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Student Stories


Illya Omelyanchuk, Bachelor of Science in Engineering

Illya Omelyanchuk knows the value of positive connections and collaboration.  

Born in Ukraine, Illya, along with his parents and brother, moved to central Alberta in the summer of 2010. After graduating in 2019 from Notre Dame High School in Red Deer, he wanted to start his post-secondary program near family.  

“Being able to attend Red Deer Polytechnic close to home has made the transition from high school much easier,” says Illya, a first-year Bachelor of Science Engineering student. “The technology, small class sizes, ability to collaborate with my peers and to connect with industry are huge advantages at RDP.” 

Along with taking five courses during Winter 2023 Term, Illya works as an Applied Research Technician in the Polytechnic’s Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing (CIM-TAC), which is a 15,000 square foot collaborative hub that helps entrepreneurs to bring ideas to life and solve industry problems. Many students like Illya, as well as industry partners and other stakeholders, have been able to access unique opportunities through the CIM-TAC, which houses $6.6 million in prototype and advanced manufacturing equipment.  

“With RDP having a Technology Access Centre, I have the opportunity to work with equipment such as 3D printers and scanners, augmented reality wearables, micro-controllers, and fabrication tools,” explains Illya. “I have also received industry experience by developing electrical circuits and programming and coding software.” 

Industry partnerships have helped to provide more applied research, learning and training opportunities at Red Deer Polytechnic, advancing the economic, social, and cultural priorities of Alberta. Last year, the Polytechnic engaged with more than 500 entrepreneurs and companies and completed more than 80 projects.  

“I have collaborated with several companies, including on a solar panel washer for Wash-Bots,” he says of the Canadian business. “On that project, I tested the prototype and looked for design efficiencies, which have related to what I’m learning in my courses. Recently, I have been working on developing an app for this project, which collects data on the units.” 

Illya also had the opportunity to work with an Indigenous-owned company from Grande Prairie. 

“Nipiy Industries has developed solar hand wash stations and I helped to evaluate the design, perform wiring and install LED lights,” he says of this product that uses renewable energy to provide a cleaning service. “It’s rewarding to contribute directly to projects.” 

The expertise provided by CIM-TAC’s employees, along with state-of-the-art equipment available in the Centre helped Nipiy Industries to optimize the hand wash station’s manufacturability by reducing its weight and utilizing a moulded purpose build design for large scale production.  

Illya was also involved in the creation and installation of the on-campus RDP logo sculpture, which was a collaborative effort that involved students, faculty, staff, and community business partners.  

“Using augmented reality goggles, I was able to review the 3D design of the sculpture, so we could install it in an ideal location near the front entrance,” he explains. 

When he reflects on his experiences at the Polytechnic, Illya appreciates the opportunities he’s already received. 

“Not every institution has a Technology Access Centre, so that’s a unique aspect of RDP,” he adds. “There are many innovative projects that industry is working on in the CIM-TAC, and it's great to see so much applied research and development happening at Red Deer Polytechnic.”