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Lambton College unveils shiny new tech Centre of Excellence

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Troy Shantz

How do you officially open something called the Centre of Excellence in Energy and Bio-Industrial Technologies?

With a robot, of course.

With Lambton College brass looking on, a robotic arm sliced and plated a piece of cake at a renovated robotics lab, part of a new $14.2-million facility for academics, industrial training and research at the Sarnia campus.

“The Centre of Excellence presents a unique opportunity for Lambton College to help develop a region of innovators, strengthen our local economy, and meet the industry demand for skilled labour,” President and CEO Judith Morris said at last week’s unveiling.

The 34,000-square-foot facility features two floors of bright, spacious labs for hands-on training in wastewater treatment, nanotechnology, electrical engineering and robotics, among other disciplines.

The robotics lab will teach students how to program the sophisticated robots used in manufacturing plants around the globe.

Academic Vice President Donna Church said support from Suncor and other partners added motor control stations, new condenser, compressor and new boiler tanks.

Lambton College’s new Centre of Excellence in Energy and Bio-Industrial Technologies. Troy Shantz

“We wouldn’t have these kind of labs without the commitment of industry,” she said. “We know the importance of real-world training for our students.”

Church said students in two-year and three-year programs will conduct research within the labs.

“Today we not only open this facility, but we open our students, our college, industry and our community to the new opportunities for growth and development,” she said.

This year, Lambton researchers will complete phases of a project with Australia-based BioCube Corporation, building a mobile unit that turns vegetable oil into biodiesel.

“Research such as this demonstrates that Lambton College is a champion of disruptive innovation,” said Morris.

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