Conestoga news

October 21, 2022 1:51 PM

Engineering faculty receive national research award

Two Conestoga faculty members from the college’s School of Engineering & Technology have been recognized with the H.A. Krentz Research Award from the Canadian Institute for Steel Construction (CISC). 

Researchers at Conestoga used WAAM techniques to print a steel vase to demonstrate the potential of the process as an alternative to traditional materials.

Professors Dr. Tam Nguyen and Jim Galloway were jointly presented the award with Dr. Scott Walbridge from the University of Waterloo for a research proposal addressing the properties and potential applications of structural steel components printed using wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) techniques developed at the college. WAAM is an alternative to traditional metal manufacturing methods such as casting, rolling, forging, or machining raw billets to produce a desired 3D shape. The award recognizes the year’s highest-ranked proposal submitted to the CISC. Nguyen and Galloway are the first Conestoga professors and college researchers to receive the award.

The CISC-funded project, titled Fatigue & Fracture Toughness of Steel Wire Arc Additively Manufactured Structural Products, is supported by a team of students and faculty from Conestoga’s Manufacturing Engineering Technology - Welding & Robotics, Welding Engineering Technology - Inspection and the Bachelor of Engineering - Mechanical Systems Engineering programs. Steel materials produced using this 3D-printing method in the college’s robotic welding lab at the Cambridge - Fountain Street campus will be tested with specialized equipment and techniques available at the University of Waterloo.

“Our goal is to demonstrate that using WAAM components or attachments can lead to more sustainable steel structures that will perform as well as or better than traditional materials,” said Galloway. “The use of WAAM techniques for large format structural components has many potential advantages over traditionally manufactured parts, including the ability to rapidly print prototypes or low-volume production pieces, which lower the overall environmental footprint in manufacturing. Local production will create new opportunities for Canadian companies as well as Conestoga graduates.”

More detailed information on WAAM applied research at Conestoga is available through a paper published in WELD.  

The CISC is Canada’s voice for the steel construction industry, promoting dialogue, collaboration and commerce between industry stakeholders. The H.A. Krentz Research Award is presented in addition to a CISC Research Grant in honour of H. A. Krentz, who made significant contributions to the engineering profession. Previous recipients have included researchers from the University of Alberta, McMaster University, and Polytechnique Montréal. The award includes a $5,000 grant top-up.    

The college works in collaboration with industry, community and government partners to deliver innovative solutions to address real-world challenges. Conestoga is ranked among Canada’s top-tier research colleges, supporting the needs of industry and community partners while providing students with opportunities to build real-world skills. Visit Conestoga Applied Research and Innovation for more information.