This month, we hear from Al Spence, PhD, Research Scientist at the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre.
The Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (WAMC) is involved in several formal research relationships, including the Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI), and Tech-Access Canada.
Of course, networking with other southern Ontario experts is always valued.
As the Research Scientist for WAMIC, I frequently connect with nearby colleges and universities.
With my expertise in Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing (GDT), Oscar Nespoli, Director and Continuing Lecturer in the University of Waterloo Department of Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering, invited me to present a special lecture on the topic at his ME 681 course.
I’ve been involved in Dimensional Metrology for 25 years. When I taught at McMaster University, we received, from a Niagara Region company, an experienced Coordinate Measuring Machine.
“On any given day, provide a little extra room for the people around you. While always guarding your own boundaries, recognize that their circumstances might be driving out of tolerance reactions. Give and take is key to sustained relationships.”
– Al Spence, PhD, Research Scientist, Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre
With funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, it was retrofitted to be used for several Master’s and PhD theses. I participated in the associated Standards Committees and acted as an ISO 17025 Technical Assessor. I offered graduate courses on the subject, so it was natural to accept the annual invitation from Oscar.
The lecture content spanned Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) and related dimensional metrology technologies from tactile probes to laser digitizers and trackers, including a demonstration of the modern equipment available at WAMIC.
The WAMIC lab has also worked with Waterloo researchers to prepare special laser etched plates for use with a computer vision project supervised by Sanjeev Bedi, PhD, and Stephen Mann, PhD. As WAMIC’s Research Scientist, I participate in weekly Microsoft Teams meetings with this group, and provide advice on data fitting and machining.
Here are some words of wisdom for others who are wondering how to best cultivate manufacturing relationships in the research space: On any given day, provide a little extra room for the people around you. While always guarding your own boundaries, recognize that their circumstances might be driving out of tolerance reactions.
Give and take is key to sustained relationships.
To learn more about the work of the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre, visit the dedicated section on Research & Innovation’s website.