Liam McLean, Reece Myerscough and Aaron Khor hold the yellow pump Ocean Rodeo currently sells, the silver-coloured winch pump that they’ve created, and the innovative air bag that goes with it. The trio of Camosun mechanical engineering grads showed off the invention during the launch of the Babcock Canada Interaction Lab at Camosun College’s Interurban campus. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Private sector invests in Camosun, which invests in local tech

College students invent pump for Saanich kiteboarding company

In a room of cutting-edge technology it was the shiny-blue 1922 Wills Sainte Claire roadster that stood out at Tuesday’s launch of the new Babcock Canada Interaction Lab.

The Interaction Lab is housed within the Camosun Innovates department, named for Babcock Canada, which donated $800,000 into Camosun College’s TRADEMark of Excellence campaign, which has raised $7.5 million.

“It brings two big 3D printers, a 3D printer that can weave carbon fibre with nylon, 3D scanners, manufacturing and more under one roof,” said Sergio Asebey, research technologist with Camosun Innovates.

Asebey was part of the team that helped Pete Seward, owner of the Saint Claire, when Seward’s search for replacement floorboard bezels to go in his 1922 roadster came up short.

“We were able to use 3D scanners on the [failing] parts of the car,” Asebey said.

They then used a 3D printer to create plastic models of the parts and used those to press aluminum mouldings that replaced the floorboard bezels, Asebey explained.

It’s the type of technology that’s opening new doors in Victoria, and in Canada.

Camosun Innovates is an entity within Camosun, with its own staff and infrastructure, that is accessible to local businesses and ties into Camosun students.

Saanich’s Ocean Rodeo, which has designed and manufactured kites for kiteboarding since the sport first started more than two decades ago, but is still a local business, has relied on Camosun students to make research and development a realistic option.

This year, a trio of graduating mechanical engineering students – Liam McLean, Aaron Khor and Reece Myerscough – took on the challenge to create a travel-size pump that could inflate Ocean Rodeo’s kites (they are like two sails sewn together, and inflate for stability and buoyancy in the water).

“Kiteboarding is a destination sport, people travel the world to visit great spots for it,” Myerscough said. “We took on the challenge of creating a pump that could travel light, that people can use when hiking into remote beaches.”

The trio came up with a small eight-PSI winch pump that takes up as less room than a reusable water bottle. To fill a 140-PSI kite they also instituted an intermediary airbag that they fill up first, and then use the winch pump to force air into the kite. The patented winch pump also converts into a traditional pump, and the result is a combination that can fill a kite in a matter of minutes. (The additional airbag can be rigged into a beach chair.)

“We’ve been very successful in using grants for research and development, and partnerships that rely on local colleges or universities which for us has been Camosun,” said John Zimmerman, general manager at Ocean Rodeo. “We rely on grants from NSERC [Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council], we have to have results within 12 to 18 months or we can’t invest in the R&D.”

The Babcock money is Camosun’s most recent investment from the private sector.

“It’s a game-changer for applied learning, interdisciplinary research and innovation that will drive forward regional economic development with our industry partners,” said Dr. Tim Walzak, director of Camosun Innovates.

Camosun Innovates receives funding from national bodies including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Western Economic Diversification Canada (WED) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

Camosun Innovates research technologist Sergio Asebey shows off the (otherwise non-existent) 3D printed parts that are keeping this 1922 Wills Sainte Claire roadster on the road during the launch of the Babcock Canada Interaction Lab at Camosun College’s Interurban campus. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Just Posted

Sooke mom hopeful for funding to treat child’s debilitating arthritis

Jillian Lanthier ‘prays’ for $19,000 per-dose drug for her son

BC SPCA proposes fines for animal mistreatment, reduction in commercial trade

Animal welfare group’s ideas brought to Victoria councillors

Trial date delayed in case of slain Oak Bay sisters

Case of Andrew Berry, charged in deaths of daughters, will reconvene in three weeks

School’s on today, more snow expected across Greater Victoria

Environment Canada says more snow could fall Friday

After dark: Sandown construction goes overnight

Noise concerns from Sidney could stop nighttime work schedule

Photo gallery: Show us your Winter Wonderland!

User submitted photos from around Greater Victoria

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

All aboard! Job fair ports this weekend in Victoria

Find out about the hundreds of jobs in Victoria’s cruise ship industry

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Human remains found near Campbell River

Human remains were found in a rural area outside Campbell River, RCMP… Continue reading

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

Tofino Bus will cover Victoria–Nanaimo route after Greyhound announces cut

Although its name says ‘Tofino’, this bus company serves all of Vancouver Island

Most Read