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VR learning to be offered at Ont. university for STEM students

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The Brockville General Hospital expansion project was completed by EllisDon.

Virtual reality (VR) learning will be coming to an Ontario university in an attempt to spark construction innovation among STEM students.

The University of Ottawa will be partnering with the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) and EllisDon, an Ontario based construction company, to advance virtual reality in construction.

“This is a great opportunity for the industry to highlight the exciting innovations and latest technology used in construction,” said Mary Van Buren, CCA president. “This project will no doubt spark interest and act as a magnet to attract a tech-savvy, next-generation workforce to construction. CCA appreciates EllisDon in taking on this mentorship role.”

The project will see students providing solutions based on real-life issues using virtual reality. Students working in teams will be offering multiple solutions to predetermined problems. Student teams will be mentored by executives from EllisDon to highlight the issues and to advance the knowledge of students in the use of VR.

At the end of the project, each student team will produce a final prototype with a user manual and an independent panel will select the most suitable solution. The selected prototype will be available to EllisDon to use.

“EllisDon is excited to participate in this unique opportunity with uOttawa and CCA,” said Patrick Lalonde, director of virtual design and construction for Eastern Canada at EllisDon. “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.”

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