Applied research happens across BCIT, and clusters of expertise focused on addressing complex global challenges are found in our many interdisciplinary centres of excellence. The following is a list of BCIT’s research centres:
Research activities in the Building Science Centre of Excellence (BSCE) are centred on themes related to the performance of a building as a whole, including the building envelope and its durability and energy performance, and healthy indoor environment. Facilities include a Hygrothermal Property Measurement Laboratory, Building Envelope Test Facility, Water Penetration Test Chamber, Environmental Chamber, and Whole Building Performance Research Laboratory (WBPRL).
Contact: Fitsum Tariku
The Centre for Applied Research and Innovation (CARI) is the home of BCIT’s three dedicated research groups: MAKE+, NRG and SMART, 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 30 years. Research activities at CARI focus on product and process development and evaluation; Smart Microgrid research; and product quality and process improvement relating to natural health and food products. CARI is also home to the Applied Research Liaison Office (ARLO), which supports faculty, researchers, students across BCIT and their industry partners.
Location: 4355 Mathissi Place (CARI building)
The BCIT Centre for Architectural Ecology – Collaborations in Green Roofs and Living Walls is evaluating the function and performance of green roofs and living walls in the rainforest climate of coastal BC, through collaborations with industry, government and academic partners. Facilities include the BCIT Green Roof Research Facility in Vancouver, White Rock Operations Centre, and Elevated Research Platform and Sound Transmission Facility at BCIT Burnaby.
The Centre for Digital Tools and Social Transformation – DigiToST – is an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional research lab at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in conjunction with undergraduate and graduate students at UBC, UVic, SFU and BCIT, and community partners in education and public health. The disciplines range from public health to education to social sciences to engineering and computing systems.
The Centre for Digital Transformation (C4DT) provides leadership, best practices, research, support, and training in Advanced Additive Manufacturing, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, Internet of Things, and Privacy. Focusing on the leadership and management of digital transformation, our interdisciplinary team works with faculty, industry and students to empower people, shape BC, and inspire global progress.
The world’s first Centre for Ecocities, based at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), will support the evolution of ecocities worldwide. Led by Dr. Jennie Moore, a leader in the advancement of sustainable cities and lifestyles, it will support research and provide the tools, metrics, expert planning and policy advice, training and other services that cities and their partners need to become genuine ecocities.
A legacy of the 2019 Ecocity World Summit in Vancouver, the Centre will anchor the global leadership of BCIT in the restructuring of cities to reduce their carbon and ecological footprints while simultaneously regenerating natural habitat.
It adds new capabilities to assess a city’s energy and materials requirements relative to climate stability thresholds and ecological carrying capacity. As well, it identifies the top actions a city and its citizens can take to close the sustainability gap, through urban restructuring and changes in lifestyle related to food, buildings, consumables and wastes, transportation, and water. This approach leverages BCIT’s world renowned research in building science, including green roofs and living walls, smart microgrid technology, and ecological restoration.
The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to the billions of physical devices around the world that are now connected to the Internet, all collecting and sharing data. IoT is making the fabric of the world around us smarter and more responsive, bridging the digital and physical universes. Opportunities are limitless spanning education, industry and research.
Diversity Circles proposes an Indigenous model for post-secondary teachers and academic staff to utilize professional mentoring and community outreach for engaging student and community diversity. A series of panels, workshops, conversations, tools, and connections to support an effective model to engage with increasing diversity positively, sensitively, and strategically, by leveraging the power of community based expertise to drive responses to diversity and empower all participants in the diversity conversation.
Contact: Shannon Kelly
The Emission Reduction and Research Test Hub (ERRTH) is a research facility located at the BCIT Motive Power Centre of Excellence on Annacis Island, in Delta, BC. Together with industry partners and all levels of government, ERRTH creates a cleaner environment by effectively measuring vehicle emissions, testing proposed solutions, and improving air quality. ERRTH supports new product development from proof of concept through design, testing and commercialization, and by offering objective data to governments on engine emissions.
Location: Annacis Island
Contact: Steve Perry
The Language Success Team is a new initiative at BCIT to help students who need English language support. Some of the Team programs and research are funded by the Government of Canada under the Future Skills program.
BCIT’s Polytechnic Research Institute for Simulation and Multimedia (PRISM) is a Centre of Excellence focused on developing, exploring, and researching all types of simulation that can be used to support teaching and learning. Using some of the latest emerging technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), and others, we are developing new ways for students to learn in the classroom, virtually, and in the field.
PRISM is currently using simulations and multimedia elements across multiple disciplines, including health, transportation, aerospace, construction, forestry, and mining. We are also undertaking several research projects to measure the efficacy of the technology to ensure that it supports better learning outcomes and a better experience for students.
Contact: Brian Hosier 604-432-8480
The Rehabilitation Engineering Design Lab (REDLab) is the central hub for Dr. Jaimie Borisoff, BCIT’s former Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Rehabilitation Engineering Design. The research program focuses on studying and developing technologies that positively impact a person’s ability to interact with the built and natural environments, and/or promote health and community participation for those with disabilities. This research entails studying the issues, barriers, and gaps faced by people with spinal cord injury and other mobility impairments; and developing new technologies to help mitigate these issues.
The RPAS Hub is BCIT’s collaborative Centre for education, training and research in drone technology.
Drones are now referred to as RPAS: Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems. RPAS merge aircraft technology with fields as diverse as surveying, emergency response, and equipment inspection—all areas of BCIT expertise. As British Columbia’s leader in aerospace and technology education, we are committed to ensuring the successful application of RPAS technology to learning, research, and industry.
The BCIT Rivers Institute is focused on the protection and restoration of rivers, streams, estuaries, lakes and wetlands in British Columbia. We accomplish our mission by teaching the theory and practice of aquatic ecosystem restoration to full and part time students and industry professionals enrolled in the Ecological Restoration Degree Program. We provide guidance and expertise for community based restoration initiatives, conducting applied research, and mentoring the next generation of ecological restoration professionals.
The BCIT Rivers Institute is led by Dr. Ken Ashley in the Rudy North Chair in River Ecology.
The Spartan Controls Centre for Energy Education and Research is the School of Energy’s boiler, co-generation and industrial instrumentation facility, drawing together students, faculty and operations personnel in a cross-disciplinary learning and research environment focused on energy production, distribution, sustainability and management. It includes a multi-fuel boiler and a 220 kW electrical generator which is tied in to BCIT’s Smart Microgrid.
The Teck Copper Innovation Hub provides specialized 3D printing systems, professional design and engineering services, and training to meet industry needs across multiple manufacturing sectors, including advanced composites, metals, foods and bio-manufacturing.
Contact: Kim Dotto
Technology Place is a Discovery Parks Investments Ltd. building on the BCIT Burnaby campus. It has office and laboratory space that can be customized for a wide range of wet lab, dry lab, office and technology tenants. Tenant companies are mainly in life sciences sectors, but also include software, hardware, cleantech, digital media, and air quality and allergen testing. The incubation of many small and medium-sized companies in one building creates synergy and an optimum environment for research and development.
Discovery Parks also runs a startup technology incubator called The Generator. The Generator is 5,000 sq. ft. of incubator office space available to high tech startup companies on a competitive basis. An initiative developed between Discovery Parks and the City of Vancouver in 2011, early-stage technology companies apply to win 12 months of free work space. With access to mentors and programming provided by BC TECH and LifeSciences BC, the companies also have support available to thrive and grow.
Contact: Laura Cassin
Learn more: Current tenants of Technology Place [PDF]