Faculty members instructing within the Engineering Transfer Certificate and Diploma programs engage in a number of activities outside the teaching program mostly in the areas of community outreach, international development/collaboration, and research.
Two central outreach activities have been initiated by members of the Engineering/Physics department including the Extreme Science Show (Ray Penner) and the Engineering Fair (Brian Dick). The Extreme science show was started as a fund raising tool for LED Africa (see below) and brings "big" science to almost 1200 elementary school children in the local school district each year.
The Engineering Fair was funded through a NSERC Promoscience grant to bring the idea of Engineering Design to local high school students. Up to 300 students each year were invited to the VIU campus and involved in a day long engineering design competition.
In addition to these larger programs, members of the Faculty have also been involved in presentations to local schools, as well as the Scientists in the Schools program operated through Telus World of Science and funded by the Province of British Columbia.
Faculty within the Department have had extensive involvement in international activities, both development and collaborative projects.
Ray Penner created LED Africa, a charitable organization that aims to provide light emitting diode (LED) lighting systems to rural secondary schools in Malawi to improve evening study sessions for students. LEDs have much lower power requirements than standard lighting and can be run through a combination of solar power/back up rechargeable battery systems. The lighting is intended to replace kerosene lamps that are currently being used but have issues with cost, lighting strength, and pollution.. Academic improvement in those schools that have had these systems installed has been remarkable and work continues to expand into more schools.
Brian Dick has worked worked extensively overseas over the last few years including both development projects and collaborative efforts. He has been in Vietnam for almost six months working with Tra Vinh University to help improve the academic/learning environment through seminars, instructional skills workshops, teaching, and general consulting. He has worked collaboratively with universities in Taiwan giving seminars to students/instructors on the topic of Critical Thinking and gave an invited talk entitled "Topics in NanoScience" at an International Conference on Technology and Law. In Korea, he took part in a program at Seoul's Women's University to help prepare their students for their study-abroad terms.
Brian Dick has constructed a Carbon Nanotube fabrication facility at the VIU site. More information can be found through the link below: