Digital innovation badges recognize outstanding students

Student John-Allan Ellingson, first recipient of the Innovation Award_The office of Research and Innovation at George Brown College has rolled out a new digital badging program to recognize student participation and achievement in applied research. The inaugural Excellence in Research and Innovation digital badge was presented to John-Allan Ellingson (pictured), a recent graduate of the Mechanical Engineering program.

"John-Allan is an amazing student and the resident 'expert machinist' here at George Brown, working on projects like a collapsible crane, a unique anchoring system and an innovative cooking unit," said Robert Luke, Vice President of Research and Innovation. "While at the college, he's gained exceptional first-hand experience in taking an idea from concept to prototype.  This is the essence of innovation literacy—being able to understand product development and client needs ‎while working in teams."

The Excellence in Research and Innovation digital badges recognize hands-on, real world experience gained through applied research at the college. They showcase skills learned outside the classroom that don't appear on a student's transcript—the ability to problem-solve, connect with team members and create innovative solutions to industry problems.

"Having had the chance to work on applied research projects, I feel well-equipped for my future-well-equipped not only in tangible skills, but also because I don't see the job market as a great unknown space," said John-Allan who was presented his badge at the Ontario Centres of Excellence Discovery Days conference. "The research department has been so helpful not only in getting students working with industry, but also in exposing us to the 'outside world' of new ideas, entrepreneurial activities, and startup cultures."

Starting in 2014, all students involved in successful applied research projects will be awarded a digital badge at the end of the school year. These badges can be electronically placed wherever a prospective employer can see it, such as a LinkedIn profile, Facebook page or personal website.

Students who participated in applied research projects this year are expected to receive a digital badge by the end of the summer.

To learn more about John Allan's work check out The Advanced Prototyping Lab Open New Browser Window and The SOS Crane Open New Browser Window on the GBC Research YouTube channel.