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Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Niagara students to be showcased on Parliament Hill

Three students from Niagara College will have projects showcased at Parliament Hill on Monday and Tuesday. Their work will be highlighted to MPs from across Canada as part of two parliamentary showcases.

The first showcase is the Colleges and Institutes Canada Student Innovation Showcase, to be held in the Sir John A Macdonald Building on Monday.

The showcase will highlight the work of fifteen students chosen from across Canada, two of which are from Niagara.

Alex Davis, a research associate with the college’s research and innovation’s digital media and web solutions team, was chosen for his help in developing an innovative user interface for an intelligent bedsheet design.

The bedsheet acts as a medical monitor, eliminating the need for wires and attachments to the body. It is especially valuable for monitoring the health of the elderly and newborns and has helped medical professionals to annotate respiration charts, view historical data and statistics, adjust alarm thresholds, amongst others.

Brian Cunningham, research associate with the college’s walker advanced manufacturing innovation centre, was part of a team that developed a prototype for a ground-breaking nut cracker. 

The nut cracker was developed for Grimo Nut Nursery in Niagara-on-the-Lake to crack heart nuts — a variation of a walnut and utilizes pneumatics for quick feeding and positioning of the heartnut. The device also has programmable logic control (PLC) system to control and fine tune the machine’s operations, and a proprietary nut-cracking chamber.

“It’s a little overwhelming being recognized on a scale like this for one of the first web applications I’ve ever made from scratch,” said Davis, who lives in St. Catharines. “Nevertheless, it’s an incredible opportunity to be able to demonstrate my work with research and innovation at a national level, and I can’t wait to see what kinds of avenues it opens up.”

The second showcase will be the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Parliamentary Outreach Event on Tuesday, also at the Sir John A Macdonald Building, Parliament Hill.

Nathan Knapp-Blezius, a student from Niagara College’s culinary innovation and food technology program, and a CFWI research assistant at the CFWI Innovation Centre, was selected for his work  with the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) #IAMInnovation campaign, which raises awareness of the work being done in labs across the country using CFI-funded equipment.

Eight students from across the country were selected to be showcased.

Knapp-Blezius was the only college student selected.

“Potential starts with the people you choose to surround yourself with,” said Nathan. “I’ve never felt as driven or capable as I do alongside the people in the (CFWI) Innovation Centre. I love my work and any success I have is reflection of that.”

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