Lambton College officially took the wraps off its Centre of Excellence in Energy & Bio-Industrial Technologies at a Thursday noon-hour celebratory event that included tours of the completely reconfigured facility at the south end of its campus.
The newly-renovated, world-class facility, which includes space for academic programming as well as industry-standard training, and research labs, is the result of a two-year $14.2 million project that upgraded an existing 34,000-square-foot facility while adding 7,000 square feet of space.
Speakers at the official opening included Judith Morris, Lambton College president & CEO, who reminded a crowd gathered that the facility was established to meet the evolving needs of the energy and bio-industrial sector. It also solidifies the position of Lambton College as a national leader in education, innovation, applied research and new development for process industries.
Two major streams—Education and Training, and Applied Research—are at the core of the new facility.
Superior post-secondary technology programming and training to domestic and international students is key to the facility.
It works, Morris said, as part of a collaborative effort by industry partners in energy and bio-based sectors.
The new and upgraded facilities will support industry and businesses through applied research, development, commercialization, incubation, prototyping, automation, and pilot plant studies to develop new or improved technologies, products, and processes.
“Lambton College’s Centre of Excellence in Energy & Bio-Industrial Technologies has been a key contributor in our ability to provide the support required by the incoming bio-industry,” said Morris. “We’ve always provided world-class technology programs, and now our evolving teaching methodologies coupled with industry-supported work-integrated learning, and state-of-practice training will further result in the provision of highly qualified personnel for the future of these industries.”
A key role in the new facility going forward will be continuing the integration of Lambton College applied research initiatives.
A strengthening of the ability for industry to gain access to skilled personnel, funding, and research infrastructure is part of the school’s strategy.
Highlights of the new facility include:
Water/Waste Water Pilot Lab: This lab is a dual Research/Post-Secondary space and home to Lambton College’s Environmental Technician – Water & Waste Water Operations program. This brand new pilot area was also designed to test and trial technology that has moved beyond the laboratory level. The water pilot area has been equipped with large ceilings, hot/cold water, compressed air, 600V electrical and an option for vacuum and steam if needed.
Steam Boiler Lab: One of the most exciting additions of the Centre’s upgrade is the new 3rd Class TSSA Boiler Lab and Gas Power Plant. This lab is solely for training 4th and 3rd Class Power Engineers on a Gas Cycle Power Plant. The electricity generated in this lab is applied to the College’s own electrical system.
Robotics and PLC Lab: This lab is the new home of Lambton College’s robotic fleet, and features brand new industry leading Fanuc robots. Used by students in the Instrumentation & Control Engineering Technology – Industrial Automation and Electrical Techniques programs, these robots can be configured to accomplish various tasks, which were put on display for guests as they cut and served cake during the tour.
Nanotechnology Engineering Lab: This lab supports the Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Renewable Energy and is currently involved in 10 active projects. It features upwards of 25 pieces of equipment designed for energy testing, including XRD, surface analyzers, GC/TCD, battery stations, and much more.
Research Analyzer Lab: This lab contains 30 pieces of sophisticated scientific analysis equipment and supports two research centres: the Bioindustrial Process Research Centre and the Lambton Water Centre. There are currently more than 25 active research projects taking place within this space.
The renovation of the centre was partially funded by the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, with additional support from the provincial government. Additional contributions from industry and community partners helped to bring the project to full completion.
As a result of these investments, students, professors and researchers now have access to world-class facilities designed to advance the country’s best research and provide real-world training for students and professionals.