Mechanical Engineering Research Assistant (Co-op)
The Mechanical Engineering Research Assistant will have a comprehensive skill set to work with the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre team, Faculty Leads and Industry Partners on a variety of time-sensitive projects. The successful candidate may work on research projects or technical services in Additive manufacturing, Product Design & Development, Product Testing, Reality/Spatial Capture, Reverse Engineering and Lean Manufacturing Assessment. Hours completed during this work term may be used toward your co-operative placement hours.
Click HERE to see the full job posting. To apply, please email your resume, cover letter, transcript and school schedule to [email protected] and reference ‘Mechanical Engineering Research Assistant SR Co-op’ in the subject line.
The deadline to apply is Friday, February 26th, 2021 at 4pm.
We thank all applicants; however, only those qualifying for an interview will be contacted.
These days, we are working harder in the midst of continued uncertain times.
Niagara College’s Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre is introducing a new educational webinar series – LEAD TIME to provide information on how you can introduce Industry 4.0 technologies to help your company work smarter, not harder.
The first session:
Thurs., February 25: Metrology Trends in an Industry 4.0 World, features presenter Rob Johnston with CAD Microsolutions.
The second session:
Thurs., March 11: Overcoming Manufacturing Challenges with 3D Printing, features presenter Bryan Sprange with Javelin Technologies.
Learn more about our upcoming sessions:
Daniela Cortes is a 2018 graduate of Niagara College’s Mechanical Engineering Technician program and was a Research Assistant – Process Improvement for Research & Innovation’s Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (WAMIC) for 18 months. She also graduated from NC’s Business – Sales and Marketing program in 2015. Daniela is now a Global Applications & Technical Sales Representative at Factory Surplus Direct (FSD) Inc.
Tell us about where you work:
FSD Robotics is a global supplier for automation and robotics parts and service. We supply automotive manufacturers as well as general industry. Our capabilities include cable harness repair labs for robotic harnesses, Servo Motor repair labs, electronics repair labs, and repairs/refurbishment of industrial equipment.
Describe your role and what you like about it:
My role involves working with our clients on a day-to-day basis ensuring their production lines are being supported and reaching out to manufacturers to provide service and support. I help mobilize resources and source parts for their automated processes and robotic lines, assist with integration projects through cell design and perform reach studies with RoboDK (an offline programing software). I also work with our technicians to ensure all repairs and projects are completed and delivered as quickly as possible.
One of my favourite projects was an integration project for a paint recycling company. This was a unique project as we had to reverse engineer the EOAT (End of Arm Tooling). The project consisted of two robotic lines that pick up and clean out paint cans to recycle the leftover paint.
My involvement included assessing the facility and providing a cell layout that worked within their available space. I used 2D CAD to design the cell layout, which I then translated into RoboDK to generate the 3D layout of the cell. We performed reach studies to ensure that the positioning of the robot would work within the robot’s reach without interference with the other cell components, including the conveyors, recycle bins and the can crusher. What I enjoyed about this project was working with a small local manufacturer and helping them improve their productivity with their new robotics lines. They were very happy with their cells and even named the two robots!
“I was so scared to go into the mechanical engineering program and it was very challenging for me. Now looking back, I am so grateful I stepped out of my comfort zone and accepted this challenge.”
How has your experience with Research & Innovation helped prepare you for your current role?
My role at WAMIC was to perform productivity assessments with local manufacturers. Automation was a big part of improving processes to increase their efficiency, reduce waste and increase their output. Now that I work for FSD I bring that experience to help many manufacturing companies automate their process so they can become more productive and competitive.
I also had the opportunity to bring WAMIC on board as a partner at FSD to help us improve even our own process in our cable labs. I was able to work with my project lead once again after working with her when I was at Research & Innovation.
A memorable applied research project during your time at R&I?
Every project I was able to work on was very exciting, and they were all unique and different from each other. One that really stands out for me is performing a productivity assessment for a frozen pie manufacturer. We performed time studies, assessed their processes, and provided recommendations to improve, including automating some of their cells.
I remember going in there and smelling the meat pies every morning while I was doing the time studies. I will definitely never forget that smell, but more importantly, I can never forget how much we were able to help them in terms of waste reduction and overall productivity. They were very pleased with everything we did for them.
What led you to Niagara College in the first place?
Niagara College was where I had set my sights on since my father, as well as my sister, both attended Niagara College. I originally graduated from the Business – Sales and Marketing program and upon completion, I went into Mechanical Engineering.
Most memorable experience at NC?
Having the opportunity to share my story in front of all the Niagara College staff for Niagara Day. What an honour! And I was also able to speak at the inauguration of the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre when we opened our new facility back in 2017. That was amazing! What an experience. But overall, working at R&I was an incredible experience and one that carries with me today. I am still working with R&I through my company and it is so cool to see it all come back around. I feel so lucky to have R&I be such a huge part of my professional growth.
Is there a particular mentor at either R&I or a faculty member who influenced you?
Influential members: Angela Narr [Research Lead, R&I]; Rick Baldin [Research Lead and Professor]; Gord Koslowski [former WAMIC Project Manager] and Jim Lambert [former WAMIC Centre Manager].
What advice would you impart to current research students or future alumni?
The main advice I can give is to take on any challenge, as it will help you grow! Fear holds us back from reaching our potential. I was so scared to go into the mechanical engineering program and it was very challenging for me. Now looking back, I am so grateful I stepped out of my comfort zone and accepted this challenge. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I let the fear of the unknown stop me from entering this program.
After being in the workforce, what have you learned?
I learned to be persistent, to not be scared to ask questions and to not be afraid to say I don’t know something. I learned to keep my network open and utilize resources I’ve collected throughout the years – especially staying in touch with people I have worked with. I also learned the value of my volunteer work because I met so many people hosting National Engineering Month (NEM) events, attending Niagara College ceremonies and putting myself out there!
Proudest achievement since graduating?
Obtaining my current position at FSD Robotics. I love my job and I am so proud to work for such an amazing company.
Interests outside of work?
Outside of work I enjoy working out and staying healthy. I host promotional events (well prior to Covid anyways). I love to dance and pick up part-time modelling jobs. I also enjoy spending time with my family. My boyfriend has a nine-year-old son and I love my time with them so much. I still have my sweet Django (my cat) and he has grown on them as well.
If you could have a billboard message seen by many, what would it say?
No one will remember what you didn’t do!
Scott Leuty had his first real experience with using design and manufacturing processes when he joined his high school robotics team. His crew had to design and build a remote-controlled robot to complete various tasks in the style of a competitive game.
He was hooked.
His team entered tournaments in places like Myrtle Beach, S.C., and North Bay, Ont. and competed against teams from around the world.
“This experience sparked my interest in mechanical engineering and inspired me to pursue this path as my field of study.”
Now in his fourth year of Niagara College’s Mechanical Engineering Technology (Co-op) program, Leuty is currently a research assistant at Research & Innovation’s Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (WAMIC).
When he arrived for his final co-op placement at WAMIC in October 2020, Leuty’s first task was to help complete the 37,000 face shields the research team had worked on since the start of the pandemic to help local health-care workers as well as community groups throughout Ontario.
Since then, Leuty has worked at the research labs in areas such as metrology and 3D modelling. In his most recent project, he has worked on reverse engineering a large medical apparatus. After dismantling and measuring the dimensions of each item, he 3D modelled every piece and created engineering drawings and assemblies to illustrate and exhibit the designs.
“So far, I have found my experience at WAMIC to be very positive in regard to what I have learned about SolidWorks, the process of reverse-engineering and the use of advanced metrology equipment,” says Leuty. “I am also appreciative of the opportunity I had to aid the healthcare community by assembling and packaging face shields, and by modeling the medical apparatus, which will eventually be put into production.”
He has also learned a lesson he’ll carry into all aspects of his life: expect and accept the fact mistakes will happen.
“This experience sparked my interest in mechanical engineering and inspired me to pursue this path as my field of study.”
“It can be discouraging, but what’s important is how you respond to your mistakes,” he explains. “If you’ve done something wrong, think about what you could’ve done differently. Avoid making the mistake again and take it as a learning experience.”
Having been interested in design his entire life, Leuty says he has always wanted to work in a related field. After learning 3D modelling with Autodesk Inventor at Niagara College, he completed an eight-month work term as a product engineering co-op student at THK Rhythm Automotive in St. Catharines. There he learned CATIA (computer-aided design software) and managed multiple projects assigned by product engineers.
Once he graduates this April, Leuty plans to continue his education at university and obtain a professional engineering license.
Leuty lives with his family in Terra Cotta, a small hamlet in Caledon, Ont., known for great hiking trails located on the banks of the Credit River.
Though considered by his friends as the quiet sort, Leuty takes pleasure in cranking his amp loud while playing his electric guitar – something he has been self-teaching himself for the past three years. He’s currently working on Spanish Fly, an iconic solo by the late Eddie Van Halen.
Between guitar riffing and practising engineering design, Leuty enjoys trading stocks, binging Netflix shows and gaming with his friends.
Promoting equity and fighting against injustice and racism has always been one of Amal Driouich’s personal and professional priorities.
The research project manager with the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (WAMIC) was recently named to Niagara College’s Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce. The Taskforce is a partnership between NC and the Niagara College Student Administrative Council (NCSAC), with the aim to support a commitment to creating a more inclusive, diverse, and culturally and globally engaged college community.
“I believe that a lot of different flowers make a bouquet, and I am honoured to have been selected to be part of Niagara College’s Diversity and Inclusion taskforce,” says Driouich.
Members of the Taskforce include both NC students and employees who will work together to research and write a blueprint that will identify the College’s goals for inclusion and diversity, and the broad actions that are required to meet these goals over the next three years. This blueprint will be presented to NC’s Executive Team and will be an important input into the College’s next strategic plan to ensure that this essential work is part of NC’s long-term vision.
“What I like most about this initiative is the fact that it brings students and employees together to shape a more equitable, diverse and inclusive college community,” she says.
Driouich has been with the Research & Innovation division since 2019, overseeing the R&D needs of Niagara’s SMEs (small- and medium-sized businesses), managing a wide range of applied research projects and bringing together faculty, staff, students, and industry partners.
She holds a MSc in Mechanical Engineering from Laval University, has her Project Management Professional (PMP) designation, and is fluent in Arabic, French, and English. In her spare time, she volunteers with the Women in Nuclear Canada, Golden Horseshoe West chapter, and is chair-elect for the second time for the Toronto chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, after serving as chair last year.
For more information about the Taskforce and how to get involved please visit: www.niagaracollege.ca/diversityandinclusion.