W Booth School awarded over $900K to help Canadian industries adopt digital technologies  – Faculty of Engineering

W Booth School awarded over $900K to help Canadian industries adopt digital technologies

The goal of the project is to introduce digital advances that will automate traditional manufacturing and industrial practices.

a woman sitting at a computer while a man stands over her shoulder and points to the screen,

A project to accelerate the adoption of digital technologies and smart systems within Canadian industries has been awarded over $900K from the Future Skills Centre (FSC).

Led by W Booth School of Engineering Practice & Technology’s Adjunct Professor, Ishwar Singh, the goal of the project is to introduce digital advances such as the internet of things (IoT), the industrial internet of things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 within industries such as manufacturing, transportation, healthcare and supply chain that will automate traditional manufacturing and industrial practices.

“Students will work with companies within our industry networks on Industry 4.0 projects and we will start to see adoption of these technologies at SMEs, municipalities and community organizations,” says Singh.

“We will also share learning modules, prototypes, video tutorials and hands-on learning guides with our networks that describe experiments and tests focused on specific applications related to these technologies.”

Some of the Industry 4.0 challenges students will be working with community partners on include developing applications for virtual health care; classifying voice messages using Natural Language Processing frameworks to automate 24/7 customer response processes; and designing and building humanoid robots with AI capabilities as greeters and receptionists.

The FSC is a pan-Canadian organization dedicated to helping Canadians gain the skills they need to thrive in a changing labour market.

Pedro Barata, Executive Director of the Future Skills Centre, says that creating a network of resources to accelerate the use and adoption of digital technologies in industry is a perfect example of programs the FSC is investing in to embrace innovative and radical approaches to unprecedented training through the use of modern, smart systems.

“Industries that have not traditionally relied on technology will have the opportunity to develop a digitally skilled workforce that can be applied to everything from cloud computing to machine learning,” says Barata.

“This is just one of the exciting shock-proofing projects that FSC is investing in to build a future playbook for shared prosperity, and help Canadian workers and businesses seize opportunities in our future economy.”

The organization aims to support the development of a digitally skilled workforce by investing a total of $906,917 over two years to the project.

W Booth is revolutionizing manufacturing research and education in Canada and this award is proof of that. Dr. Singh’s project will help students become leaders in adopting new technologies now and in the future.

Ishwar Puri, Dean, Faculty of Engineering

“I am thrilled that Dr. Singh has secured this significant level of funding, as his involvement in adopting digital technologies at the W Booth School aligns well with the goals of this forward-thinking initiative,” says Brian Baetz, Director, W Booth School of Engineering Practice & Technology.

In 2017, Singh helped to establish the Learning Factory, a McMaster facility that simulates the factory of the future. 

The only one of its kind in Canada, the Learning Factory provides W Booth students and industry partners with the opportunity to learn and apply advanced manufacturing approaches such as additive manufacturing and Industry 4.0.