• Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    The building’s official opening is Sept. 7. see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Carla Wilson

    Royal Roads blends old and new in environmental science campus

    In just a few weeks, students and faculty will be filling the new $24.8-million Centre for Environmental Science and International Partnership at Royal Roads University. Classes start Sept. 4. Staff and faculty are moving in now and workers are taking care of finishing touches. The building’s official opening is Sept. 7.

    This is the latest project at Royal Roads, where the old garage and stables in the Mews, once used by the Dunsmuir family, has been converted for its new role. The project covers 51,666 square feet, with its new contemporary styled south-wing addition of 18,503 square feet.

    The facility includes three new state-of-the-art laboratories.

    Each classroom and common area has the latest audio/visual and information technology.

    “That means faster and more secure internet connectivity throughout, as well as a faster and more secure IT infrastructure in each classroom to allow students and instructors to easily share large documents and video files from any of their personal devices to in-class screens and projectors, to each other and to the cloud,” Carolyn Levesque, Royal Roads senior portfolio director, who oversees all capital projects, said in a statement.

    “Each classroom will also have the IT capability to host and participate in livestream online video conferencing to interact with students in other classrooms or even other institutions, locally, nationally or internationally.”

    The new Terry Power Strategic and Advanced International Studies outdoor classroom is an open-concept space next to the new development. It has been built with natural materials, including all-weather seating areas for up to 50 students, Levesque said.

    On-campus undergraduate programs in fields such as environmental science, tourism, business and international student programs will be using the building, which includes open spaces where students can meet.

    Several environmental features were incorporated:

    • It will have lower energy and emissions output than the smaller original Mews. Royal Roads anticipates saving 1,230 gigajoules in energy and expects to reduce by 44 tonnes of total carbon emissions annually. That accounts for about three per cent of the university’s total target of cutting greenhouse gases by 33 per cent, the school said in a statement.

    • “Smart glass” has been used because it adjusts its tint to block glare, ultraviolet radiation and solar overheating of spaces. It will also help reduce the numbers of birds flying into windows, the statement said.

    • Motion-controlled lights turn on only when people are using a space and half of the building’s electrical outlets will also turn off when a space is unoccupied, in order to cut down on wasted electricity. And CO2 sensors ensure that mechanical ventilation is activated only when spaces are occupied.

    • LED lights — more efficient than fluorescents — are used indoors and outdoors.

    • Outdoor lights have shields around them and direct their beams downward to avoid sending light pollution into the night sky.

    • Upgraded insulation means less heating and cooling will be needed to maintain indoor temperatures.

    • Nearly 60 per cent of the total floor area is made up of the existing wood-frame structure.

    • Water-bottle refill stations were installed to reduce one-time plastic water bottle use.

    • There are six electric vehicle chargers in nearby parking areas, along with bike racks, shelters and showers.

    The $24.8-million cost includes construction, new equipment, high-tech infrastructure, furniture and native plant lanscaping. Funding came from the federal government, the province, philanthropist Sherman Jen and from the university.

    The two-storey Mews is a federally recognized heritage building. It stands southwest of Hatley Castle on the Hatley Castle National Historic Site, which stands out near Esquimalt Lagoon.

    Built in the early 1900s for industrialist James Dunsmuir who inherited his family’s coal fortune, Hatley Castle is a landmark in Colwood. It was constructed in a Tudor Revival design by architect Samuel Maclure. The Dunsmuir family lived on the property of more than 560 acres until 1937.

    The property was purchased by the Department of National Defence in 1940 and it served as Royal Roads Military College. Royal Roads University was founded in 1995.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Students can inject the exact kind of adrenalin a company needs to spur innovation from within. see more

    Source: Globe and Mail
    Author: Steven Murphy

    Want your company to be more innovative? Hire co-op students

    Here’s a reality many business leaders confront at some point: corporate cultures can eat innovation strategies for breakfast.

    The inertia and soloing that can settle into any workplace can be antithetical to the boldness and flexibility required to drive innovation. So, what realistically can be accomplished?

    Large organizations typically try to be more innovative by setting up initiatives outside the “mothership,” with mixed results. (Many large teaching hospitals, for example, have adopted this approach). By spurring innovation outside the organization, companies might be able to create incremental change and innovation, but they could have difficulty leveraging these wins in the larger company culture. General Mills, Nestle and Pepsi recently went through experiments with outside incubators, with mixed results. Despite the uncertain evidence, we’re at a tipping point where if you’re not linked to an incubator, your business is seen as falling behind.

    Here’s another way to catalyze innovation in your business: bring in innovative students. Tech-savvy, resourceful, purpose-driven and unburdened by the baggage of corporate culture, students can inject the exact kind of adrenalin a company needs to spur innovation from within. But such initiatives need to be carefully managed or else they risk being “one-off” PR exercises.

    CIBC Mellon recently collaborated with Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management with this very idea in mind. Five Ryerson students were partnered with five CIBC Mellon employees for four months in an incubator space, the Business Innovation Hub, set up within the financial services firm. The hub was given a mandate to identify and find solutions for business opportunities and challenges the company was facing.

    The students came from a range of academic backgrounds – business technology management, accounting and finance, entrepreneurship and strategy. One of the students, Brendan Corney, even came from an environmental biology background and Anisan Luxmekanthan came from chemical engineering. The CIBC Mellon partners were just as diverse: senior fund accountants, client relations, a business development proposal writer, a technical support specialist in record-keeping.

    A plan as novel as this required some rules of engagement:

    • True partnership: The Ryerson students and CIBC Mellon employees were treated as equals. If we expected students to have ownership of the tasks at hand, then we had to give them the same trust and credibility that we did for the company’s employees. This required and received senior management buy-in.
    • Freedom to fail: Innovation flourishes when employees have the freedom to experiment and fail. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella demonstrated that spirit in an e-mail he sent employees following the failure of a project they were working on: “[The] key is to keep learning and improving.” All 10 members of the hub had the freedom to fail safe, and fail fast.
    • No boundaries: No idea is a bad idea; no question is a stupid question. All hub members had access to all business units and the leadership team at CIBC Mellon. They could reach out to anybody within the company to ask questions, request data or set up a meeting. Nothing was off limits.

    What were the results? When the Ryerson team’s fresh approach combined with the seasoned insights of the CIBC Mellon team, they came up with some big ideas:

    • Ideas to standardize fee-billing processes to enhance consistency, efficiency and revenue;
    • Opportunities for an upgraded enterprise-wide communications tool to foster further collaboration among the company’s employees;
    • A vision for a virtual reality augmented tool to help employees and clients assimilate complex data.

    Those are tangible, implementable wins accomplished in a breakneck-paced four-month experiment. More importantly, the hub created a “buzz” at the company and got employees motivated about getting involved and being innovative. To say that CIBC Mellon’s leaders were pleased is an understatement. As for the students, they had the best experience of their lives.

    The buzz extended well beyond corporate headquarters and the campus. In the coming days, we will be announcing an expansion of the Business Innovation Hub model to other leading Canadian companies. Stay tuned.

    This new model of experiential learning is about so much more than simply letting students gain work experience. It’s about unleashing the energy and imagination the students embody, to drive innovation in the workplace and help solve the corporate leader’s conundrum of how to shift corporate culture and embrace innovation. Bit by bit, corporate culture is best challenged from within.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    The Victoria Hand Project started using 3-D printers to build low-cost customized prosthetic hands.. see more

    Source: Vancouver Sun

    B.C. non-profit's affordable 3-D printed prosthetics in the running for $750,000 prize

    [Vote for them here!]

    A B.C. non-profit society that makes three dimensional printed prosthetics for amputees in developing countries is one of the finalists for a Google grant worth $750,000. 

    The Victoria Hand Project started using 3-D printers to build low-cost customized prosthetic hands less than three years ago. Since then, it has fitted 70 people in Nepal, Guatemala, Ecuador, Haiti, Cambodia and Egypt who would otherwise go without. The project operates out of a biomedical design lab at the University of Victoria.

    “If we win, we can expand into at least five new countries, and we can build hands for 750 people free of charge to them,” said Michael Peirone, a project designer and recent biomedical engineering grad. “Getting picked out of hundreds of projects in Canada, and by a company like Google, it’s pretty exciting.” 

    The prosthesis was designed in the 1990s by University of Victoria professor Dr. Nikolai Dechev when he was still a master’s student at the University of Toronto. It languished on a shelf for close to two decades because it was too expensive to produce. Then, in 2013, a mechanical engineering student named Josh Coutts came up with the idea of using 3-D printers to build the device. 

    The Victoria Hand Project partners with clinics in impoverished communities to set up a print centre with a 3-D printer, a 3-D scanner, and other supplies and equipment. It trains local technicians to use the machines, which print out a custom socket and prosthetic made of a bioplastic called PLA, or polylactic acid. The hand has an adaptive grasp and movable thumb and is activated by a shoulder harness. 

    The cost, which includes prosthetists and technicians, is about $300, a fraction of the usual $2,000 to $3,000 cost of a conventional prosthetic. Peirone, who has travelled to Ecuador and Nepal to set up the program, has witnessed first-hand the impact the prosthetics can have on people’s lives. 

    “In some countries, if people are missing a limb, they are ostracized from society or can’t get a job,” said Peirone. “After we give them a hand, they’re able to get a job. We have people using a pen and writing on a piece of paper again. 

    “When we work with patients and they say ‘thank you’ and their lives have changed, that’s what we do this for.” 

    The Victoria Hand Project is one of 10 finalists for the Google Impact Challenge, which will award $5 million to 10 non-profits. Judges will choose four organizations and the public will vote for one organization that will receive $750,000. Voting goes until March 28. The winners will be announced March 30 in Toronto. 

    [Vote for them here!]

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Over 100 young people ages 14-18 years old will be competing on Sunday, February 19, 2017 from 9-5 see more

    FIRST® Students Compete in BC Championship

    Victoria, BC – Feb. 14, 2017- Very few athletes will ever compete in a Super Bowl but what sport can every student in British Columbia go Pro in? The sport of science, technology, engineering and math. Over 100 young people ages 14-18 years old will be competing on Sunday, February 19, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in the FIRST Tech Challenge Championship at the University of Victoria, 3800 Finnerty Rd, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2. Twelve FIRST Tech Challenge teams from British Columbia, Alberta, Washington State, and Romania will play in this season's “Velocity Vortex” game.

    These students will be exercising their mind, working as teams, problem solving (all workforce skills) as their primary resource to find their spark for competition today with a possible career pathway for tomorrow. “These kids have gotten involved with a FIRST team for different reasons. Maybe it was to socialize or maybe it was because they already had an interest in STEM. Whatever the reason in addition to the robot building and programming skills, they are learning workforce development skills such as troubleshooting; collaboration; communication skills to help each of them go Pro”, Christine Nicholls, FIRST Tech Challenge Affiliate Partner for British Columbia.

    Starting in September, teams have designed, built and programmed a robot to complete in game challenges like shooting particles into a vortex. One team will earn a spot at the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championships in Houston, TX from April 19-22, 2017.

    Opening ceremonies will be at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday. The best time to watch robot games is between 1:30-4:00 p.m. in ELW, Faculty of Engineering building at the University of Victoria. Admission is free and the public are welcome. For more information contact Christine Nicholls at or 778-587-7554.

    About FIRST
    FIRST in a nonprofit organization that ignites youthful minds through education, hard work, mentorship and healthy competition. Students in FIRST, from kindergarten through high school, participate in exciting, Mentor-based, research and robotics programs that help them become science and technology leaders, as well as well-rounded contributors to society. More information about FIRST is available at: or

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    New UVic course offers tips for navigating through technology integration in Business see more

    New UVic course offers tips for navigating through technology integration in Business...

    Managing in the Digital Economy: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

    VICTORIA, BC – This January, the University of Victoria’s Division of Continuing Studies is launching a new course, entitled Managing in the Digital Economy.

    Designed for working business professionals, this online course examines how the evolution of information technology and systems is rapidly changing today’s business environment.

    Instructor, Nav Bassi, says, “This course [aims to] demystify the opportunities and challenges created by technology and provide guidance on how to leverage technology for business success, while mitigating risk.” 

    It’s important to note that this is not an IT course; it is a business course that business leaders, managers and decision-makers from any industry will find applicable.

    The course will explain what the term “digital economy” means and discuss some of the challenges that can arise from it. Participants will learn how to make decisions on applying technology to address business needs, while also understanding and managing the inherent risks.

    Director of Business & Management Programs, Richard Mimick, observes, “Although this is the first time we’re offering this course, it’s obviously a topic that resonates within the business community, as we are already seeing better than average enrollment numbers.”

    Managing in the Digital Economy begins January 16 and is offered exclusively online, convenient for working professionals.

    Since its inception in 1963, the Division of Continuing Studies (DCS) has been an integral part of the University of Victoria, providing adult and continuing education programming. Partnering with all UVic Faculties, it provides stimulating, high quality education opportunities to local as well as international learners.

    For more information, visit:


    Business & Management Programs
    Continuing Studies at UVic
    Tel: (250) 721-8073

  • 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
    Victoria high school students will gain some real-world experience in video game development see more

    Source: CBC News

    Victoria students in Grades 11 and 12 to spend a week or two at local companies

    Victoria, BC - February 24, 2016 - This spring, a handful of Victoria high school students will gain some real-world experience in video game development in Victoria-based game studios.

    The Student Video Game Work Experience Program is a partnership between local game companies and the Greater Victoria School District.

    Nicola Priestley, the school district's career coordinator, says the program will give Grade 11 and 12 students the chance to spend a week or two working at a local game studio.

    "It's a way for us to expose our kids to another industry. They may love video games. They may love playing video games, but they don't look at it as a potential career pathway," she told On The Island host Gregor Craigie.

    "Within this industry, there's so many career paths … so I think it's a win-win for them."

    Andrew-Wynn Williams of  Codename Entertainment, one of the participating companies, added that video games are an important hook to get students into computer science.

    "We want a growing tech industry. We want coding in school, and these are all things we agree are important focuses," he said. "There's no Grade 8 student in a school today going, 'I want to learn coding so I can code a giant industrial freezer.' They want to work in video games. And so we are kind of like the gateway."

    Williams says kids in the program usually gravitate to coding, art or are a little unsure of what they want to do, so do a more general industry immersion.

    The program is in its second year, and Williams says he's hopeful that more companies will get on board than the six that did last year. Greater Victoria School District students can apply for the program at their schools.

    Click to hear the full interview: Victoria students to become (work)-Space Invaders at local video game companies

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    This site gives information on the Student Video Game Work Experience Program see more

    VicVideoGames website launches is now live! This site gives information on the Student Video Game Work Experience Program and allows students to register, and keep track of their work weeks. 

    The Student Video Game Work Experience Program provides students with the opportunity to learn what it is like to work in a video game company.

    For more information please visit