainability leadership, innovation and applied learning – we’re confident that this project positively contributes to Durham’s energy transformation on campus.” 

Open to students, employees and the public, the EIC facility provides an exhibit-like atmosphere where visitors can learn more about how the geothermal system works through signage and interactive touch screen monitors that feature system diagrams and performance metrics. Additionally, a real-time energy dashboard provides insight on campus energy savings and the reduction of associated greenhouse gas emissions.

This project is just part of the ongoing transformation of DC’s energy infrastructure to support and implement sustainably focused initiatives on campus. This past year, the college’s Centre for Collaborative Education achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED®) Gold level certification. Additionally, DC was named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for the third consecutive year in a row.

For more information on how the geothermal system at DC works, check out the video below created by Siemens Canada.


DC’s Centre for Collaborative Education has achieved LEED Gold level certification

Durham College (DC) is proud to announce that its Centre for Collaborative Education (CFCE), a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED®) certified project, has achieved Gold level certification in LEED’s green building program through the Canada Green Building Council® (CaGBC).

The LEED green building program is the pre-eminent program for the design, construction, maintenance and operation of high-performance green buildings. The certification distinguishes building projects that have demonstrated a commitment to sustainability by meeting the highest performance standards.

“We are thrilled to have achieved LEED Gold certification for the Centre for Collaborative Education, our first on campus, and one of the few LEED certified buildings in Oshawa,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “This accolade highlights just one of the many ways that Durham College is a leader in sustainability. We work hard to create a green-friendly campus that puts the student experience first, while reducing our impact on the environment.”

Of the seven categories the building was evaluated on, the CFCE scored the highest in the Energy and Atmosphere category, receiving full points in energy performance optimization, underscoring the college’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. The CaGBC also awarded points for features such as the CFCE’s Green Cleaning policy, which requires the use of cleaning materials that have a low impact on the environment, and the implementation of a vegetated green roof and reflective roofing, which help reduce heat absorption.

“The use of natural daylighting, a focus on air quality, and the living wall are all aspects of the building that create an environment that encourages visitors to focus more fully and attentively on what they’re doing, whether they’re attending class, studying, or working,” said Alan Dunn, associate vice-president, Facilities and Ancillary Services. “Constructing a building that has achieved such a high standard in minimizing our environmental impact has also increased the knowledge base among our facilities team and raises the bar for ourselves and future projects.”

Located at the college’s Oshawa campus, the multi-level, 75,000-square-foot CFCE prioritizes the student experience and sustainability in all aspects of its design and function and is home to signature learning spaces including the 360insights Entrepreneurship Centre, Global Classroom, First Peoples Indigenous Centre and Durham College Spa.

LEED is a rating system that is recognized as the international mark of excellence for green building in over 160 countries. Since 2002, the CaGBC and LEED Canada have been redefining the buildings and communities where Canadians live, work and learn. Learn more at cagbc.org/LEED.


DC to launch new Honours Bachelor of Behavioural Science

Durham College (DC) has received consent from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to offer a new Honours Bachelor of Behavioural Science (BBS). Based at the college’s Oshawa campus and beginning in September 2020, the Honours BBS will be DC’s second degree program following the successful launch of the Honours Bachelor of Health Care Technology Management in 2018.

“Ontario is seeing an increasing incidence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children and youth, dementia in seniors, as well as individuals with addictions and acquired brain injuries,” said Dr. Judeline Innocent, executive dean of DC’s School of Health & Community Services (HCS). “As agencies and long-term care facilities prepare for the increasing numbers in these client populations, the need for more qualified professionals in the areas of health, community and social services will also increase. With the Honours Bachelor of Behavioural Science, our graduates will be ready to not only meet this need but become leaders in these fields as well.”

Offering a comprehensive mix of courses which balance theory and practice, the Honours BBS program of study will focus on six themes:

  • Applied Behaviour Analysis
  • Populations
  • Psychology
  • Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy
  • Research Methods and Design
  • Ethics and Professionalism

Students will complete a final thesis project and gain vital work experience in a professional setting through a 420-hour supervised field placement completed between the seventh and eighth semesters. Graduates will be prepared to work with individuals of all ages within a variety of health and community settings, helping people with addictions and mental health challenges, acquired brain injuries, dementia and pervasive developmental disabilities, including ASD.

“The Honours Bachelor of Behavioural Science is another example of Durham College delivering innovative programs in direct response to an identified need,” said DC president Don Lovisa. “It also demonstrates the value of the college maintaining close ties with industry and community partners.”

Under the leadership of the college’s HCS administration and faculty, the Honours BBS program was developed with guidance from psychologists, community and social service agencies, municipal services representatives, mental health workers and psychogeriatric services.

“The Honours Bachelor of Behavioural Science will provide graduates with professional competencies that link the scientific, clinical, communication and ethical aspects of behavioural science,” said program coordinator Mary Helen Leddy. “This will ensure our graduates develop a breadth of knowledge, skills and judgement to increase their opportunities both in terms of employment and future studies.”

As part of the program’s development, DC has articulated diploma-to-degree transfer pathways for graduates in three of the college’s existing programs: Child and Youth Care, Developmental Services Worker and Social Service Worker. These pathways provide eligible graduates from each of the identified diploma programs advanced standing in the Honours BBS program of study, affording an opportunity for them to complete the degree in a reduced amount of time or at a reduced course load.