University of Waterloo (Waterloo) is Canada’s top innovation university and home to the world’s largest co-operative education system. The Bata Shoe Organization (Bata) has a long and storied 120-year history of innovative and progressive thinking in shoe design, manufacturing and marketing and maintains a global presence. Bata currently has 4,500 retail stores worldwide and nearly 30 manufacturing facilities in local markets.
Waterloo and Bata Innovation Lab have partnered to pilot a new academic program called iCapstone. This program has been established to deepen student engineering design thinking and learning so that they will be better prepared to enter the global workforce as creative problem solvers of the future.
The iCapstone program consists of an industry partner hiring an interdisciplinary team of students, and placing them into highly authentic engineering situations in global locations. This team of 3-4 coop students would work in one of Bata’s factories to identify and formulate a number of significant problems, with the aim of improving manufacturing and business performance.
During their coop placement, students would present a design project proposal to a panel of company and academic members. If approved, students could return to their academic term and continue to work on one of the problems as the basis for their final year capstone design project, with the industry partner as the client.
The session will introduce the program and plans for implementation and research, with the hope that it will spur rich collaborative dialogue amongst all participants.
Oscar Nespoli is a Continuing Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo (Waterloo). Oscar joined Waterloo following a 23 year career in research, engineering and management practice in industry and government.
Before joining Waterloo, Oscar held the position of Sr. Program Manager at L-3 Communications Wescam (L-3 Wescam), a manufacturer of airborne surveillance systems for public safety, security and defense markets. Oscar led multi-disciplinary teams toward the successful development and commercialization of several products to various markets. He was responsible for L-3 Wescam’s largest defense programs.
Oscar worked at the Canadian Forces Department of National Defense failure analysis lab, where he was the Canadian Project Officer for an international program on F/A-18 bonded repair, and prior to that, a Research Engineer at the Canadian Space Agency. Oscar designed and qualified space flight hardware for a space experiment for Space Shuttle Flight STS-52 in 1993.
Earlier in his career, Oscar led the design and development of products employing composite materials at Owens Corning Canada and contributed to the design and development of novel production machinery for the shoe industry with the research division of Bata Engineering.
His teaching and research interests are in the areas of engineering design methods, design practice, engineering education and high performance, lightweight, composite materials design. Oscar is passionate about teaching engineering and maintains a commitment to remain close to engineering design and design management practice.
Jim Russell joined the Bata Shoe Organization on January 5th, 1979 and was initially hired as part of a junior management recruitment program called BSO 2000. Jim studied shoe design at Ars Sutoria in Milan, Italy and studied shoe manufacturing and product engineering at the Bata Technical College near Moussey, France.
Jim began his career in Bata as a junior footwear designer and has subsequently held the positions of Technical Design Manager, Design & Development Manager, Brand Manager, Vice President, and General Manager of Power Athletics Limited. Jim successfully built the Power Athletics Ltd. business into a $125 million dollar company.
Two years ago, Jim was given the responsibility of creating the Bata Innovation Lab where he is currently working as its Director. Jim's role is to create and introduce new technologies to Bata and to assist in building a culture of innovation in the organization.
Over the past 37 years, Jim has travelled all over the world and has been to Asia and China over 175 times. He currently sits on two corporate boards and is a multiple Bata Achievement winner.