IoT product development resources


Photo: Michael Hanemaayer

The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to open new opportunities, especially in the world of advanced manufacturing, where connectivity and automation play key roles. Niagara College’s Research & Innovation division has been meeting industry demand, through its expertise and leading-edge technologies at the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (WAMIC).

At WAMIC, investments have been made in printed circuit board design and surface mount technology fabrication equipment, as well as an assortment of prototyping microcontrollers, sensors, and interface electronics. 

The research labs are also equipped with Google and Alexa smart speakers to add industry standard voice control. Laser scanning, Computer Aided Design, and CNC machining facilities are available to design enclosures and create custom mechatronic attachments needed for product development success.

As for expertise, Research Leads Gordon Maretzki, PEng, and Allan Spence, PhD, bring decades of related experience to WAMIC.

Maretzki has run his own business for more than 14 years and has held many applied research government contracts in areas of engineering design, automation, manufacturing/fabrication and performance testing/validation. In addition to his research role at WAMIC, Maretzki is a professor in the Industrial Automation Certificate program with the School of Technology and is a curriculum developer and lecturer for courses: “Motors and Variable Speed Drives” and “Programming PLCs and HMI Design.”

Spence first programmed a computer in 1975. He completed the core Bachelor of Mathematics Computer Science program at the University of Waterloo, and has practical experience ranging from IBM mainframes to microcomputers to home lighting and lawn sprinkler automation using the early X10 protocol. He has developed example Arduino projects for motorized photovoltaic panel tracking, and Raspberry Pi MQTT domotic plumbing fixture control.

The two Research Leads are joined by NC graduate and Research Associate Alex Davis, who adds computer programming and media expertise in custom website and cell phone app development. There are also currently six students (Samantha Jemison, Curtis Plante, Brock Husak, Tyler Winger, Dalton Pearson, and Lington (Diego) Maia) involved in IoT projects.

To learn more about how the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre can assist you with IoT manufacturing projects, contact the Centre Manager, Jim Lambert, at [email protected].