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RDP showcases its impact through applied research

Mar 03, 2023
2nd annual RDP research showcase

The diverse ways in which faculty, staff and students make an impact through applied research by solving society’s challenges was on display yesterday at Red Deer Polytechnic’s (RDP) annual Research Showcase.

During more than 20 different presentations, RDP faculty, staff and students presented to about 150 community members some of the current applied research that they are conducting. Presentations highlighted the breadth of programming and applied research at the Polytechnic, with topics that spanned disciplines including animation and visual effects, education, nursing, science and sociology.  

“The Research Showcase demonstrated the vast research that is led by learners, faculty, and staff from across the institution, addressing challenges and opportunities in industry and society,” says Dr. Paulette Hanna, Interim Vice President Academic. “As a polytechnic, we connect our applied research, education, and training to develop skills, knowledge and solutions that provide meaningful impact for Alberta and further abroad.”

One of the students who participated in RDP’s Research Showcase was Payton Baltzer. He is enrolled in the Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Science – Biological Sciences program and is also a forward on the Kings Basketball team. He presented two different research projects, including one in which he studied the home range size of female elk at Elk Island National Park in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. This study saw Baltzer and a fellow student map out the area where the elk occupied to not only understand their behaviour but also the differences between populations and seasons.

Baltzer explained that opportunities for students to present at events such as the Research Showcase provide valuable opportunities as they prepare for their future careers. “Being able to present at a formal event is a very beneficial experience as public speaking and conferences are a part of many different jobs in the field. It will also be good practice for the future conferences and presentations, I will be a part of later this year,” says Payton Baltzer.

By aligning its programming and applied research with Alberta’s key economic and social priorities, RDP is making a significant and long-term impact. Each year, RDP faculty, staff and students complete more than 100 applied research projects in various disciplines. The post-secondary institution collaborates with industry, non-profit organizations and community groups, among other partners, to research and identify solutions for myriad issues that affect Albertans and citizens further abroad.

While the Polytechnic’s Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing-Technology Access Centre (CIM-TAC) and Energy Innovation Centre are key on-campus applied research and learning hubs, applied research is led by students, faculty, and staff across RDP’s campuses.

Red Deer Polytechnic continues to grow its impact in applied research, ranking 38th on Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges 2022 list by Research Infosource Inc. The ranking highlights that in 2021, Red Deer Polytechnic attracted $2.6 million in applied research investment. It is also ranked first in the country in annual growth in research income.

More details about the diverse research taking place at Red Deer Polytechnic, including details of the annual Research Showcase presentations, is available online at

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