Camosun College

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    9,000 will be made over the next few weeks. see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Cindy E. Harnett

    The manufacturing of face shields for health-care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic gears up today through Camosun College’s innovation centre, where 9,000 will be made over the next few weeks. Using a design developed at Camosun, more than 124,000 shields will be made by the end of May through a Victoria-based company.

    The medical-grade transparent thermal plastic face shields, designed with Island Health, span from a person’s eyebrows to chest, and fit over goggles, glasses and medical masks to try to prevent, in this case, the novel coronavirus from infecting health care workers.

    “They are the first line of protection,” said Richard Gale, director of Camosun Innovates, the applied research and innovation arm of Camosun College.

    “We’re trying to respond to the immediate crisis with solutions that can be shared broadly and have an impact beyond the local.”

    Working at their campus facility and in collaboration with industry partner AP Plastics, Camosun will manufacture the 9,000 masks to fill an urgent need at Island Health.

    The college and health authority inked the deal on Monday night.

    “We’ve been working on spec just under the assumption that this was going to be needed no matter what,” said Gale.

    That deal and the initial production of 9,000 masks will also allow AP Plastics time to retool its manufacturing facility in Calgary to make the masks in greater volume.

    Camosun applied research technologist Matthew Zeleny, serving as the co-ordinator of the COVID-19 response activities, designed the face shield. Once Island Health reviewed the prototype it requested “some tweaks” including lengthening the shield to stretch to the wearer’s chest, said Gale.

    Zeleny replaced the face shield’s standard plastic headband with a strap. This was done to speed up production and enable the entire mask to be made in one go with a laser cutter. Camosun Innovates owns a laser cutter.

    “Basically for us, it meant that instead of doing roughly nine or 10 a day we could be doing roughly 90-100 a day and we knew that the need was growing exponentially and so we contacted AP Plastics to make sure we could source the materials,” said Gale.

    AP Plastics, based in Victoria on Simcoe Street, found the transparent plastic as well as the strapping. Materials such as plexiglass were considered but were too inflexible. The masks are manufactured using high-grade polyethylene terephthalate, called PETG. Both pieces can be put in a dishwasher for cleaning, said Gale.

    “The shield is designed with a built-in buckle so it’s adjustable and compatible with a wide range of strap materials for the greatest flexibility in real-world conditions,” said Zeleny.

    The masks, which can be flat packed, will be cut with a laser printer at Camosun.

    “When it gets sent to Island Health it will come in packages that include everything and they will just have to assemble it,” said Gale. “Our philosophy is to try to design a new process so that others can benefit.”

    The Camosun Technology Access Centre is an applied research and innovation centre providing access to specialized technology, equipment and expertise to local and regional companies. It’s funded by the federal government.

    In making 9,000 face shields, it hopes the design, which will be shared, could be used in other parts of Canada.

    “The British Columbia government has designated us an essential service, not only in terms of research activity but also to help our industry partners as they support the health care sector,” Gale said.

    “When the pandemic hit and we saw reports of health-care workers in urgent need of personal protective equipment, we reached out to Island Health and offered to help.”

    The University of Victoria, working with local entrepreneurs in a separate arrangement with Island Health, is assembling and distributing a different design of face shields.

    Island Health says it has been working with Vancouver Island post-secondary institutions and other local producers to develop 3D printed and laser-cut plastic prototypes for face shields that meet health system standards.

    “We are grateful for the innovative work being done by Camosun College to develop face shields that meet the health system standards,” said Leah Hollins, Island Health board chairperson.

    “This partnership is an example of how community efforts and expertise can result in direct support for health-care workers.”

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    The instructors have been using a virtual-classroom platform called Blackboard Collaborate see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Jeff Bell

    Transforming from a typical classroom setting to online teaching has gone better than expected for Camosun College nursing instructor Hannah Ashwood-Smith.

    Like other post-secondary institutions and schools across the country, Camosun has shifted from face-to-face instruction to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Staff has been stepping in with alternate methods of teaching.

    The Ministry of Education wants to see B.C.’s schools have new learning methods in place by mid-April.

    Ashwood-Smith said change came quickly for her. “Some of us in the nursing department had to switch almost in a weekend, and four of us have been teaching a heavy theory course online for two weeks now,” she said. “It’s been fascinating. It’s been a huge learning curve for us.”

    The instructors have been using a virtual-classroom platform called Blackboard Collaborate, downloading power points and trying to engage the class.

    Each of the four classes has about 40 students studying mental-health issues relating to the nursing profession and to patients. “It’s a whole different way of approaching education, with wonderful benefits and some challenges, too,” Ashwood-Smith said.

    Given the nature of the course content — especially during the pandemic — it’s important to check in with students about their feelings via methods such as online polling, she said.

    Students can also interact with instructors via Skype and other means.

    Second-year student Claire Fullerton said the move to online learning has been smooth, with Ashwood-Smith providing an online setting for the students to communicate. “You can raise your hand, there’s a button to agree, disagree.”

    Fullerton said students can also share a virtual whiteboard that they can write on and use to brainstorm.

    She said she almost likes that feature better than its classroom equivalent, “because everyone has access to it and we can all see it together.”

    Overall, the experience of online classes has been better than she expected, Fullerton said. “It’s not really just like a lecture format — we can all be part of the lecture and be adding our answers and doing group discussion.”

    Ashwood-Smith agreed the class dynamic is different online than in person. Students have a visual of her while she teaches, while they can choose whether they want to show their faces. “Some of them choose to put their mikes on and speak to me and speak to the class, and then those people who are a bit shier have the ability to just type in their comments,” Ashwood-Smith said. “Everyone can view their comments and then we can carry on a discussion.

    “You can keep them engaged in different ways.”

    The students will complete this semester’s classes in a few weeks. The goal has been to keep the nursing students’ education going without interruption, Ashwood-Smith said. “Because they really are going to be the heroes of tomorrow.”

    The switch to online learning has also been smooth at Brookes Westshore, an International Baccalaureate school for Grades 6 to 12. Its population of about 240 is split between day and international students.

    Preparations began before spring break and augment an already well-used online system where teachers can put up lesson plans, videos and other resources, said head of school Jerry Salvador. “That’s how we communicate with them all the time.”

    Now added to the mix is Microsoft Teams, which allows students to come online to work on activities established by their teacher. “The teacher can interact with the students and see what they need, if there’s any areas they don’t understand,” Salvador said. “So it’s not different to a regular class, except it’s done by online learning.

    “It’s like Zoom or Skype, but a little bit more geared toward schools. We can take attendance, students can interact.”

    The system is very user-friendly, Salvador said. “The kids adapt quite quickly to it.”

    Students can also set their own groups, so they can work together on projects even though they are apart, Salvador said.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    If you are interested in submitting a project proposal go to see more

    Camosun’s Information and Computer Systems Technology students are looking for Industry projects

    Deadline for proposals: November 12, 2018

    For over 30 years, Camosun’s Computer Science Department has been running Capstone Projects which successfully matched up industry, government and not-for-profit organizations with senior students in the Information and Computer Systems Technology diploma program. With newly acquired skills, these students are ready to design a software solution for many business problems and are looking for real-world experience to hone those skills.

    The program is now seeking IT projects for students to begin requirements gathering in January with implementation completed in late June. There is no cost to submit a proposal. However, if you are selected as a sponsor there will be symposium fee and a commitment to spend a couple of hours every week with your student team to work on the project.   

    If you are interested in submitting a project proposal go to and check out the information in the Handbook document and submit your project proposal by November 12, 2018.

    For more information contact:

    Saryta Schaerer
    Chair, Computing Science, Camosun College
    250 370 4451

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Camosun teams up with Nova Scotia Community College and Thales Canada to support marine industry... see more


    Camosun teams up with Nova Scotia Community College and Thales Canada to support marine industry training needs

    Maritime in-service support capabilities demands a diverse and skilled workforce with a range of technical competencies capable of responding to complex maintenance and repair work. Ensuring this talent is available and prepared to support the supply chain maintaining these new naval platforms is the goal of a new agreement between Thales Canada and its partners in education and government announced at DEFSEC 2018.

    To better identify and respond to workforce training requirements, and as part of its commitments on the AJISS program, Thales Canada has signed an agreement with Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), in partnership with Camosun College in British Columbia, to complete a bi-coastal analysis of the in-service support supply chain. Thales is the prime contractor for Canada’s AJISS program that will support the Royal Canadian Navy’s Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships and Joint Support Ships built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

    “Talent drives innovation, and our government is committed to supporting workers develop the skills needed to lead an innovative nation,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “These investments will help our shipbuilding industry, create more jobs for Canadian workers, and continue to grow our economy.”

    The first step under this agreement is a work force study that will provide insight into the marine in-service supply chains and inform industry and the colleges’ approach as they develop new and enhanced programming to assist with supplier competencies, respond to technology advancement and build an innovative, competitive and diverse workforce of the future.

    “We are committed to supporting the digital transformation of in-service support capabilities as part of the AJISS program, relying upon the creation of a robust Canadian supply chain,” said Mark Halinaty, President & CEO, Thales Canada. “Working together with post-secondary institutions to develop a diverse, skilled, productive and ready workforce is a key ingredient to ensuring that these vessels are mission-ready, where and when they are needed, from coast to coast to coast.”

    The two colleges have a long history in the development and delivery of marine programming and training.

    NSCC President Don Bureaux says, “The College’s mission is to help grow the province’s economy and quality of life through education and innovation, one learner at a time. Working with industry and post-secondary partners in identifying needs helps guide our work in support of the immense growth within this vital sector – growth which will take us through a generation of work.” He adds, “Charting a course to support the skills needs within that scope of work is important in preparing our students for emerging labour force opportunities. It’s exciting in this case to have a coast-to-coast perspective and sharing of resources through this partnership.”

    “Camosun is committed to ensuring the long term sustainability of marine sector training on Canada's west coast,” says Camosun College President Sherri Bell. “This partnership is a first step to developing a national strategy for the marine training sector and we are immensely proud to be working with ISED, Thales and NSCC on this important project.”

    DEFSEC Atlantic is the second largest Aerospace, Defence and Security industry conference in Canada. Focused on showcasing Atlantic Canadian opportunities, the show also incorporates elements of both a trade show and a defence procurement conference, attracting leading industry from across Canada.


    Cara Salci 
    National Director, Public Affairs & Communications 
    Thales Canada
    1-613-404-9413 |

    Kathleen Cameron
    External Relations Manager
    Nova Scotia Community College 
    1-902-499-7844 |

    Geoff Wilmshurst
    Vice President, Partnerships
    Camosun College
    250-217-2364 |

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    The one-day event on Oct. 24 will be a step toward improved collaboration within the industry. see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    Camosun, advanced manufacturing sector gear up for Innovate 2017

    Camosun College will be ground zero for the advanced manufacturing sector this month, as the industry comes together with its constituent stakeholders for Innovate 2017.

    Designed to highlight the issues the industry faces and discuss possible solutions, the one-day event on Oct. 24 will be a step toward improved collaboration within the industry and with training and education partners.

    “They want to gather and meet, organize and talk about the issues they have — and figure out how to solve them,” said organizer John Juricic, owner of Harbour Digital Media. “Getting people to talk about them is key. This showcase, the one-day symposium, is the first attempt at gathering people to start to talk about these issues,” said Juricic, who has been studying and consulting with the manufacturing sector on the Island for years.

    At the top of the agenda is discussing how to better integrate innovation into the workforce and into company operations, and seeing what impact that could have on the labour force.

    “We want a dynamic conversation about this, about growing the industry and increasing employment,” Juricic said.

    The showcase has booked four keynote speakers: Bill Collins of Quester Tangent, Dave Curtis of Viking Air, Tim Walzack from Camosun and Doug Pauze of Coastland Wood Industries. They will talk about the issues manufacturers face and how they’re being dealt with.

    There will be a panel discussion and back-and-forth to allow for an exchange of ideas on best practices and solutions.

    Curtis, Viking’s chief executive, said the forum to share ideas is essential for the industry, as each Island company faces a series of shared challenges. They include connectivity with the outside world, cost of living, labour shortages and transportation costs to get products on and off the Island.

    “As a group, whether it’s the [manufacturing associations or industry organizations], training, attracting and retaining a skilled workforce is top of mind,” Curtis said, noting his company is always looking for ways to shorten the training cycle and to attract new people.

    Curtis said that’s what his keynote will focus on, as well as telling Viking’s story and the impact various global factors have had on its production.

    The company, which manufactures Twin Otter aircraft, is in the midst of growing pains.

    It is both dealing with a production pause — it laid off more than 200 employees in the spring and is only now starting to hire people back — while it continues to explore the possibility of expanding its production to include the CL-415 water bomber, which until 2015 was manufactured by Bombardier.

    The addition of the water bomber to Viking’s production line could mean 900 new jobs. Curtis said they are working on the business plan and expect to approach Viking’s board for a “green light” early in the new year.

    Juricic said that alongside manufacturers, the showcase will attract economic development groups, human resources professionals, consultants and education institutions.

    So far, 80 people have registered for the event. There are tickets available for 120.

    The conference will be live-streamed for those unable to make it to Victoria. More information is available at:

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    10am to 2pm, Friday, August 18, 2017 / Centre for Trades, Education and Innovation see more

    2017 Mechanical Engineering Technology Showcase highlights student achievement

    10am to 2pmFriday, August 18, 2017 / Centre for Trades, Education and Innovation at Camosun’s Interurban Campus / 4461 Interurban Road, Victoria

    The public and the media are invited to attend the 2017 Mechanical Engineering Project Showcase. This special one-day event takes place at Camosun’s Interurban Campus on Friday, August 18 from10am to 2pm in the atrium of the Centre for Trades Education and Innovation (CTEI).

    “This is the capstone event for our graduating students,” says Ross Lyle, Chair of Camosun’s Mechanical Engineering Technology program. “Essentially, they start with an idea, work together as a team to create a conceptual solution, then develop that concept into a virtual working prototype. By the end of term, they have produced a working prototype ready to demonstrate.”

    This year, students have been taking full advantage of Camosun’s new 3D printing lab, as well as an updated manual and CNC machines to create parts for their projects.

    “Our instructors and lab technologists work to coach and guide the student teams, especially when challenges arise. It’s hard work, as students apply their skills to real world problems,” says Lyle. “The capstone projects are the highlight and most rewarding part of the program for our students. They get a clearer sense of what they are capable of accomplishing as technologists”.

    This year’s showcase features nine projects representing the contributions of 32 graduating students. Four of the projects were sponsored by industry, adding in an element of real-world applied research and learning.

    Working in teams, the second year students have been designing, fabricating and testing the following projects:

    A project from the 2016 showcase.

    Wind tunnel sensor

    To design and create a lift, drag and yaw sensor that will be fitted to the wind tunnel. This includes updating the wind tunnel itself.

    Induction heater

    This project involves automating a heating and quenching process. The project includes an input arrangement, an induction heating coil, a water bath/spray and an output storage point. (Industry Sponsored)

    Sheet-metal former

    This device will automate a sheet metal cutting and forming process from a continuous feed roll of metal. The length of the cut strips will be controlled and adjustable. The cut pieces will then enter an existing forming machine. (Industry Sponsored)

    Cooling vest

    To design and create a vest with a built in cooling circuit which can remove excess heat from a person’s body. The design was inspired to keep mascots and actors in costumes cool for long periods of time. The vest may also be of value to athletes, hikers, military personnel, etc.

    Vacuum former

    To design and create a low-cost vacuum forming table, which can be used in the mechanical machine shop to form plastic shapes.

    Kite air pump

    A novel, compact design to manually inflate kites for kite sailing in remote areas. (Industry Sponsored)

    Campus board

    a specialized rock-climbing wall (for campusing: hands only climbing). The wall will be 10 ft. tall, fully collapsible and includes electronic sensors. The angle of the board can be adjusted to increase or decrease the level of difficulty. (Industry Sponsored)

    2-stroke engine

    To design and create a small 2-stroke gasoline engine (similar in size to a gas lawn-mower engine).


    To design and create an environmentally-friendly egg incubator. This water-resistant design uses laser-cut cardboard, wooden dowels and cotton insulation (all compostable). The incubator includes a reusable electronic control system.

    “The showcase gives students an opportunity to showcase what they are able to do and for the public to see what they’re capable of doing,” says Lyle. “It brings everything together in a trade show environment. Each student has a booth and demonstrates the success of their product.”

    Photos and videos of last year’s projects are available online.

    Media Contact:

    Ross Lyle 
    Chair, Mechanical Engineering Technology
    Camosun College 

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Babcock Canada has donated $800,000 to launch a high-tech Interaction Lab at Camosun College’s Inter see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Carla Wilson

    Donation helps fuel Camosun high-tech interactive classes

    Photo: Matt Zeleny performs a 3-D scan of a bone in the high-tech Interaction Lab at Camosun College’s Interurban campus. Photograph By ADRIAN LAM, Times Colonist

    Babcock Canada has donated $800,000 to launch a high-tech Interaction Lab at Camosun College’s Interurban campus, part of a fundraising effort that has exceeded expectations amid growing recognition that more skilled trades workers need to be trained to meet demand.

    The donation from Babcock is the largest individual contribution to Camosun College Foundation’s TRADEmark of Excellence Campaign.

    The college’s fundraising effort has surged past the original $5-million goal, reaching $6.5 million.

    Funding the Interaction Lab made perfect sense to Mark Dixon, Babcock Canada president.

    “It is in our interest, as well as the local economy and the people, to try and promote more people getting into the trades,” he said.

    The Interaction Lab’s new equipment includes 3D printers, high-end scanners and virtual-reality technology. It allows students from different disciplines to work together using top-tier technology.

    Students will broaden their experiences, have the chance to be innovative, use their analytical skills and get comfortable using the latest technology, Dixon said. “I think it kind of brings them into the modern age.”

    Babcock Canada is a subsidiary of U.K.-based Babcock International, an engineering support-services organization serving customers around the globe.

    In Victoria, Babcock has the in-service support contract for Canada’s submarines.

    Tim Walzak, director of Camosun’s centre for applied research and innovation, said its current high-tech lab, called Camosun Innovates, is being expanded with the addition of the Babcock-funded equipment.

    The new lab will be installed in renovated space in the Jack White building, serving Camosun’s school of trades and technology students.

    The Babcock-funded technology will “really help us enhance what we already have,” Walzak said.

    The installation will be completed by July.

    “Once we move into the new space, it will give us great capacity to involve local companies in more and more projects,” Walzak said.

    Firms will have access to services and equipment that they would not have otherwise, he said.

    The lab’s open-door policy means all trades are welcome.

    One example of trades in technology is development of the “CamoSun” solar-heating system and installation. Many plumbing and pipefitting students are doing extra work for certification in this field. When they graduate, “they are fully tuned in to the latest approaches,” Walzak said.

    The 3-D technology means a small item can be scanned with laser or white light. Information from the scan is fed into a computer where it can be adjusted. Students can then print a 3-D model with their changes to try out. Dixon said this technology is already being used by Babcock to create equipment.

    Scanners can be used to gather information on a large area, such as a ship’s hull, and once that information goes into a computer, students can design what goes into that area.

    The TRADEmark campaign, which dovetailed with the new $30-million trades-training building at Camosun, raised money to buy equipment and renovate buildings.

    Donations came from individuals and companies, some owned by second- and third-generation families. Family gifts alone account for more than $1 million. Unions donated a total of $250,000.

    The campaign’s goal is to create a “trades powerhouse” at Camosun, said Murray Farmer, who chaired the initiative with wife Lynda.

    “From my point of view, you spend so much of your life working, you better be doing something that you really like. And if you can have a passion for what you are doing, you are going to do a better job, you are going to be more productive and you are going to just have a more fulfilled life.”

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Deadline for proposals: October 16, 2016 see more

    Camosun’s Computer Systems Technology students looking for Industry IT projects

    Deadline for proposals: October 16, 2016

    VICTORIA, BC (September 29, 2016) - Does your company or organization have a problem that needs a computing solution? For over 30 years, Camosun’s Capstone Project has successfully matched up industry, government and not-for-profit organizations with senior students in the Computer Systems Technology diploma program. With newly acquired skills, these students are ready to design a software solution for many business problems and are looking for real-world experience to hone those skills.
    The program is now seeking IT projects for students to begin requirements gathering in January with implementation completed in mid-June. If you are interested in submitting a project proposal, here’s how:
    1.      Read about the responsibilities and process of becoming a Capstone client at
    2.      Submit a project proposal before October 16, 2016 to Saryta Schaerer.

    There is no cost to submit a proposal. However, if you are selected as a match for one of our student teams, there will be symposium fee and a commitment to spend a couple of hours every week with your student team to get your project completed.

    For more information contact:
    Saryta Schaerer
    Chair, Computing Science, Camosun College
    250 370 4451

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Stark, 46, senior vice-president at game studio Kixeye Canada, will be presented with an award... see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    Clayton Stark will do something today that he’s not entirely comfortable with — accept plaudits and an honour from a school that gave him a chance to take on the world on his own terms.

    Stark, 46, senior vice-president at game studio Kixeye Canada, will be presented with an award from his alma mater, Camosun College, as its 2016 Distinguished Alumni during graduation ceremonies.

    The outspoken technology leade admits he’s a bit taken aback and humbled by the award.

    “My honest reaction was a big smile ... any kind of recognition is heartwarming, and this is an honour,” said Stark, sitting in his office at Bastion Square.

    At Kixeye, Stark is responsible for technical strategy and execution for the company’s online video game platform, which reaches tens of millions of users around the world.

    It’s a long way from his days learning mechanical engineering at Camosun between games of hacky sack and other recreational activities. Stark said he’s never forgotten the school and the pivotal role it played in setting him on his career path.

    “I think it proved to me that I could go from point A to point B, where there was quite a gap between the two, and make a transformative change in a relatively short period of time,” Stark says. “It was the first great example that allowed me to think I could pretty much do whatever I set my mind to.”

    Stark, who had no high school education, saw Camosun as the only means to getting a post-secondary education through its bridging program, an intensive six-month program that he said basically compressed all of high school into six months.

    After that he took and graduated from its three-year mechanical engineering program.

    The college helped him to establish confidence, which when married with knowledge allowed him to excel, he said.

    “Camosun gave me some wonderful opportunities ... I had good exposure to a lot of things. I took the investment [in school] as the minimal viable investment to start a career.”

    That led to work in oceanography, construction, energy management and software design and then into building top-flight technology and putting together strong tech teams.

    He helped to create a company called Flock, which was acquired in 2011 by San Francisco company Zynga, in a deal designed to lure strong tech talent to Silicon Valley.

    But Stark soon returned home to establish Zynga’s Victoria office, and in 2012 he joined game studio Kixeye and established that company’s first Canadian space in Bastion Square.

    He laughs when he considers how often over the years he, as the Camosun grad, has been around boardroom tables and held court with MIT, Harvard and Yale graduates. “I’ve always enjoyed the dynamic. It isn’t really about requiring a particular pedigree, it’s what you do with it.”

    When he talks with Camosun students, he said he tells them not to impose limits on themselves based on their level of education.

    “The limits you set yourself are going to be your biggest problem, it isn’t what school you go to.”


  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Full project opportunity details can be found at Camosun College Marketing Research Project see more

    Could your organization benefit from having a team of business students conduct focus groups and client surveys in order to gain insights into possible solutions to solve current marketing challenges? 

    Full project opportunity details can be found at Camosun College Marketing Research Project

    Please contact as soon as possible if you want to learn more or sign up.