Saskatchewan Polytechnic celebrates students’ applied research projects

Applied Research Student Showcase shared 56 innovative and creative applied research project videos

May 17, 2021 – Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Applied Research Student Showcase featured 56 project videos focused on solving real-world problems. This virtual showcase is a celebration of the applied research projects of Sask Polytech’s innovative and passionate students. Videos of the student projects were shared online for adjudication by judges, industry and community partners.

“Applied research is where ideas meet reality, delivering practical solutions to everyday challenges,” says Dr. Larry Rosia, president and CEO. “Applied research assesses a need, proves a concept, and tests new products to refine them for market. Congratulations to all of the students in this year’s virtual showcase on a job well done! You truly are the innovators of tomorrow.”

“Participating in applied research gives students hands-on experience to transition seamlessly into their chosen career and positions them as an employee of choice in today's competitive job market,” says Dr. Susan Blum, associate vice-president, Applied Research and Innovation. “Congratulations to this year’s participants and winners. You are leading the way!”

Some of the students participating have previously received a $1,000 scholarship to assist with their research. Other students presented capstone projects, a final assignment part of their academic program.

The 2021 Applied Research Student Showcase was held virtually for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sask Polytech received almost 200 votes in the Industry/People’s Choice category.   

2021 Applied Research Student Showcase Winners


First ($1,000)

Dan Richert

Geographic Information Science – certificate

Mapping opioid addiction and opioid-related deaths in Saskatchewan

Using models from the United States, Dan created a spatial analysis based on relevant data regarding opioid addiction and opioid-related deaths in Saskatchewan. His analysis shares information that can help to better communicate the problems surrounding the opioid crisis in our province. View Dan's video.

Second ($800)

Breana Muller

Medical Laboratory Technology – diploma

PCR use for blood culture samples to promote antimicrobial stewardship

It is estimated that by the year 2050, 10 million people will die every year from antibiotic-resistant infections. Broad spectrum antibiotics are given to a patient while they are waiting on the identification of the specific pathogen causing the infection. Breana shares that if the pathogen can be identified earlier using a PCR Diagnostic Panel the health care system could decrease the use of broad spectrum antimicrobrials. View Breana's video.

Second ($800)

Hariharan Rajendra

Business – diploma

Addressing moral distress on the frontlines: the ethical challenges police officers are experiencing due to COVID-19

This study provides strategies and resources aimed to enhance and maintain the mental health and wellness of police officers during COVID-19. Hariharan worked with the Moose Jaw Police Service to collect information for this study. The project provides information for law enforcement on ethical challenges experienced by police officers during the pandemic. View Hariharan's video.


First ($1,000)

Jonah Sutter

Geographic Information Science – certificate

Using GIS to help reduce response times to rural emergencies

For this project Jonah applied spatial analysis to the local fire and rescue services of Springside, Saskatchewan. His analysis shows changes that could be made to improve how jurisdictions are drawn and displays the power GIS could potentially provide to rural planners. View Jonah's video.

Second ($800)

Scott Lee

Civil Engineering Technologies – diploma

Exterior slab mix design with slag replacement comparison

Concrete is the most used man-made substance in the world. Scott’s project looked at ways to make concrete more sustainable and economical. This project found that by using 30 per cent slag replacement, a by-product of steel manufacturing, builders could accumulate 13 points towards a LEED certification and save money on cement costs. View Scott's video.

Third ($500)

Tory Frankl and Lauren Lukan

Integrated Resource Management – diploma

Growing Black Spruce seeds (picea mariana) in three biochar inoculations

Tory and Lauren compared black spruce seedling growth in biochar/sand mixtures inoculated with compost-derived worm castings, manure, forest soils, peat and non-inoculated controls. Black spruce grown in manure-inoculated biochar displayed significant growth advantages over other soil amendments. These results are likely to contribute to the future success of oil sands reclamation on disturbed forested sites. View Tory and Lauren's video.


Industry choice ($500)

Kelsey Knipple 

Psychiatric Nursing

Policing mental dealth: a psychiatric nursing perspective in crisis intervention

Kelsey identified that there are growing concerns about police responding to mental health calls in the community. She acknowledges that the Saskatchewan Health Authority is collaborating with law enforcement to provide assistance with mental health crisis calls. Kelsey identified some areas of improvement after surveying some officers from Regina Police Services including more funding for mental health units, more specialized mental health workers to assist with calls and more training on identifying common mental health disorders. View Kelsey's video.

Sask Polytech faculty, researchers and students collaborate with employers on applied research projects. These projects take many forms including product development, process design, technology adoption and proof of concept. Using state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and faculty expertise Sask Polytech delivers solutions and helps industry to capture new opportunities. Intellectual property for all applied research projects is retained by industry, creating more incentive for future creative engagement and ongoing collaboration. 

Sask Polytech is always looking to create more work-integrated learning opportunities for our student researchers. If you have a business challenge you need assistance with, please contact us.