On April 27, Durham College’s (DC) Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE) hosted its seventh annual Research Day at the college’s Oshawa campus. Featuring a series of diverse breakout sessions, the event served to highlight and celebrate the leading-edge applied research being done by DC in collaboration with industry, institutional and community partners.
ORSIE staff were joined by members of DC’s Leadership Team, student and faculty researchers, and community, industry and government partners for a dynamic forum showcasing current applied research and innovation projects in areas of significance to the local and provincial economies including data analytics, automation and mobile applications.
The event aimed to create awareness of both the important role and impact of applied research to the community and how DC students are increasingly benefiting from such learning opportunities. The day’s theme also focused on the possibilities, opportunities and successes that exist when innovation meets entrepreneurship and how the advancement of both can make positive impacts on Durham Region and beyond.
Ryan Turnbull, founder and president of Eco-Ethonomics Inc., delivered a keynote address on the advancement of social innovation and social enterprises in Canada. He spoke about how industry, college faculty and – above all – students can solve humanity’s toughest challenges.
“College is a collaborative platform,” said Turnbull. “For students, I would challenge you to be passionately engaged in issues and learn while you practice. Experiment with solutions and don’t be afraid to actually generate solutions. Your learning experience doesn’t have to be just receiving; you can give. You can actually procreate your learning and educational experience.”
This year’s event also featured a demonstration of WeTraq, a global tracking device designed to help families stay connected with loved ones with autism, dementia and Alzheimer’s. Conceptualized by WeTraq CEO and founder Ishaan Singla, and brought to life through a collaboration with DC students and faculty, the credit card-sized device can be kept by those at risk of wandering so that family members can track their whereabouts around the world.
The morning concluded with an awards presentation recognizing the college’s top student and faculty researchers of the year.
DC Outstanding Student Researchers 2017
- Eric Mackie, third-year student, Computer Programmer Analyst
Second place (tie)
- Gregory Barnet, third-year student, Mechanical Engineering Technology
- Scott Rocha, second-year student, Computer Programmer
- Bolin Leung, graduate, Horticulture – Food and Farming
DC Outstanding Faculty Researchers 2017
- Amit Maraj, professor, School of Business IT & Management
- Clint MacDonald, professor, School of Business IT & Management
- Rob Braithwaite, professor, School of Science & Engineering Technology