On-Site Magazine

CCA, EllisDon and uOttawa team up in new virtual reality project

October 8, 2020   By On-Site Staff

Engineering students at the University of Ottawa will be turning to virtual reality (VR) to tackle real-world construction problems

The Canadian Construction Association, EllisDon and the University of Ottawa announced a new partnership late last month designed to put construction innovation front-and-centre for STEM students.

“We are delighted to provide an opportunity for our future construction leaders to solve real challenges facing the industry today,” said Patrick Lalonde, director of Virtual Design & Construction (VDC) for Eastern Canada at EllisDon, in a release. “Technology is a tool that is critical to the future of construction, but it has its own challenges to implement successfully. It is through the collective effort of industry and education that we can overcome these challenges to navigate the industry towards the digital era.”

Students will work with mentors from EllisDon to find solutions for a range of obstacles to applying VR on job sites. Eventually, each student will be tasked with producing a final prototype along with a user manual. An independent panel will then select the most suitable solution, which may find its way onto EllisDon job sites.

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Mary Van Buren, president of the CCA, said the initiative is a great opportunity to highlight innovation in construction.

“This project will no doubt spark interest and act as a magnet to attract a tech savvy, next generation workforce to construction,” she said in a release.

With the industry facing a labour shortage in the coming years, attracting younger workers to construction is among the industry association’s top priorities for the next five years.


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