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Spring 2012

Tomorrow: Brought to you by Mohawk College


Research Innovation In the Spotlight at Mohawk

Interview: Nafia Al-Mutawaly and Team are Protecting the Grid Feature: Health & Wellness get a Workout in New Program

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elcome to Mohawk College’s premier issue of Quanta, an annual publication celebrating some of the most exciting research taking place at the college and in the greater Hamilton region. It’s a great word, ‘quanta’. It means distinct, fundamental amounts of something, typically energy. A quantum of energy would be the tiniest amount of energy possible. A quantum leap, on the other hand, describes a chasmcrossing bolt of insight to some previously unknown truth or understanding. Quanta is a tribute to all the energy expended, and the chasms crossed, by the many R&D teams at work in the labs and offices throughout Mohawk College.

Applied research projects involve industry partners – often small businesses in emerging fields – who benefit from our faculty’s expertise and our students’ talent. Read about the collaborative carbon footprint modeling research done at Mohawk with a global software company located here in Hamilton and a new music enculturation program that got its start at Ontario Early Years Centres. Quanta is a journal for, and about, the innovators – at Mohawk, in industry and in our community – that are doing work that makes a difference in our lives and in our world. We hope you enjoy our premier issue.

This issue takes a look at the different types of research conducted at Mohawk: research that’s innovative, responsive, and applicable to industry. Faculty-driven research in health and education provides evidence-based results for clinicians to implement breastfeeding guidelines more effectively in hospitals. And it improves the health curriculum to better prepare students for clinical practice through simulation. Pamela Hensley

Valerie Mitanoff

Contents 1


20 Simulation-Enhanced Learning


Healthy, Well-thy and Why


Researcher Profiles

22 Stakeholder Comments: Why is research at colleges important?


Wastewater Treatment Gets a Kick in the Carbon Footprint

12 Breast Practices

24 Power to the People: An interview with Nafia Al-Mutawaly 28 A Message from the Chief: Ted Scott

14 Music to our (Babies’) Ears 16 In a Complex Healthcare Environment, Seeing is Believing

Quanta Spring 2012


Healthy, Well-thy and Why 2

| Quanta Spring 2012

Shelley Lang coaches student Stephanie Gaston on the pull component of the Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation (PARE) circuit while student Amber Silversmith awaits her turn.

A new program takes shape at Mohawk


2007, Mohawk Justice faculty member, Dennis Campbell (who for 12 years has prepared law enforcement, corrections and law & security students for extreme physical rigors), proposed a new program. Dennis knew the growing physical/personal training market well. He pointed out that, while the healthcare and fitness arenas have many areas of overlap, there were no programs preparing well-rounded graduates to meet those combined needs in the marketplace. Personal trainers (who may take anything from a weekend course to a two-year certification) have limited understanding of proper nutrition for a healthy lifestyle. Nutrition counsellors may not explore social or psychological components of wellness. And so on. What evolved from this insight was a new Health, Wellness & Fitness Diploma program offering a holistic perspective on emotional health and fitness. The curriculum deals with the psychological, physical and emotional benefits of human health, essentially rewriting the standards for many career paths.

Hands Up. And Hands On No program of this nature can be conceived without strong theoretical grounding. It includes rigorous classes in wellness, psychology, anatomy, physical training, exercise science and more. And an equally demanding practical component. Lab work, research and hands-on training in every semester of the two-year program give students ‘work-ready’ confidence. This dual-focus approach creates uniquely qualified practitioners who’ll raise standards of care in numerous health, wellness and fitness settings: corporate, academia, research, private practice (the program’s business studies encourage entrepreneurial students) and more.

Faculty is Pumped Faculty members, Cassandra Cope, Dan MacLennan, Derek Vandenbrink, Chantal Szpak, Dennis Campbell and Nick Petrella, are enthusiastic, committed and accomplished program leaders.

The Health, Wellness & Fitness Diploma program joined Mohawk’s syllabus in fall 2009. It’s grown from a team of two to ten faculty and technologists. Program expansion has exceeded the most optimistic estimates.

A Program is Born, Opportunities are Created The new program offers training for multiple in-demand skills. As our population ages, and fitness and health suffer, our healthcare industry calls for prevention while simultaneously trying to reduce strain on GPs by redistributing certain aspects of care. This new program’s timing couldn’t be better. Offering preventative and restorative instruction, nutrition counselling, sports psychology, motivation, wellness and physical training, the HWF program produces graduates who will become ideal partners in today’s healthcare environment.

Dennis Campbell counsels Anna Cyrus after her attempt at the PARE circuit.

Quanta Spring 2012


Here are some insights into the program’s strengths, directly from those who shaped the curriculum: “One of the great features of the HWF program is the hands on ‘Living Lab Experience’ which provides students with the skills required to work in the industry.” D.C. “There’s a lot to like about the program, but incredible support from Mohawk has been critical to both triggering and managing the rapid growth of the program. Our state-of-the-art equipment is upgraded when the next advance is made, so students graduate with the most up-to-the-minute experience possible.” C.C. “Our team is extremely diverse and current. We have a finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the industries we serve, and the support to build the program to meet those needs.” D. V. “The ‘Living Lab’ opportunities we offer give such great experience to students. The classroom leads right to the client here; students emerge with good grounding in developing a rapport with, and understanding the needs of, their future clients.” D.M.

“Through a very easy-to-sell co-op program, our students are out in the community, developing corporate wellness programs, working with law enforcement, raising standards at health and fitness clubs and more. Even within just a couple of years, the demand for graduates with the skills and experience we deliver is obvious.” C.S. “There is a passion for research here that every student gets exposed to. It doesn’t just come from our co-op or lab programs. It’s the way we love to work. It’s not that research is a requirement of some sort… it’s a given.” N.P.

And the first to benefit from the program was… Mohawk “It’s been a rare privilege, not only to witness the remarkable early success of the Health, Wellness & Fitness program, but also to see how the group as a whole has created connections and programs within the college for everyone’s benefit,” offered Jo-Anne Procter, Associate Dean, Justice and Wellness Studies. “It wasn’t long before a natural partnership with our Justice program evolved. HWF faculty, students and co-op students work with classes of future law enforcement, firefighters and corrections workers to help them meet the demanding physical side of those careers. Since cooperation between programs began, HWF students have assisted Police Foundation students, enabling them to pass the physical assessments required for graduation (PREP). And HWF students, in return, get invaluable direct, personal client experience,” Procter concluded. The college benefits in other ways, too. HWF regularly presents seminars, lunch-and-learn sessions and other community initiatives. The program has become a healthy component of life at Mohawk.

But… this is not just an in-house program! Chantal Szpak and Cassandra Cope measure body composition using the RJL system.

The HWF influence has grown within Mohawk, and developed (perhaps even more rapidly) outside the college, too, as co-op students and faculty forge an expanding network of corporate, government and health industry connections. Some highlights:


| Quanta Spring 2012

Recent (and exciting) HWF initiatives • Hamilton-area high schools felt the full force of HWF during the first annual Fit For Future (or F3) Challenge. Over 100 athletes participated! The event was richly applauded, and is sure to grow. Athletes tested their potential in an environment incorporating education and awareness. High school and college students collaborated to promote healthy living. • On the research front, an HWF team is currently pursuing approval and funding to partner with a major fitness manufacturer with the joint aim of delivering what will be among the first mobile VO2 studies exploring the energy cost of “functional” exercise. Traditional VO2 testing usually involves stationary, in-line exercises. Using new, portable, backpackstyle equipment, we can now determine how much oxygen is needed, and how many calories are burned, in a less-constrained fitness arena. We will explore oxygen consumption during strength, fitness and movement training. A more technical description of the study: “Explore metabolic costs of multidirectional training, through study of loaded multidirectional movement.” Exciting outcomes expected! Influenced by our exemplary record of training recruits, the Halton Regional Police Services have partnered

It’s all about a flying start Thanks to strong partnerships between faculty and administration, and the hard work of everyone involved, the program is a smash success and will continue to grow for years. The department’s expansion to ten faculty (including five HWF program graduates!); our enrollment increasing by 30 to 40 students each term; and more opportunities daily all point to a wonderful future for HWF.

with HWF to offer job-specific workplace wellness education – a program well into implementation. And, based on that success, several other area police services have expressed interest in pursuing similar partnerships. • For McMaster Innovation Park, the HWF faculty and students initiated fitness and personal training tests and assessments. In keeping with our mandates, these deliver healthy living programs including fitness, wellness and nutrition. • One of Mohawk’s 2011 HWF co-op students, Joanne Smith, orchestrated the Dofasco Health & Wellness Fair, catering to over 5,500 Dofasco employees. The event was a tremendous success. • HWF’s ‘Core Fusion’ program develops assessment and training plans for individuals, organizations and amateur sports teams. The program helps improve understanding of movement, balance and coordination, for injury prevention and overall fitness. We fine-tune it for the participants, from weekend warriors to elite athletes. • And the initiatives continue, as each faculty member plans for the months (and students) ahead.

For more information about the Health, Wellness & Fitness Diploma program, to inquire about research or partnership possibilities, or just to talk wellness for a while, please contact Associate Dean Jo-Anne Procter through the Mohawk College switchboard.

Perhaps the greatest accomplishment (so far!) has been the program’s ability to deliver grads with the confidence, experience and vision to succeed. Offering that flying start gives the very best result. This program truly has the well-prepared graduate in mind.

Quanta Spring 2012


Researcher Profiles 6

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Leslie Murray

Mark Yendt

The Simulator

The Wastewater Warrior

With 17 years experience at a trauma hospital, a background in research and a love for teaching, it’s natural that Leslie Murray is now researching the benefits of simulation-enhanced learning as a tool to prepare students for clinical practice. Leslie began to make the transition from hospital to classroom in 1997, when she accepted a teaching position at the Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences. Leslie is currently a professor in the collaborative Mohawk-McMaster Medical Radiation and Rehabilitation Sciences program and a member of the Hamilton Health Science/ Faculty of Health Sciences Research Ethics Board.

Before joining Mohawk’s faculty of Engineering Technology, Mark was one of the early developers of software for the wastewater treatment industry. He contributed to the development of software used for estimating the fate of toxic chemicals in wastewater and predicting water treatment plant disinfection and chemical by-product formation. He also started a company that developed environmental management software used by industrial dischargers in Ontario and is a past co-recipient of the Harrison Prescott Eddy medal for Noteworthy Research, awarded by the Water Environment Association. Today, Mark teaches and develops advanced level courses in Mohawk’s Software Development program. He stays on the leading edge of software development through his involvement with iDeaWORKS and his mentorship of students working on collaborative applied research projects with industry.

Nancy Matthew-Maich

Lauren Brydges

Duane Bender

Best Practitioner

Baby Maestro

The eHealth Investigator

Nancy is a Professor in the School of Nursing at Mohawk College in the Mohawk-McMasterConestoga Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. She is actively involved in the development, implementation and evaluation of numerous workshops to foster evidence-informed decision-making in students, faculty and clinical preceptors in many organizations and healthcare sectors. Other research interests include knowledge translation, clinical practice guideline implementation and uptake, faculty development and reflective practice. Nancy recently completed a PhD in Nursing (Nursing Research Sciences) at McMaster University. She is the recipient of the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) Best Practice Guideline Doctoral Fellowship funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. Read about her work exploring the processes involved in the implementation and uptake of the RNAO Breastfeeding BPG and its impact at multiple levels throughout the healthcare system.

Lauren is a registered Early Childhood Educator and instructor at Mohawk College in the Early Childhood Education diploma program, ECE Intensive, ECE Apprenticeship and Continuing Education. She also manages Today’s Family Ontario Early Years programs for Hamilton Mountain, where she evaluates the needs of families and children, develops new programs and collaborates with numerous agencies to enhance services. Lauren’s commitment to learning, professional development and program innovation lends itself to research, while her thirty years of experience working with Hamilton families make her the ideal conduit between academia and the community. Teaming up again with Mohawk colleague David Gerry and McMaster University’s Dr. Laurel Trainor, Lauren’s next project involves researching the benefits of introducing the Suzuki Early Childhood Music Program to children aged 0-6 years at the Ontario Early Years programs.

Duane is a Principal Investigator at the Mohawk eHealth Development and Innovation Centre (MEDIC), which focuses on the application of information technology to healthcare. With the sponsorship of NSERC, Duane and his team are building a reference implementation of the national electronic healthcare record system architecture, as published by Canada Health Infoway, using HL7v3. He’s also a licensed Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) and enterprise technology architect with nearly 20 years practical experience in software engineering and systems development. Duane teaches in the faculty of Engineering Technology and, when not in the classroom, enjoys hobby farming and playing guitar in a cover band.

Quanta Spring 2012


PROJECT Implementation of a Carbon Footprint Model for Wastewater Treatment RESEARCH TEAM Rajeev Goel, Mark Yendt, Andrew Blackbourn, Zahraa Khalil Program Software Development, Chemical Engineering Technology Funding Partner Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Wastewater Treatment Gets a Kick in the Carbon Footprint 8

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Implementation of a Carbon Footprint Model for Wastewater Treatment


arbon footprint modeling of wastewater treatment plants is used to estimate carbon dioxide (CO2) (biogenic/non-biogenic), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) emissions for regulatory and inventory requirements. Such modeling is an important part of decision-making during the planning and designing stages of wastewater treatment plants. Evaluations of plant configurations that can help minimize the formation of greenhouse gases are now being integrated into project studies.

Current Approaches to Carbon Footprint estimation Of the several carbon footprint modeling approaches available for wastewater treatment, some use empirical emission factors (IPCC, 2006), while others like CHEApet (WERF, 2011) are based on mass balance and mechanistic modeling. Dynamic process simulators (based on mechanistic models for carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus removal) are already commonly used for plant design and optimization. These existing removal


Primary Clarifier

processes incorporate most of the essential information required to also estimate the carbon footprint of these plants. Extending the removal models with carbon footprint measurement capability offers the following potential benefits: 1. Flexibility of process configurations – the process simulator enables users to investigate any process scheme with different operational conditions. 2. Reduced model inputs – few additional inputs are required for carbon footprint modeling. 3. Coupling performance with carbon emission – the trade-off between the process performance and size of the carbon footprint can be evaluated using process simulators. 4. Steady state and dynamic evaluation – it is possible to evaluate the effect of change in the plant-loading and operational conditions on the N2O and CH4 output.

Aeration Tank


Secondary Clarifier


Digested Sludge

Figure 1. Plant Layout for a test plant Quanta Spring 2012


Carbon emissions are classified in three categories (Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3) according to IPCC (2006). For each category, emissions, offsets and net emissions are estimated based on user inputs. The carbon footprint model was tested using a benchmark wastewater treatment plant that had previously been used in a carbon emission study (Enviromega Inc., 2002). The plant configuration, as shown in Figure 1, is a standard wastewater treatment process for biochemical oxygen demand removal and nitrification. The average wastewater composition and average annual flow rate were used to run the model for steady state conditions. The model was able to match the

The carbon footprint model will help wastewater professionals evaluate the effects of plant configuration on greenhouse gas output.

From implementation to estimation Based on these considerations, a project was undertaken, under the FedDev Ontario program, to implement a carbon footprint estimation model in the GPS-X plant-wide dynamic simulator. The objective was to develop a mechanistic, dynamic platform for estimation, optimization and reporting of carbon emissions and offsets for an entire wastewater treatment plant. The three-stage development and implementation of the model included a review and summary of proposed/ existing carbon methodologies for wastewater treatment plants; the formulation of a consistent framework applicable to both wastewater treatment and bio-solids handling; and, finally an implementation of a carbon footprint estimation methodology within GPS-X. 10

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important plant data after calibration. Assuming that any organic carbon in the wastewater is from non-fossil sources, the CO2 produced at different processes can be completely offset. It is also clear that the flaring of CH4 is important to reduce the CO2 emissions from the plant. Further CO2 offsets can be achieved for Scope 2 if energy recovery options (from the flaring) are considered at the plant. A breakdown of the total emitted carbon indicates that the largest contribution is due to the burning of natural gas for digester heating. This case study will be expanded in the final paper and will show the effects of energy recovery, N2O production and solids disposal on the total carbon footprint of the plant. The carbon footprint model implemented in a dynamic process simulator will help wastewater professionals evaluate the effects of plant configuration and operational strategies on the carbon footprint and effluent quality side-by-side. The implementation provides a one-platform solution to model wastewater and solid-handling facilities for holistic assessment.

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PROJECT Implementing Breastfeeding Best Practice Guidelines RESEARCH TEAM Nancy Matthew-Maich; Jenny Ploeg; Maureen Dobbins; Susan Jack Program Bachelor of Science in Nursing Funding Partner Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario

Breast Practices 12

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Implementing and Using Best Practice Guidelines in Three Ontario Hospitals


he Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO), in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Health, has taken a leadership role in developing and implementing numerous guidelines for nursing and healthcare professional practice. This study aimed to contribute a better understanding of the complex processes involved in implementing and using the RNAO Breastfeeding Best Practice Guidelines (BPG) in three acute care hospitals, and also to understand the system impact. Constructivist grounded theory was used to guide the development of a theoretical model of BPG implementation, use and impact. Purposive and then theoretical sampling resulted in the recruitment of 112 healthcare providers and clients. Triangulation of data sources and types occurred through in-depth interviews (120), documents and field notes. Concurrent data collection/analysis occurred. Three researchers analyzed data and confirmed codes and categories. Member checking was done.

from practising without evidence or BPGs, to using and believing in the BPGs as a guide to daily nursing practice. The change phases included: learning; doubting, fearing and resisting; trusting to trial new practices; getting outcomes feedback; believing in and using new practices; and disseminating new practices to colleagues and patients. 4. Ongoing evaluating and revising implementation processes, facilitators and barriers. The perceived impact of implementing and using the guidelines includes enhanced nursing practice consistent with the BPG, professional pride and job satisfaction, consistency of breastfeeding practices, patient satisfaction with hospital stay and breastfeeding support received, better inter-professional trust and relationships, improved organizational image, stronger community partnerships and interorganizational resource sharing. When the BPG was implemented without uptake, the result was mixed messages for patients and low satisfaction with hospital stay.

Essential processes for implementing and using the guidelines were identified and integrated into a Knowledge Transfer Framework. They are: 1. Respected, passionate frontline leadership igniting and supporting the changes.

The RNAO Breastfeeding BPG resulted in important local and system impacts when effective implementation processes were used. Implementation processes illuminated in this study were fundamental to the guideline uptake in these contexts. BPG implementation

2. Ongoing multifaceted strategies by frontline leaders tailored to nurses’ readiness to change.

is a systems issue and needs to be viewed as such with

3. An individual change process was facilitated in nurses with distinct phases, in which they transformed

Funding: RNAO Best Practice Guideline Doctoral Fellowship;

both implementation and evaluation efforts.

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care Quanta Spring 2012

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PROJECT Music Enculturation in Infancy RESEARCH TEAM Laurel Trainor; Céline Marie; David Gerry; Elaine Whiskin; Andrea Unrau; Lauren Brydges Program Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (McMaster University); Music Studies and Early Childhood Education (Mohawk College) Community Partner Ontario Early Years Centres

Music to Our (Babies’) Ears 14

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Music Enculturation in Infants Under 12 Months


usic is a cornerstone of human culture. It is experienced, performed and enjoyed in everyday life, throughout all societies, and used to mark important occasions of all kinds, from weddings to funerals and everything in between. The ability of music to engender a common emotion and engage people in cooperative social behaviour likely explains why music is ubiquitous in religious rituals, sporting events, cooperative work engagement, interactions between caregivers and infants and a near-endless list of other examples one could formulate. Part of the power of music lies in the fact that it is generative – it does not simply consist of a fixed set of vocal signals, but rather a structural framework in which an unlimited number of musical compositions is possible. Furthermore, although there are biological constraints that shape the range of possible musical structures (or instruments), the particular structures used vary from musical system to musical system and, even within a musical system, these structures evolve from generation to generation. For infants, learning to become full participants in their culture, this necessarily involves becoming sensitive to, and specialized in, the particular musical system of that culture.

Testing started at 6 months of age Leading in to this study, it was hypothesized that musical enculturation takes place through social interaction and participation in music making. To test this idea, 6-month-old infants were randomly assigned to participate for six months in one of two weekly, hour-long music classes for infants and parents. In the Active Classes, parents and infants learned songs and participated in drumming rhythms; in the Passive Classes, music was played in the background while infants and parents engaged in other activities. A total of 38 infants completed the musical training, as defined by attending at least 75% of the classes. After this participation, the infants’ sensitivity to Western tonality, their aesthetic preferences, their brain responses to musical sounds, and their social development were all

measured. As a benchmark, brain responses and social development were also measured at the beginning of the program. It was not expected that there would be any sensitivity to Western tonality or aesthetic preferences at 6 months of age, so these measurements were only taken at the 12-month mark. The parent/infant classes took place at Ontario Early Years Centres, which are government-sponsored drop-in centres for preschool children and their families.

Results are in – babies can boogie The program results indicate that active participation leads to earlier enculturation to tonal pitch structure, in other words, an increased sensitivity to the rules of Western music. Furthermore, suggestive evidence that exposure to Western classical music leads to earlier sensitivity to aesthetic norms for musical expression in this genre was also noted. Intriguingly, the social context of the musical experience appears to be crucial, such that infants in the Active Classes, where parents and infants participated in active music making together, showed more positive social developmental trajectories compared to infants in the Passive Classes. Finally, the results indicate that differences between these two groups can also be measured at the brain level, with larger and/or earlier event-related potential responses to musical sounds evident in the Active Classes group compared to Passive Classes group after but not before participation in the classes. Previous studies in older children have indicated that musical exposure and training are associated with more advanced brain responses but the current study is the first to show effects of musical training on sound processing in the brain during the first year after birth. Quanta Spring 2012

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PROJECT Providing visualization software for large scale health informatics communities RESEARCH TEAM Duane Bender, H. Keith Edwards, Justin Fyfe, Paul Brown Program Computer Engineering Technology Funding Partner Mohawk College initiative

In a Complex Healthcare Environment, Seeing is Believing 16

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Providing Visualization Software for Large-Scale Health Informatics Communities


is often difficult for users and developers to conceptualize what is occurring within an enterprise system. Mohawk College has

developed a Visualizer to present a graphical display of healthcare transactions within the Electronic Health Records system. Visualization is an important tool for understanding complex interactions in large-scale communities of interdependent systems.1 In the area of health informatics, software components from numerous vendors frequently work in concert to provide services to clients such as patients, labs and primary care physicians. Collections of these software services form communities that provide a common set of services to specific clients and that can interact with other communities. Visualization software such as Mohawk’s Visualizer software can provide important information about the complicated interactions between the disparate components in heterogeneous vendor communities.2 Mohawk

College has employed the Visualizer to showcase the interactions in vendor communities at small-scale interoperability showcases such as the COACH (Canada’s Health Informatics Association) conference in Canada. In this paper, we discuss how to scale the implementation

Related Work “Visualization is a sound means to facilitate understanding of complex correlations and offers a broad variety of concepts.”4 Visualization can also be combined with data mining and statistics to handle large amounts of heterogeneous data as part of an approach known as Visual Analytics.5 Roque et al. provide a comparison of means by which visualization can be used to understand health records from the viewpoint of a physician.6 Of the six systems discussed in Roque, most target the physician as the primary user. A timeline approach allows for the correlation of events within a patient’s history using electronic health records. Visualization can also be used to understand interactions between components in large-scale distributed systems such as the approach and tools discussed in Howard et al.1 The Visualizer from Mohawk takes a middle ground between these approaches to show the infrastructure of the software components involved in transactions on electronic health records. The Visualizer uses a graphical display to visually demonstrate the systems involved in healthcare transactions using the results derived from healthcare security audit (RFC3881 standard) messages.7

process to allow the Visualizer to demonstrate

Description of Challenge

interoperability at larger showcases such as the HIMSS

Mohawk College initially deployed the Visualizer at the COACH eHealth 2008 conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and has demonstrated its functionality at

(Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) conference in the United States.3

Quanta Spring 2012

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several other showcases since. In 2012, Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) asked Mohawk to deploy the Visualizer as part of the 2012 HIMSS conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. HIMSS 2012 offered an opportunity to see how well the software would scale since previous showcases had approximately 10-20 vendors with 1-2 use cases. HIMSS 2012 had over 90 vendors with 11 different use cases, which meant a significant scaling of the functionality of the software and the process.

Implementation and Results

the role of individual components as they relate to the business process flow. Hence, scalability of visualization software is of vital concern to practitioners. Mohawk’s Visualizer software was able to scale from smaller communities such as COACH Canada conferences to larger gatherings such as the HIMSS conference. It also provided four ways in which to make the implementation of this software scalable and repeatable. Future work will focus on the evaluation of the efficacy of these recommendations.

Participation in HIMSS required diagram construction and setup at the conference. The setup followed a process of obtaining IP addresses for the individual vendors, communicating with the vendors and scenario managers to have them send messages to the Visualizer, and parsing the vendor messages from the wire to tie them to the individual components on the diagrams. While the implementation was ultimately successful, the implementation team was able to identify numerous ways to make the process more efficient:


• Capture IP addresses as part of the message

[6] Roque, Slaughter, Tkatenko. A comparison of several key information visualization systems for secondary use of electronic health record content. NAACL HLT 2010 Second Louhi Workshop.

• Require audit message repositories forward all data to limit number of vendor contacts needed

[1] Howard, S.L., Hong, J.W., Katchabaw, M.J., Bauer, M.A., 1995. Integrating visualization into event monitoring and analysis in distributed systems management. In Proceedings of 1995 conference of the Centre for Advanced Studies on Collaborative research (CASCON ‘95), Bennet, Gentleman, Johnson, Kidd, eds. IBM Press. [2] Mohawk Applied Research Centre. The Visualizer: Illustrating Interoperability via Visualization of Audit Messages. [3] Rowe, ed. Interoperability: Making the most of IT connections. [4] Knodel, Muthig, Naab, Zeckzer. Towards empirically validated software architecture visualization. 2006 ACM symposium. [5] Keim, Mansmann, Schneidewind, Thomas, Ziegler. Visual analytics: Scope and challenges.

[7] Marshall, Security Audit and Access Accountability Message XML Data Definitions for Healthcare Applications. [8] Pressman, Software Engineering: A Practitioner’s Approach.

• Construct a self-service sign along with a one-page instruction sheet to more easily communicate with vendors and allow them to connect to the Mohawk Visualizer • Be involved in the construction of the use cases from the beginning of the process to allow students more time to design the diagrams All four of these recommendations would allow a greater amount of detailed information about the environment earlier in the process, which is a critical component for successful implementation of software in a complex environment.8, 9

Conclusions and Future Work Visualization is an important component for the understanding of complex transactions in heterogeneous distributed environments. In the realm of health informatics, visualization can help healthcare practitioners and management to better understand


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[9] Sommerville, Software Engineering.

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PROJECT Simulation-Enhanced Learning and Clinical Competence Phases I-III RESEARCH TEAM Leslie Murray; Rae Gropper; Nicole Harnett; Kathryn Parker; Sarah Pearce; Denise MacIver; Lorraine Ramsay; Ann Ripley; Bonnie Sands; Laura Zychla Program Medical Radiation Sciences Program (Mohawk-McMaster), partnered with The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences (phase 1 only), Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) Funding Partner Health Canada through the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) and the Collaborative Forum on Health Science Education

SimulationEnhanced Learning 20

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Simulation-enhanced learning in a healthcare setting


lready struggling to manage human resource shortages, healthcare and allied health professionals now face an increasing

demand that will see workforce shortages intensify (it is estimated) over the next twenty years. Longer wait times and increasingly stretched and stressed healthcare workers will result. This is bad news for the future quality of patient care. Allied health (AH) professionals are often called upon at critical times for both diagnosis and treatment, so increased wait times could also have a serious effect on the many related fields that rely upon AH services, support and results.

Prepare for crowded waiting rooms (or find solutions) How can educators address this healthcare human resource shortage? Accelerated recruitment and increased education opportunities seem imperative. Clearly, enhanced and improved training that places confident, qualified professionals into the workforce expediently will offer the healthcare system significant benefits.

Simulated learning involves role-playing exercises aimed at sharpening students’ clinical skills, while making them more comfortable communicating in one-to-one patient situations. But efficient education processes and opportunities for clinical training, critical to AH workers’ development and speedy work-readiness, are scarce and can’t simply be created.

This study was designed to address these issues facing the healthcare industry with a simulationenhanced learning program to evaluate the performance, confidence and efficiency of allied healthcare students in clinical patient interactions. The study examined how students would learn using simulated clinical communications.

Simulation-enhanced (or, PractiSe makes perfect) Educators worked with students to create, explain and explore various features of the simulation program. Video scenarios of patient-intake situations were then presented, discussed, analyzed and re-enacted by pairs of AH students. Additional simulations, with students role-playing both patient and technologist, were based on written instructions, to encourage the growth of students’ communication skills and their ability to work in a clinical situation. Video analysis of the role-playing simulations by a panel of expert evaluators resulted in scenario-by-scenario and student-by-student ratings, collected and examined for evidence of the proposed program’s benefit to students.

Good news for all Responses were assessed and critiqued. Feedback received from the student partners and participating faculty was an important aspect of this learning experience, and resulted in amendments to the study’s findings and improvements to plans for future study. The research results showed that adding simulated patient care exercises improved the efficiency of, and readiness for, communications competencies, when compared to those achieved by students using traditional learning methods alone. Allied healthcare students who participated in the simulation-enhanced learning group of the study showed a decreased time to competency and an increased rate of clinical readiness. This is good news for the quality of future healthcare. Quanta Spring 2012

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Stakeholder Comments

Tammy Hwang

Tim Richard

Mohan Nadarajah

Experience Manager, Innovation Factory

VP Operations, Weever Apps

CEO and Founder, PlayLab

“Here’s one reason why research at colleges is so (very!) important. The economics of research can be daunting. The ability to partner with experienced faculty while offering great opportunities to students makes it possible for local companies to participate in projects they may not have been, otherwise, able to afford. Academia also attracts government interest, creating private, public and academic partnerships that can really work. It’s iF’s mandate to accelerate innovation and having college teams ready to hit the ground running is a tremendous resource for us. (Hmmm… that may be more than one reason.)”

“With colleges’ practical approach to research and education, students gain knowledge beyond theory. Weever Apps has partnered with colleges on real life projects like completing bug testing and developing new code – as part of a computer programming course.  The calibre of students allows Weever Apps to confidently hire co-op and graduating students who have the skillsets to immediately immerse themselves in our varied projects.” 

“I strongly believe that Applied Research is important for any educational institution and for businesses. In PlayLab’s case, an Applied Research project will take our physical curriculum/projects and convert them into an on-line web application in order to provide access for parents, teachers, and students. The project will help us scale for growth beyond our local market, increase our revenues, and create more jobs while positively impacting countless children. A real challenge is being met and real results are being delivered.”

Innovation Factory is Hamilton’s not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centre (RIC) committed to building the province’s innovation community and strengthening the next generation of jobs generators.


| Quanta Spring 2012

Weever Apps is a Hamilton start-up that helps organizations go mobile instantly and affordably, and an industry partner with iDeaWORKS at Mohawk College.

Playlab is a Burlington-based start-up that provides educational enrichment programs for children, and an industry partner with iDeaWORKS at Mohawk College.

answering the question

Why is research at colleges important?

Brian Minaji

Andrew Norgate

Suzanne Fortier

Faculty, Mohawk College

Student, Mohawk College

President, NSERC

“Applied Research at colleges is important because it exposes students to real world problems where they can participate in solutions and expand their learning beyond what is covered in the classroom. It’s also invaluable because it gives students a glimpse of the pressures and deadlines faced every day after graduation and it gives them networking opportunities to meet potential future employers.”

“Applied Research is extremely important to the learning process for students. The theories that are taught in class can only be conceptualized and expanded on using specific examples. Applied Research gives students the opportunity to apply this base knowledge in real world models where methodologies have to be relaxed and used in tandem with critical thinking and alternative approaches to problem solving. This can’t be taught in a classroom.”

“With campuses widely distributed across Canada enabling close links with industry and their communities, colleges provide a wealth of facilities and expertise to local companies. Through Applied Research projects, college faculty and students bring fresh perspectives and advanced skills to business innovation challenges. This enriches college training, builds stronger linkages and helps companies gain practical solutions to their problems and a competitive advantage.”

Brian Minaji teaches Computer Programming in the Engineering

Andrew Norgate is enrolled in

Technology faculty at

the Bachelor of Technology joint

Mohawk College.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering

program at Mohawk College and

Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

McMaster University.

supports students in their advanced studies, promotes and supports discovery research, and fosters innovation by encouraging Canadian companies to participate and invest in postsecondary research projects.

Quanta Spring 2012

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Power to the People Dr. Al-Mutawaly (centre) with Dr. Ishwar Singh, creator of the McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology joint program, and Mehdi Alimardani 24

| Quanta Spring 2012

An Interview with Nafia Al-Mutawaly on a model for protection and control of the power grid Ontario’s energy customers are changing their ways. They’re equipping their homes and businesses with smart meters, shifting patterns of consumption, and generating and contributing new energy sources to Ontario’s power grid. But Ontario’s grid is built on a 100-year-old foundation. Should we be worried? Nafia Al-Mutawaly, PhD Eng, is a Professor in the Department of Electrotechnology at Mohawk College and Program Chair, Energy Engineering Technologies at McMaster University. He chats here with Pamela Hensley, Director of Research and Innovation at Mohawk’s iDeaWORKS, about his model for protection and control of smart grids. In his lab, with his team of students quietly working nearby, he explains how critical it is to modernize today’s power grids, why academia and industry make a good match, and how his research will provide utilities around the world with a model they can adapt for the future. Pamela Hensley: As part of your research, you’re building a model of Ontario’s power grid. Why are you doing that? Nafia Al-Mutawaly: Actually, it’s not just a model for Ontario’s power grid. It’s a model for protection and control adoptable by virtually any power grid in the world. Why we are doing this? The power industry was the last to get involved and implement computer capabilities into their operations. Even as recently as the late 90s, power grids were managed using electro-mechanical devices invented in the 40s or 50s! With computers, we now have the ability to create networks between different devices, different systems and different locations. This networking capability is a big asset moving forward for protection and control.

(that is, nuclear, coal, etc.), and at the bottom was the load. The part in between was the grid. It was intuitive a natural flow from the generator to the grid to the load.

Another improvement is in the area of data management. With the new bi-directional data transfer capabilities, we can now upload, download, collect, store, interpret and react to enormous amounts of data from any system(s) in real time.

PH: What is a smart grid? And is it new? NA: The term ‘smart’ started appearing in all manner of devices and applications over the last decade or so. We have smart phones, smart meters, smart cars… and smart grids. In the case of smart grids, the name refers to a grid that is equipped and networked with the ability to make data-based decisions and adjustments without the use of physical devices. We call it smart because the system gives us the ability to make decisions based on the demand and conditions within the grid. It is definitely the way to go.

Which leads to a third improvement - speed. When we look at computers and networking we are talking about high-speed response and activation capabilities. Before, when we looked at a power system, we looked at it as a vertical system. At the top were the generating stations

But now, with many new sources of energy (including wind, solar, geothermal, etc.), there are all kinds of power-generating sources popping up in every corner of the grid. These new inputs are creating a new type of topology, which we call horizontal. To control the massive number of energy sources, and to make sure we have a proper/sustainable flow of power (because the flow cannot be allowed to become random), we need to have full, real time control. To achieve that, we need a new combination of equipment and networking to help us meet these kinds of challenges. This is what electrical engineers call a smart grid.

Quanta Spring 2012

| 25

PH: How much of the grid is currently supplied by renewable sources and how quickly is that changing? NA: The latest numbers show that solar and wind power generation went up over the last two to three years, in response to the Green Energy Act presented by the Ontario government [numbers for Ontario]. For example, wind generation doubled over one year. We expect growth in that sector to continue. Photovoltaic power generation also increased, but not at the same rate as wind power. As far as total power from green energy, it meets about 3-4% of the province’s demand. There’s a plan to shut down all coal plants within Ontario by 2014 and, obviously, that energy has to be replaced. Current thinking is that refurbishments and new installations within nuclear generating stations, and increased green energy options, will replace lost coal-produced power. Each of these options comes with its own challenges. The nuclear industry, for instance, is going through tough times, but when we look at the power grid, nuclear energy is what we call the base, providing the bulk of energy produced in Ontario. We’re talking about 45-50% of grid power. PH: Germany recently shut down 40% of their nuclear capacity. How are they going to manage this? NA: Germany is a leader when it comes to green energy. When you look at photovoltaic or wind generation, Germany is ahead of the rest of the world. It’s no surprise though, because they have been working on green energy since the late 80s and early 90s. Their vision is to replace nuclear stations with wind and solar. That’s their ultimate objective. PH: What about Ontario? Are we progressive? Are we driven by regulation? NA: We are driven by the political environment. Just prior to this election, one party was supporting green energy 100% and one was promising to terminate green initiatives. The problem with this kind of uncertainty is that it scares investors and manufacturers. This kind of uncertainty is not good, not healthy. PH: That impacts you as a researcher. NA: Yes, of course. Sustainability and stability are crucial factors in pursuing successful research. Also, research 26

| Quanta Spring 2012

progress must be driven by the industry needs and should be independent of the political environment. We have recognized the critical need to create a modern protection and control system, first, to replace the existing (old and obsolete) infrastructure and, second, to meet the requirements of new energy sources (wind, solar) recently introduced in Ontario.

So it makes good business sense for private industry to collaborate with colleges and universities utilizing the expertise of faculty and supervisors to undertake these projects and produce unbiased, highly ethical solutions. PH: Why does industry need support from academic researchers? NA: There are many reasons. To start with, resources. In Ontario, you have Hydro One, who have their own group to do research. But then there are local distribution companies who don’t have access to such resources and yet are responsible for maintaining and upgrading local grids. For example, a nearby local distributor operates with a total staff of 30 people. That includes the lineman, the dispatcher, the manager and the CEO. For this firm, research and development require an investment in expertise, experienced manpower and equipment. This is where academia can help. After personnel, there is also the equipment itself. McMaster University and Mohawk College are building a laboratory at a cost of $1million, which, from a business perspective, would be prohibitive for many local distributors. Furthermore, in the private sector, these research contracts would be the equivalent to that of 10 or 15 full time staff. On the other hand, students working toward their PhDs and Masters can deliver massive contributions at a minimal cost. So it makes good business sense for private industry to collaborate with colleges and universities utilizing the expertise of faculty and supervisors to undertake these projects and produce unbiased, highly ethical solutions.

PH: How do you hope or expect the results of your research to impact national and international communities? NA: Many companies are producing new computers and equipment critical to the power industry and each one has its own topology – its own line of products, its own software, etc. My research will be to evaluate these various systems and to determine the advantages and disadvantages of each. The second phase of my research will be to integrate this equipment and ensure all components can find common ground to communicate and work together effectively. The challenge will be to identify that common ground, both in hardware and software solutions. PH: And your findings will become a recommendation for the power industry? NA: That will be the model. We’ll present a power protection model to the utilities that can be evaluated and adopted by the industry. It will be a model that is fully tested, not only through computer simulation, with all the issues addressed. Utilities will be able to use the model to evaluate and optimise new load, demand or technology issues that arise in the future. In another year or two, if a new load or generation source is offered, they can add it to the model and retest for a solution, with real results. Where real includes real time, real response, real system and real equipment. PH: You are a professor at both Mohawk College and McMaster University. How is research different at colleges and universities? NA: Mohawk, as a college, usually applies a how-to and hands-on philosophy. [Lab work] is a big component in any course, especially in engineering. It is equivalent [to class time] as far as

number of hours, and it’s on a weekly basis. At university, in contrast, courses tend to be more theoretical in nature. There is a lab component, but as far as weight, as far as impact, as far as value of that course, it’s significantly less, maybe 20-25%. PH: Do you think applied research makes a difference in the education of students? NA: Absolutely. Typically, the students involved in applied research are the ones who stay after normal working hours and on weekends. Passion drives them and satisfaction is fulfilled by their research findings. The research team includes: Professors Nafia Al-Mutawaly, John van Loon, and Vijay Khatri; technical support from John Anger and Mehdi Alimardani; and co-op students Ali Al-Zubaidi and Laith Al-Musawi.

A message from the Chief


esearch efforts at Mohawk continue to grow as our faculty provide leadership while preparing students for future careers in our community. The research our faculty engage in tends to be highly collaborative and focused in the areas of education, health, and technology. Mohawk research is funded by provincial and federal governments specifically to enable business innovation. Our work supports the business community with products and service innovations, enabling local industry to compete globally. The college is an ideal recipient for this funding, leveraging the many links we have with employers, particularly in the areas of health and technology, and working with them to provide a strategic local benefit to our economy.

Ted Scott Chief Innovation Officer

The research our faculty initiate nearly always involves students. Students are able to participate directly in three ways: 1) apply for co-operative placements through iDeaWORKS; 2) apply for release from a program course to take a research course; and 3) participate in class research activities. Indirectly, students learn from their faculty the challenges and accomplishments associated with research. Ultimately, students are better prepared to meet the challenges of the workplace and contribute to the community as very highly qualified graduates. Mohawk researchers focus on “real world” problems, bringing a wealth of industry, clinical, and hands-on experience to designing practical solutions. Our researchers have access to a great deal of leading edge technology and infrastructure at Mohawk, and many also collaborate with McMaster University and numerous health science research hospitals and institutes. Many networks exist to enable faculty research. Industry co-operative work placements and clinical sites used by our students serve as a vital support for the development of research activities. A web of organizations including Innovation Factory, MaRS, the City of Hamilton (Economic Development), the Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation (CONII) and a large number of related groups serve to funnel high potential research opportunities to our faculty and students. Collectively, the network of industry and healthcare institutions Mohawk has developed, since its inception over forty years ago, has evolved to support and benefit from the research led by our faculty. College researchers have been active in our community, informally, for many years. They support our students’ learning and our community in myriad ways. In recent years, both provincial and federal governments have recognized the value of this work and its impact on our community by creating numerous funding opportunities exclusive to colleges and industry partners. Mohawk has been able to trade on the excellent reputation of our faculty to broaden the impact we have on our community. Providing highly qualified graduates and contributing practical solutions to industry and community-oriented challenges, Mohawk researchers are helping to establish a “Future Ready” community.


| Quanta Spring 2012

Ready to operate? Apps for Health 2012 LEARN • CoNNECt • SHARE

May 10 & 11, 2012 Join us for Ontario’s premiere recruiting and networking event for the mHealth and eHealth industry!

Mohawk College 135 Fennell Avenue West Hamilton, ON L8N 3T2

LEARN exciting new technologies. CoNNECt with industry experts in health & technology. SHARE resources, ideas & knowledge.

905 575-1212 ext. 4083

health technology entrepreneurship

Mohawk College’s iDeaWORKS provides resources that help businesses and entrepreneurs commercialize new technologies. By pairing talented students with tech-savvy industry partners, we produce innovative software solutions, develop mobile applications, improve manufacturing processes and build prototypes. Through these collaborations, iDeaWORKS is contributing to the new spirit of entrepreneurship that is transforming the region. Along with other like-minded community organizations, we are fuelling innovation and making it easier for small companies to succeed. Contact:

Valerie Mitanoff, Industry Liaison Officer 905.575.1212 ext. 4738




Quanta Magazine - Spring 2012  

Mohawk College’s premier issue of Quanta, an annual publication celebratingsome of the most exciting research takingplace at the college and...

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