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Media Release
Release Date: Janaury 25, 2019

Stripped bare of its exterior panels to reveal gleaming copper valves, tangled wires and a stainless steel boiler, Camosun Innovates’ vintage espresso machine is the perfect candidate for a future-focussed makeover.

“We’re stripping apart a 30-year piece of technology and we’re inviting student teams to use it to design the exciting espresso machine of the future,” says Jamie VanDenbossche, Associate Director of Camosun Innovates. “Students will gain real-world technical skills and the finished product will be used by students in our employment training and preparation program (ETP) to develop valuable skills as baristas.”

Camosun’s ETP program is designed for students who may face barriers to education and employment and equips them with real-world skills to succeed in the workplace. The “Espresso Machine of the Future” initiative combines Camosun Innovates’ core strengths of applied learning with a focus on real-world skills so that graduates will succeed in a changing world. It’s a “win-win situation” says VanDenbossche, noting that the project is interdisciplinary in nature. At the first team meeting, nearly 40 students from mechanical, electrical and civil engineering, visual arts, fine furniture, sheet metal and other areas joined together to contribute diverse expertise and to share their exciting design ideas.

“It’s function meets art,” says VanDenbossche. “A lot of the problems going on in the world can be solved if we come together and work more cooperatively, and break down silos. That’s what we’re trying to do with this project and with everything we do at the college to meet the needs of a changing workforce.”

With $6000 in funding from the President’s Innovation Fund and $1000 from the Camosun Student Society, the total project budget of $7000 will allow for teams to move from creative ideas to implementation. And the technology and expertise available to the Camosun Innovates team will ensure that the final product can be designed and manufactured right here on campus.

The project is the latest applied learning initiative of the Camosun Innovates team, whose headquarters in the Babcock Canada Innovation Lab at Interurban campus feature 3-D printing, robotics, scanning, prototyping and other cutting edge technology to turn ideas into reality.

From January to April 2019, student design teams from diverse disciplines will collaborate on a final design. “We want wild, blue sky thinking,” notes project manager Troy Mallett, who can draw upon extensive experience as both a professional coffee technician and a mechanical engineering student. “I have a natural curiosity about how things work and I believe the students here do as well. I’d encourage everyone to be really creative with their ideas and play around with different colours, materials and ergonomic designs. We have the opportunity to showcase something very special that will be interactive, stylish and exciting, as well as very practical.”

Students from any discipline are invited to join in by contacting Rich Burman ( Visit Camosun Innovates to learn more.


Ivan Watson
Marketing & Communications Strategist
Camosun College
250-418-0700 |

(click to enlarge)

Project Manager Troy Mallett discusses design possibilities with students at project kick off event on January 17, 2019.”
Project Manager Troy Mallett discusses design possibilities with students at project kick off event on January 17, 2019.

Last updated: January 25, 2019 9:39 am

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