Fanshawe College’s new research centre teams up with Toronto’s Thermodyne Engineering Ltd. to test products
by Norman DeBono (feat. David Perry)
The London Free Press
November 4, 2015
Against a backdrop of military might at an industry conference Wednesday, a London firm landed a five-year deal to partner with an engineering leader in aircraft crash investigations.
Thermodyne Engineering Ltd. in Toronto is teaming up with Fanshawe College’s new research centre to test products from industry around the globe, helping each other with testing and research on products.
Toronto-based Thermodyne has carved out a niche in fire and crash investigations, a role in which the local product centre, the Canadian Centre for Product Validation (CCPV), may help.
This is the beginning of a fantastic relationship here,” said Ben Cecil, chief business officer for the centre at Fashawe and an associate vice-president of the college.
“This is exactly what CCPV is about — building capacity, helping with commercialization.”
The CCPV, announced in March by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, will open in March as a national centre — a first in Canada — to test products for the private sector and recommend ways they can be improved in their design and manufacturing for a global market.
“Thermodyne has a fantastic capability investigating explosions and testing. We can leverage each other’s strengths in engineering and product testing,” Cecil said.
The deal was announced at the Best Defence Conference, one of the largest military conferences in Canada with more than 400 delegates and 70 business displays. It was held at the London Convention Centre.
Thermodyne president Joseph Yeremian said at first he saw CCPV as competition, but realized the company can work with the centre.
“I met them and realized they complement us. We should work together. Now we have the best communication and agreement,” he said.
Along with product testing in manufacturing and industry, his company specializes in probing fires and bomb blasts, including recent explosions involving the Airbus 321 aircraft, something London’s CCPV may help with.
“Together we are much stronger,” said Yeremian, who’s also a safety analyst with the Ontario Aerospace Council and on the Southern Ontario Defence Association.
“This is about supporting Canadian business and that is what we are in business for. We are in aggressive growth strategy and this will help us achieve this,” said Cecil.
David Perry, a senior analyst with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, who was at the conference, said he believes the new Liberal government’s pledge to boost Canada’s defence sector exports by 40 per cent could help London.
“There are very aggressive targets to grow the industry by 40 per cent. There has to be a strong export component to that to support and enable companies to land deals overseas,” said Perry.
London’s General Dynamics Land Systems Canada, which builds light armoured military vehicles, will supply Canada’s $15-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia — the country’s largest such deal of its kind — the kind of deal Ottawa will need more of to meet those targets.
“This government has an expansive agenda. It will be interesting to watch and see what it does,” said Perry, keynote speaker at the conference organized by London Economic Development Corp.
The new government has listed 325 priorities, of which 24 are defence-related, he added.
London has more than 50 businesses, and 12,000 workers employed in the defence sector.