SFU/Weatherhaven collaboration taps SFU Research and Development and gives students hands-on experience

A collaboration between SFU and Weatherhaven, a leading provider of re-deployable shelter systems, will tap into SFU’s scientific expertise and resources while giving students hands-on experience developing next-generation technologies in materials science and engineering.

This is thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) formalizing a $500,000 commitment from Weatherhaven to SFU over the next five years in return for accessing a broad range of SFU’s engineering, research and development (R&D), and other resources.

The collaboration will support Weatherhaven’s efforts to deliver on a $168-million Headquarter Shelter System (HQSS) project for the Government of Canada’s national defense program. The new shelter system will be used to support Canada’s humanitarian and peace-keeping efforts at home and around the world.

"As Canada's engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of education, research and community engagement,” says Andrew Petter, SFU president and vice-chancellor. “This collaboration is an opportunity for our researchers and students to help move cutting-edge ideas into action."

The MOU will be reviewed regularly to discuss expanding the collaboration into new areas, and to possibly extend the length of the agreement. Some potential areas of collaboration include:

  • Materials science

  • Structural engineering and design

  • Prototype testing through 4D LABS

  • “Hands-on” co-op work terms for students

  • In-class mentoring of SFU students by Weatherhaven engineers

  • Business, strategy and export trade analysis

“As a relatively small company, the ability to tap into a world-class university 10 minutes away from our global headquarters to access a variety of engineering, design, testing, strategy and export capabilities significantly adds to our bench strength and ability to deliver on such an important program,” Ray Castelli, chief executive officer of Weatherhaven.

SFU Innovates, a university-wide strategy, helps students and researchers mobilize their business ideas for positive social and economic impact. SFU integrates real-world problem solving into experiential programming and research partnerships. SFU offers world-class public facilities, such as 4D LABS, for developing and commercializing R&D.