Rupp Carriveau and Lucas Semple pose inside greenhouseEngineering professor Rupp Carriveau and UWindsor engineering alumnus Lucas Semple, Under Sun Acres greenhouse operations engineer, are part of a national effort exploring how leading-edge greenhouse technology can be delivered to remote locations and optimized to reduce energy costs and increase production.

Research team exploring optimization of greenhouse agriculture

A team of University of Windsor researchers is leading a national effort on the next frontier of sustainable and accessible food.

Working with experts from government labs and industry, the multidisciplinary team is using a new growing environment modeling tool and advanced additive manufacturing — often referred to as 3D printing — to explore how leading-edge greenhouse technology can be delivered to remote locations and optimized to reduce energy costs and increase production.

“We can explore how more radical changes, like using earthen walls or solar glass, could potentially benefit a leading-edge greenhouse without ever interrupting ongoing commercial operation,” says Rupp Carriveau, the project lead and director of UWindsor’s Environmental Energy Institute.

Dr. Carriveau says the team has created energy harvesting models to design distributed, networked, power systems to provide increased and more sustainable energy for a rapidly expanding sector. Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) such as greenhouses, vertical farms, and plant factories can increase access, yield density, uniformity, and nutritional specificity of food production.

However, challenges over the availability and cost of energy for these facilities remains an obstacle.

“Our simulations will explore how new energy systems can link multiple growers to improve power sharing efficiencies and resiliency while reducing costs,” Carriveau says about the venture, dubbed the Next-Gen Amplified Sustainable Agriculture (NASA) project.

The team will also examine how advanced additive manufacturing can expand the capabilities of today’s greenhouse sector and deliver CEA to remote locations it’s never been before. Collaboration with Western University’s Institute for Earth and Space Exploration will examine how the model and maker tools in the project could be used to produce growing environments in extra-terrestrial locations.

Researchers from UWindsor, Western University; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers; and Under Sun Acres have partnered on the two-year, $450,000 project supported by the Weston Seeding Innovation Fund, Mitacs, and Enbridge Inc.

Researchers will start by examining the ambient environmental conditions of the remote location and desired crop and work backwards to develop new growing systems for remote regions.

Chris Patterson, a UWindsor engineering MASc student contributing to the project, says once they determine crop needs, they will use growing climate and energy models to design and 3D print a growth system specifically optimized for that crop and remote environment.

“Advanced additive manufacturing not only significantly increases the potential for creative structural solutions to challenging building applications but can provide remote locations with the ability to reproduce parts onsite without having to wait for an airplane or rocket ship to deliver a replacement,” says project advisor and engineering professor Jill Urbanic.

The team will produce bench-scale printed growth enclosures and power systems for conditions in Kugluktuk, Canada — a remote community with extreme cold and high sun — and Hanksville, Utah, a dry desert-like setting. Printed models will be tested in Western University’s Biotron Facility, which can simulate just about any conditions on earth, Carriveau says.

An outreach program will be delivered to Essex County schools as a new 2021 STEM module. The module will be developed to enlighten and inspire young people about the important and exciting challenges ahead for the future of food production and potential food production on other planets, says Lindsay Miller, the project’s outreach coordinator.

“Sustainability of a sector really depends on evolving succession,” she adds. “Today’s young people will be feeding the future — we want to start them early.”
Don Sr. and Gail RodzikA $3 million donation from the Rodzik family will support the Transforming Windsor Law building project. Don Sr. and Gail Rodzik were on hand for an announcement Friday.

$3 million gift from Rodzik family to support Windsor Law transformation

A planned $30 million transformation of the current Ron Ianni Faculty of Law building got a major boost Friday with the announcement of a $3 million gift by the Don Rodzik Foundation in support of the Transforming Windsor Law building project.

University of Windsor president Rob Gordon and Faculty of Law dean Chris Waters were joined by Don Rodzik Sr. and members of the Rodzik family at an outdoor event on campus announcing the gift.

“We are immensely proud of our Windsor roots and it has always been important to me and my family to educate, to mentor, to continually improve, to invest, and help our community to succeed,” said Rodzik.

“Our family believes in the power of higher education and the enrichment to those who seek it. The opportunity to improve education is our key motivation in making this gift.”

Rodzik called on others in the community “with an enterprising spirit” to support the campaign.

“We hope this gift will inspire others to consider supporting the renovation and truly transform Windsor Law into something new and better… your investment is needed to make this happen.”

The project, expected to begin in January 2021, is spearheaded by Diamond Schmitt Architects and will remake the current law building into an environment that provides better space for teaching, learning, and collaboration, while serving the accessibility needs of a diverse population in a warm and welcoming way.

The Rodzik family’s gift will support the new building’s Don Rodzik Moot Court; the Don & Gail Rodzik Law Library; and the Don Rodzik Family chair in Law and Entrepreneurship.

Dr. Gordon called the family’s gift “inspirational” and a testament to the importance of relationships built between the University of Windsor and the community it serves.

“The University of Windsor is tremendously grateful to the Rodzik family today for their very generous and meaningful gift, and for the ongoing support and guidance Don Rodzik Jr. has provided as a member of the TWL committee,” he said.

“The Rodzik family story is a uniquely Windsor one, rooted in hard work, tenacity, and a keen eye to the future. We are deeply honoured that the Rodziks recognize Transforming Windsor Law as an investment worth making — a place where tomorrow’s legal practitioners will have a personally transformative educational experience, and where they will receive the support and acquire the important skills needed to make vital contributions to the communities they will serve.”

interior Leddy LibraryThe Leddy Library has modified its services to support the online fall semester.

Leddy Library offering modified services for fall semester

With most classes moving online, the Leddy Library has modified its services to support the online fall semester.

Research consultations with librarians will continue to be available online and select on-campus services have been modified to safely resume operations.

While the library building remains closed for the fall semester, it can be accessed by appointment for select services and material pickup.

The library has been working with health and safety staff to develop plans to resume services and resource circulation while keeping our community safe.

Starting Monday, Sept. 14, the library will make a limited number of computer workstations in the building available for student use. Students are required to make an appointment to reserve a workstation online.

“We recognize that some students may not have sufficient computing or specialized software at home to support their studies,” said Art Rhyno, Leddy Library systems department head. “It is important that we resume access to computer workstations in a safe manner.”

Workstations have been relocated to ensure social distance and additional cleaning procedures are in place. Appointments are limited to 10 three-hour reservations each day, five appointments in the morning and five in the afternoon.

Contactless pickup and digital delivery options are available for accessing books and other physical items.

Students can request physical loan materials through the library website for contactless pickup. In addition, digital delivery enables students to request electronic files of scanned material within the allowable copyright laws and fair dealing guidelines.

Strict health and safety protocols to provide these services must be followed. All students going onto campus must follow the campus directives outlined on the Return to Campus webpage.

The library will have limited capacity and can be accessed only with an appointment.

For more information visit the library’s website or view its frequently asked questions.

—Marcie Demmans

fastpitch batterLancer fastpitch coach Paul Scott has recruited eight players to his team.

Lancer fastpitch program to field new recruits

A combination of local talent and players from across Ontario makes up the eight new players recruited to Lancer fastpitch by head coach Paul Scott.

Mirissa Younan and Makayla Meadows-Goodrich have played for both the LaSalle Athletics and Forest Glade organizations; Emily Odette played with Forest Glade and Claire Fields with the Athletics.

Rounding out the new class are Megan Pepper of Chatham-Kent, Daytona Dobson of Newmarket, Rylie Straus of St. Clements, and Amber Russell from Whitby.

Read the full story, “Scott, Lancer Fastpitch announce 2020-21 recruits,” at

Tech Talk logoWatch a video demonstrating how to use Free College Schedule Maker.

Video demonstrates free schedule maker

While UWinsite Student offers an .ics file download for students to add their class schedule to their calendaring program, it isn’t always enough.

Enter Free College Schedule Maker, an easy way for students to create a visual of their class schedule.

Watch Office of Open Learning’s student online learning assistant Mikayla Bornais as she demonstrates how to use Free College Schedule Maker in this 114-second Tech Talk video.

If you want more information about viewing, downloading, and creating visual class schedules, click on the links in the Comments section below the video.

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