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Research and Innovation Week at Cambrian College

Mar 22, 2024

SUDBURY – From medical dummies to drill holes, plenty of research and development (R&D) happens at Cambrian College.

Research and Innovation Week is taking place April 8-12, at Cambrian’s main campus in Sudbury.

“We cover everything from agriculture and food production to mining,” explains Dr. Mike Commito, director of Cambrian R&D, the college’s applied research division. “All of our projects involve staff, faculty and, most importantly, students. Research and Innovation Week is a great way to show the campus community and the general public just how much we do and the types of research we do. We started with a Research Day and in just a few years it has expanded into a full Research and Innovation Week.”

Several events are planned, beginning with the Research Showcase on Monday in the college’s eDome. Display booths will highlight the research projects and partnerships developed this past year such as a special 3D-printed ribcage to be used for medical simulation at Health Sciences North in Sudbury. Other projects include determining the best method to characterize explosives and a device for clearing debris from mining drillholes.

“Ontario’s public colleges exist to meet the current and future needs of the labour market, and applied research is an increasingly important part of that equation,” adds Janneke Nicholls, Cambrian’s vice-president in charge of applied research. “More industry partners are coming to Cambrian seeking our help in solving real-time, real-world challenges through applied research. It’s a great way for them to find solutions and scout new talent, and it keeps our academic and research staff and students right on the leading edge of what is happening in industry.”

That new talent includes Brandon Perron of Sudbury, who is in the final year of the Welding and Fabrication Technician program. He has worked on a number of projects with Cambrian R&D.

“Through applied research, I’ve been able to do a lot of cool welding that I didn’t even do yet in my program, and because of that I’ve been able to excel in my classes much quicker than if I didn’t have this opportunity,” explains Perron. “I do have a job lined up already when I graduate because I got some references through applied research. It taught me so much stuff and I was able to shine in the job interview. To other students, if you get the opportunity to work in applied research, go for it because you are going to learn so much and it’s like a family. It’s a win-win.”

Research and Innovation Week will also feature a live episode of Cambrian R&D’s podcast, Unlikely Innovators, as well as the Student Innovation Challenge Powered by RBC Future Launch, plus a special funding announcement involving the animation and game design industries.

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To learn more about Cambrian R&D, visit

Photos: Dr. Mike Commito is director of Cambrian R&D, the applied research division of Cambrian College. Brandon Perron of Sudbury is a welding student who works with Cambrian R&D. Research and Innovation Week is being held April 8-12 at Cambrian’s main campus in Greater Sudbury.

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Cambrian College is Northern Ontario’s largest college, with more than 100 programs. Cambrian’s main campus is in Greater Sudbury, with satellite centres in Espanola and Little Current. For more information about Cambrian College, click here.

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