In its first 15 years, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa has cemented its reputation as a leader in research and innovation, and as a key economic driver in a transforming economy.
“The university represents a tremendous asset to Durham Region. We have more than 80 unique research facilities and a flexible intellectual property model that makes it a dynamic resource for industry,” said Jennifer Freeman, director of research services.
“We offer businesses our significant expertise and R&D capacity, along with supplying career-ready graduates to develop their workforce. There’s no question that our university enhances the region’s and the province’s competitive advantage.”
In fact, the university contributes more than $200 million to Ontario’s economy each year and generates some 2,000 jobs, two-thirds of them in Durham and Northumberland County. Faculty and students have founded 28 companies employing 240 people in the last four years.
While offering a broad range of programs in its seven faculties, the university has specialized expertise in digital and information sciences, community health, education, energy, and the environment.
Its ACE wind tunnel is a one-of-a-kind facility used by companies for testing and training in the automotive, construction, engineering, defence, aerospace, emergency services, apparel, and energy sectors. ACE plays a key role in testing autonomous vehicles, replicating weather conditions from blizzard to desert, producing winds up to 300 km/h, temperatures from -40 C to 60 C, and humidity from 5 per cent to 95 per cent.
The university also boasts one of the world’s largest aquatic toxicology labs, the country’s only undergraduate nuclear engineering program, and 11 Canada Research Chairs (CRCs).
Among its CRCs are Janette Hughes, PhD, a world-leading education expert who uses digital technology to transform student-learning experiences, and Sheldon Williamson, PhD, who develops smart, electric energy-storage systems for Canada’s transportation industry.
Engineering researchers also engage in a partnership on the first large-scale microgrid at a Canadian university. Microgrids can provide critical power to hospitals, military sites and other crucial infrastructure during emergencies.
Established in 2003 to support a growing local economy, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s enrollment has grown from 900 to more than 10,000 undergraduate, masters and PhD students. The university possesses an expanding greenfield campus in the city’s north, plus a vital presence in Oshawa’s downtown.
The university’s founding principles include work-integrated learning and accelerated pathways to degrees for those with college diplomas.
“We provide a unique training ground for employees and entrepreneurs of the future,” said Lindsay Coolidge, manager of government and community relations.
“Local businesses benefit from a crucial talent pool, along with the access to our faculties’ extensive expertise and to our applied research and partnership know-how.”