Two researchers at the Centre for Applied Research and Innovation (CARI) have successfully defended their Masters’s thesis this spring. Rebecca Robertson, Research Associate, Natural Health and Food Products Research Group (NRG) earned her Masters of Food Science from the University of British Columbia. Garrett Kryt, Research Analyst, MAKE+ and Product and Process Applied Research Team completed his Masters in Mechatronics Systems Engineering from Simon Fraser University.
“Congratulation Rebecca and Garrett,” says Kim Dotto, Dean, Applied Research and Center for Applied Research and Innovation “your dedication, commitment, and hard work is commendable, your CARI colleagues are very proud”
Rebecca Robertson brings extensive industry experience to BCIT having established and operated a business partnership offering technical consulting to the food and natural health products industry for over 15 years.
Thesis Topic: Improving Food Safety through the use of Continuous Improvement Techniques from other Manufacturing Sectors
Rebecca’s thesis investigated the use of Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), FMEA greatly enhances the risk assessment of potential hazards in food processing. The current methodology, a Hazard Analysis (HA), an integral part of a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) program, does not properly describe all the risk associated with a given food process.
For example, the HA indicates that a produce processor will essentially control all their biological hazards (pathogens) if they purchase produce from approved suppliers and properly wash the produce. The FMEA, on the other hand, indicates that, very occasionally, the processor will purchase produce that is contaminated at a high enough level that washing will not remove enough pathogens to prevent foodborne illness in susceptible customers. This observation is supported by the fact that sporadic foodborne outbreaks have occurred in lettuce over the last few years.
“I would like to thank my mentor Richard Vurdela, faculty, Operations Management School of Business who gave me the insights and advice I needed to apply these continuous improvement techniques from other manufacturing sectors into food processing” said Rebecca Robertson, Research Associate, Natural Health and Food Products Research Group (NRG).
Garrett Kryt, Research Analyst, MAKE+ and Product and Process Applied Research Team has a Bachelor’s of Mechanical Engineering from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, and completed his Masters in Mechatronics Systems Engineering at Simon Fraser University this Spring. Garrett’s work focuses primarily on research and development under Dr. Jaimie Borisoff’s Canada Research Chair in the Rehabilitation Engineering Design REDlab.
Garrett combines his love of mechanisms and machine design with a growing skillset in electronics design and prototyping. With previous experience as a bicycle mechanic prior to his education, Garrett is able to draw on his applied mechanical knowledge throughout the design process.
Thesis Topic: Design and Testing of a Novel Power-Assisted Wheelchair System
Garrett’s research thesis was unique because it used Stanford Design Thinking, a product design methodology, to engage with users and develop a novel power-assisted wheelchair system.
Manual wheelchair users can benefit from lightweight power-assist add-ons to their manual wheelchair. Several systems exist on the market, but they do not address all user needs. Therefore, Garrett designed and built a novel power-assisted wheelchair system. Once a prototype was developed, it was tested using a dynamometer at BCIT Centre for Applied Research and Innovation (CARI) and through a focus group with users of power-assist.
“I would like to thank Johanne Mattie for her invaluable advice in the development and implementation of the focus group,” said Garrett Kryt “Ernie Janzen who provided me with the manufacturing expertise during prototype fabrication and my two supervisors Dr. Carolyn Sparrey (SFU) and Dr. Jaimie Borisoff (BCIT) for their valuable guidance throughout the entire thesis.”
BCIT Center for Applied Research and Innovation (CARI)
The Centre for Applied Research and Innovation (CARI) is the home of BCIT’s three dedicated research groups: MAKE+, NRG and SMART, and supporting labs. Formerly known as the Technology Centre, it has been a hub of multi-disciplinary research and development projects for business and industry for almost 30 years. The Applied Research Liaison Office (ARLO) is also located at CARI. ARLO provides a wide range of research and technology development services and guidance to BCIT faculty, researchers, students, and industry partners.