Helping Manufacturers Go To Market
Rick Williston has 30 years of experience in the high tech manufacturing sector including technology development and commercialization in the areas of flat panel displays, diamond growth, compound semiconductor production and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Rick has primarily worked in Microsystems, MEMS and advanced materials, but this has also entailed engagement with the aerospace, sensor, automotive, defense, telecom, biomedical, and a variety of other industries as well. Rick has extensive experience in management of technical staff, successfully negotiating and working with researchers and academics, and management of industrial projects.
Rick assumed the role of Project Manager/Research Engineer at the Bluewater Technology Access Centre (BTAC) within Lambton College’s Applied Research & Innovation department in 2017.
|Type of institution|
Lambton College, London Road, Sarnia, ON, Canada
|I have a knowledge mobilization grant.|
Introduce your team
My name is Rick Williston. I work at Blue Water Technology Access Center at Lambton College in Sarnia. We’re located in the Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park, which is across the road from the campus.
We are on of 30 TACs across Canada funded by Tech Access Canada to help regional manufacturers and industry with their commercialization problems. That can take the form of an applied research consulting or helping with commercialization issues or exporting. They need to become more competitive on the world stage
Every TAC needs to have a specialty. Ours is advanced manufacturing so we have in our lab capability for 3d printing, 3d metrology or scanning, and 3d design using software such as SolidWorks or space planner.
Describe your research
We have an IP agreement where we can’t share details about a client’s project and they own all the IP I can’t tell you specifics of other projects we work on.
Right at this moment, we have two projects which are polymer formulation projects where we’re taking a bio source, reagent or ingredient and creating a polymer replacing a petrochemical source component and making a greener project. Or the other one is taking a recycled component that would normally wind up in the landfill and making a new polymer that can be made into products and keeping the material out of the landfill.
We have eight system design and instrumentation projects where we’re either automating a plant or product for a client or helping them make a new system that works for their application. We have four sustainability or energy efficiency projects which are either taking solar or wind or waste heat generated to produce energy and offset the costs of operation. One of the projects is in the residential market, one is in the transportation market. So a variety of industries.
We have two process efficiency projects where we’re doing lean consulting or process automation, things like that. We have one long-term corrosion testing where we’re doing accelerated testing to find out how coating will last in the field in ten years and improving the coating .
One thing we do a lot of is injection molding. So we get clients who they know that they want to sell their product in volume, they know that injection molding is the cheapest, but they can’t afford an eight thousand to thirty thousand dollar mold. So they come to us and we design their product to be able to be injection molded, print it in our 3d printer, create a prototype.
They build it up into the full and final product and qualify it and say this works great. Then we can hand the drawings, then they can go get their mold made. Sometimes it takes several iterations, and the rapid prototyping capability here at lower cost than buying three or four molds is very much appreciated.
And then we also do training. We have two projects where we’re helping to create highly qualified people either by training industry people or students and helping them enter the market.
Explain its significance
We are one of 30 TACs across Canada funded by Tech Access Canada to help local and regional industries with their commercialization problems. That can take the form of commercialization assistance of Applied Research consulting or just helping them with things like exporting.
Whatever they need to get their product to market and internationally and become more competitive. In support of that we have access to many of the excellent research centres on the campus. We have the Lambton Energy Research Center, the Lambton Water Center, the Bio Industrial process Research Centre, the Center for Industrial Materials Development and the Information Technology Research Centre. They all are helpful on various projects.
Basically, we can take a concept andturn it into a prototype a design a process. We can make it into a real product do failure analysis or reliability engineering of the the product and help it get to market quickly.