About the Vehicle Technology CentreCollaboratively accelerating the growth of Manitoba’s heavy vehicle and equipment manufacturing cluster through technological advancement and equipping our workforce for the future.
The Vehicle Technology Centre is a non-profit organization that fosters the continued success of Manitoba’s heavy vehicle manufacturing sector by promoting the development and adoption of new technologies. The organization is governed by a board of representatives from major manufacturers within the industry, providing a forum for promoting industry collaboration and identifying ways to improve technological capacity within the industry and academia.
The Vehicle Technology Centre is a non-profit organization that supports technological advancement within Manitoba’s heavy vehicle manufacturing industry. The sector includes manufacturers of urban and intercity buses, fire trucks, motor homes, recreational vehicles, trailers, agricultural and mining equipment and related parts and components suppliers. Heavy vehicle manufacturing represents about 11% of Manitoba’s manufacturing workforce and accounts for about $1.5 billion in annual exports.
- Non-profit corporation, industry-led, volunteer-led, since 2002.
- Mission: Enhancing the competitiveness and building on the success of Manitoba’s Heavy Vehicle Manufacturing cluster.
- The VTC connects original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), suppliers and academia, to encourage joint projects leading to:
- technological advances on the path to zero emissions for heavy vehicles and equipment, and
- integration of advanced manufacturing processes within the unique operating environment of high-value, low-volume manufacturing.
- Advisory committee to Red River College’s Vehicle Technology & Energy Centre (VTEC).
- Finds and leverages opportunities for corporate collaboration on projects and issues of interest to our industry.
- Builds bridges between industry and academia in Manitoba to increase student awareness of our sector, encourage academic research in areas of importance to our industry, and to encourage STEM learning in the schools leading to potential interest in careers in our industry.
- Other activities – Workshops, Youth outreach (University of Manitoba SAE teams, Scholarships, Manitoba Robot Games, Shell Eco-marathon).
To be industry leaders collaborating to facilitate key technology and infrastructure projects, which keep Manitoba’s vehicle and transportation equipment sectors at the forefront in North America.
Board of Directors
Kiera Young – P. Eng.
Over twenty years expertise in the design and manufacturing within Manitoba’s Aerospace and Heavy Equipment sectors with experience in strategy, customer service, new product development, supply chain, engineering, and operations. She is currently the Vice President of Product Development for MacDon Industries Ltd, a manufacturer of specialized harvesting equipment.
Glen Naylor – P. Eng.
Over 35 years leading design teams in product development of heavy-duty vehicles. In the last 10 years the focus has been developing electric and fuel cell transit buses. Currently working in an advisory role related to vehicle electrification and charging infrastructure.
Ray Hoemsen – FEC, P. Eng.
Starting in the agricultural tractor industry, over the last three decades he has worked in the public sector supporting technology transfer, applied research and innovation in many fields, including the heavy vehicle sector. Most recently, Ray was the executive director of research partnerships and Innovation at Red River College and currently consults in the innovation field.
Doug Duncan has extensive experience in transportation issues in Canada developed over a career that has spanned many years at the University of Manitoba’s Transport Institute, the Canadian National Railway, and through public practice as a Chartered Accountant
Gordan Draskovic – P. Eng.
Over 30 years experience in heavy vehicle and equipment design and engineering with experience in 3 countries in products ranging from truck, bus, heavy diesel engine and powertrain . He currently serves as Director of Engineering for Fort Garry Fire Trucks, Canada’s largest fire track manufacturer located in Winnipeg.
Kevin Dickson – P. Eng.
Over 35 years in the design and manufacturing of Electronic system, the last 25 of which were focused on direct applications for heavy duty vehicles. Managed a global engineering group encompassing 5 countries and has spearheaded several International Business development opportunities. Currently semi-retired and focusing on consulting in the areas of vehicle technology.
Jojo Delos Reyes
Over 10 years of industry experience with a solid background in system-level testing, hardware integration and R&D. He is currently the Research Program Manager at Red River College’s Research Partnerships & Innovation office where he oversees applied research and development initiatives related to heavy vehicle emissions improvement, performance testing and electrification.
Kirk Burcar - P. Eng.
As VP of Engineering Services, Kirk has provided direction and guidance to New Flyer’s critical design processes and engineering programs, lending expertise in vehicle controls, statistical problem solving, product quality, and strategies focused on process improvement. Prior to New Flyer, he spent 20 years in the automotive industry with General Motors in various engineering management positions.
Grant Adolph - P. Mgr.
Grant has been in the tractor and agricultural equipment manufacturing industry since 1975. He received his diploma in mechanical engineering technology from Red River College and is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Buhler Industries Inc, the only high horsepower four-wheel drive tractor manufacturer in Canada.
Marcia Friesen, P.Eng., received her undergraduate and graduate training at the University of Manitoba. She holds a doctorate in Biosystems Engineering. Currently, Friesen is the Dean of the Price Faculty of Engineering and the NSERC Chair in Design Engineering. From 2003 to 2017 she served as Director of the Internationally Educated Engineering Qualifications Program (IEEQ) and as Director of the Centre for Engineering Professional Practice and Engineering Education and Associate Dean (Design Education) from 2017 to 2020.
Clustering / Collaboration Initiative
The VTC will encourage collaboration within the heavy equipment and vehicle manufacturing sector and its supply base in Manitoba. There are many common corporate initiatives and precompetitive research projects that could be accomplished in flexible, informal, or formal collaborations between companies. By listening to the sector’s needs, the VTC will encourage the formation of private, academic, and public partnerships to accomplish project goals. We will also seek out other opportunities to create connections within companies in our sector.
Education / Training
The VTC will play a leading role in communicating our industry’s changing education and training needs to the post secondary and vocational high school communities in Manitoba. As our products and processes become more digital, a knowledge transformation is required to prepare our staff for the future.
Academic Collaboration Initiative
Driven by industry needs, the VTC will work to broker industry research and development needs with the researchers at educational institutions in Manitoba. We do this to build an enduring knowledge base within these institutions that can support our sector’s future research needs. By encouraging engagement, academia can also graduate our future employees with firsthand knowledge and familiarity of our products and processes.
Technical Mission Trips
The VTC will be hosting a number of technical mission trips to parts of the world that have advanced technologies and knowledge that Manitoba’s heavy equipment and vehicle manufacturers should have on our corporate radar. Mission Trips may include specialized technical trade shows and relevant plant tours, with the goal of bringing new and advanced knowledge back to Manitoba.