Category Archives: Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre

Save the Date: Breakfast & Learn June 20


The Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre will host a Breakfast & Learn on Thursday, June 20, at the Welland Campus. The subject will be “Unpacking Industry 4.0: Session 1 – The Future of Manufacturing.” 

In Industry 4.0, your people, processes and machines will have the ability to adapt in real time. Many companies are ushering in this new era with cognitive manufacturing solutions that transform the value chain beyond the factory walls.

This session is for you if you are interested in:

– Reducing manufacturing equipment downtime
– Finding and removing bottlenecks
– Reducing your scrap, losses, and give-aways
– Getting real-time alerts to problems
– Scheduling machines for optimized production
– Increasing your margins

Listen to presentations from Behr, Majik and Canvass, all Ontario-based companies as they convey the compelling story about Ontarians helping both Ontario and Canada’s manufacturing industry.

Check back in on this link for registration details:

57th Annual Advanced Technology Think Tank (ATTT) Conference

The 57th Annual Advanced Technology Think Tank (ATTT) will be held at Niagara College’s Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre on June 6 & 7. The conference, with the theme, “Smart Manufacturing – Using Tomorrow’s Technology Today,” provides a forum for leading experts and specialists in productivity-enhancing technologies to meet and share. The conference will conclude with a tour of the Research & Innovation advanced manufacturing lab facilities.

The public is welcome to attend a special Advanced Technology Tabletop Trade Show on the evening of June 6. Advanced registration and tickets are needed for the full conference.

Co-founded in 1962 by renowned author, publisher and educator Steve Krar, the ATTT is an annual opportunity to share concepts and new technologies among fellow visionaries “to meet tomorrow’s challenges.” The focus has been on advanced manufacturing, advanced technology, advanced thinking, and education.

The ATTT Foundation is a non-profit educational board to help run ATTT and advance its educational principles. This year provides a special deal for students. As well, some students can attend the conference for free if they agree to work as interns at or before the conference.

The cost of the conference is $150 CDN per person, which includes the venue, equipment and conference meals, payable in advance. Participation in the trade show is an extra $150, but attendance is free and open to the public.

For more information or questions, contact Tom Gaasenbeek, ATTT Executive Director –
For tickets, click here.

New Advanced Manufacturing Project Manager Thrives on Innovative Ideas


If you happen to find her sitting quietly, deep in thought, there’s a good chance Amal Driouich is either mulling over a complex mathematical equation or contemplating a steady stream of creative ideas and inventions. And she’d be savouring every minute of it.

As it happens, it’s her favourite way to spend any free time: A deliberate free flow of thinking that combines conventional reasoning with creative intuition. She describes it as her form of meditation, all with the purpose to drive innovation and bring real change to the world. For someone whose second nature is to solve problems, Amal is in her element in her new role as Project Manager for the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (WAMIC) at Niagara College.

“I always have new ideas … I thrive on it,” she says. “I love when reality meets innovation and when I see research resulting in something people can benefit from.”

With expertise in project management, this mechanical and industrial engineer comes to NC with a successful history in leading all phases of diverse technology, engineering, and applied research projects. As a result, she has developed innovative advanced manufacturing solutions within industries in Ontario and across Canada.

Most recently, as Project Manager for Oakville-based Promation, an automation manufacturing company with nuclear, automotive, and industrial divisions, Amal led teams across broad technical fields in researching ideas for the advanced manufacturing industry and the development of 3D metal printing systems to serve the nuclear industry, as well as other markets.

While the nuclear field remains heavily male dominated, Amal says it’s also an industry that encourages female engineers. “I like the way they fight for women,” she says, adding, it’s also the reason why she joined Women in Nuclear Canada (Golden Horseshoe chapter), a non-profit that aims to promote the role of women in nuclear and radiation-related industries by providing mentoring, networking, and personal development initiatives.

After a number of years conducting challenging engineering research in the nuclear industry, it was the applied research framework that drew her away from the private sector and to Niagara College’s Research & Innovation division earlier this spring.

 “I am amazed by the variety and the number of applied innovations already developed within WAMIC, and by the skilled students being trained in new technologies.”

Amal is responsible for the oversight and development of all applied research projects in WAMIC’s labs, specializing in 3D technologies, engineering design, and additive manufacturing, all to help key industries with innovative prototype development or process improvement. She will bring together faculty, staff, students, and industry partners.

“As part of the WAMIC team, I am excited about helping small- and medium-sized companies develop and adopt innovative technologies to create new products and enhance existing processes,” she says. “And I will be delighted to see them grow, expand into new markets, and build their competitiveness both nationally and internationally.”

“I love when reality meets innovation and when I see research resulting in something people can benefit from.”

The beginnings of Amal’s engineering mind date back to her younger years when she would dismantle all of her toys to discover the inner workings. (Interestingly, a mother of three, she finds her middle son doing the same thing with his toys.) Once in school, she stood out amongst her peers in academics, and specifically in mathematics – though she continues to love the arts as well, philosophy and creative writing in particular.

But it was her special relationship to and mastery of mathematics that drew notice from her professors who would ask her to demonstrate to her classmates how she would arrive at a particular solution.

“I always had my own ways to solve the problems,” she explains. “I just followed my intuition and would sit and think and think and think.”

Amal’s formal engineering schooling began in her home country of Morocco, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and worked as a Project Manager for another university. When she arrived in Canada (Quebec) in 2010, she discovered a new set of engineering regulations and decided to attend Laval University to work as a Research Associate while completing her Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, with a focus on Project Management and Systems Optimization.

The thing about project management, she says, is that it fits perfectly with her nature. She would much rather leave the minutia to those who focus on such details, in order for her to mediate over the big picture.

“It’s what drives me. I like those complex problems that involve many disciplines. I enjoy working with all of these people,” says Amal, adding that she often is mistaken for being “quiet” in nature, when in fact she loves interacting with others and considers herself extroverted. She’s also fluent in Arabic, French, and English.

Together with getting up to date on the many applied research projects at the advanced manufacturing labs, Amal is in the final stages of receiving both her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification as well as her Professional Engineering (PEng) designation.

In addition to her volunteer duties at the Women in Nuclear organization, Amal is the Chair-Elect for the Toronto chapter of SME – the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, an association of professionals, educators, and students to help manufacturers innovate and develop a skilled workforce.

In her free time, she and her husband and children enjoy camping trips and family-time watching movies, preparing cakes, and playing board games or fun sports.

POSITION AVAILABLE with our Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre team


Mechanical Engineering Research Assistant (Sr. Co-op)

The Mechanical Engineering Research Assistant will have a comprehensive skill set to work with the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre team and Industry Partners on a variety of time-sensitive projects. Hours completed during this work term may be used toward your co-operative placement hours starting in May 2019.

Click HERE for the full job posting. The deadline to apply is Friday April 5th at 4:00 PM.

To apply, please email your resume, cover letter, class schedule and transcript to and reference posting WAMIC19-01.

While we appreciate all applications received, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Current Opportunities

Manufacturing Sector Industry Survey:
Gauging Industry 4.0 Readiness


Niagara College Research & Innovation is conducting a survey to understand the readiness level of the manufacturing sector in Niagara to adopt digital technology and practices.
The findings from this survey will help the manufacturing sector in Niagara by identifying key areas for leadership/management to focus on their competencies to gain traction in the new practices of today’s manufacturing industry.  This information will be used to help advocate for resources to support manufacturing companies in Niagara.  
Please consider taking the time to complete this survey.  Responses are anonymous. The results will be presented at the May 23 Membership Meeting of the Niagara Industrial Association (NIA), with opportunity for discussion.
If you are a manufacturing business in Niagara, click here to access the survey.

WE’RE HIRING: Research Project Manager with our Advanced Manufacturing Research & Innovation Centre team

Research Project Manager, Advanced Manufacturing Research & Innovation

Reporting to the Manager, Projects & Operations, Research and Innovation, the Research Project Manager will be responsible for managing a wide range of applied research projects and related activities.  The Research Project Manager will manage outreach activities with business and industry, liaise with funders and form and manage applied research project teams that include faculty, staff, students, and industry partners.  The Research Project Manager is responsible for identifying and responding to research opportunities, developing concepts, generating funding proposals, preparing and managing documents and reports, managing financial and human resources for research projects, as well as coordinating dissemination and outreach activities.

For more information, click HERE. The deadline to apply is Friday, December 14.