Industry Relationships

Lakehead University strives to facilitate world-class collaborative and innovative research by nurturing industry-academic partnerships in Canada and internationally.  We focus on bringing our research out of the laboratory and into the world by helping to solve the challenges businesses face, developing value-added innovation within various sectors and building strong relationships and partnerships.  This role is facilitated through our Office of Innovation, Partnerships and Economic Development (IPED), which can assist you in identifying the right team and resources to address your needs, and identify funding sources to help leverage our resources. To learn more about partnership opportunities, please contact Bill Maloney, Director of Industry Research Partnerships at


 Lakehead University researchers work collaboratively with a range of industry partners. 

Please see the video stories below for just a few of the many examples.


Dr. Ahmed Elshaer, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering

Industry Partner: Aurora Aerial

 Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) are commonly known as drones and Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAV). In the last decade, RPAS has become more popular for many industries including geographic mapping, disaster monitoring, agriculture, weather forecast, and entertainment and shipping & delivery. The latter application, shipping & delivery, was originally driven by the competition in the e-commerce industry where RPAS were found to be a smart way to tremendously reduce the shipping price and time for the delivery in addition to causing lower emissions compared to other competitors (e.g. trucks and airplanes).

In the Healthcare industry, time is a vital aspect, where transporting medications or medical equipment in a timely manner could be the difference between life and death. Also, traditional transportation of medical equipment and medications sometimes being opposed by the dense traffic in centres of metropolitan cities or the inaccessibility of roads in some remote and rural areas.  Click here to view the video story.


Headshot of Dr. Aislin Mushquash

Dr. Aislin Mushquash, Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology

Industry and Organization Partners: WekerleTech Inc.; Children’s Centre Thunder Bay;Dilico Anishinabek Family Care; Children’s Centre Foundation; Thunder Bay Community Foundation

The JoyPopTM app was designed to support young people in building resilience by helping them utilize or tap into their existing coping skills or to build new coping skills. The app includes features that help youth understand their emotions, manage difficult emotions, increase positive experiences, and connect with their support system. The app was created at McMaster University, and Dr. Mushquash and her team have been studying its effectiveness. Now Dr. Mushquash is working with Children’s Centre Thunder Bay and Dilico Anishinabek Family Care to explore how the JoyPopTM app can be integrated into clinical and community services to help meet the mental health needs of youth within our community.  Click here to view the video story.


Headshot of Dr. Kathy Sanderson


Dr. Kathy Sanderson, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Business Administration

Governmental Partners: Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, under the Ontario Human Capital Research and Innovation Fund.

Community collaborators:  Town of Atikokan and Town of Sioux Lookout

Organizations: Northwestern Ontario Local Immigration Partnership (NWO LIP), Thunder Bay Multicultural Association and the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission.

Our research project is regional, and focuses on new immigrant welcoming in Thunder Bay, Atikokan, and Sioux Lookout.  The recruitment and retention of new immigrants is of vital importance to Northwestern Ontario in order for local employers to have a sufficient labour pool.  Welcoming is a collective effort that results in individuals feeling valued and included, which can increase trust and belonging.  The goals of our project include identifying welcoming community and organizational practices that can support new immigrant integration, assessing systemic discrimination and barriers to participation, and developing recommendations that can be implemented by organizations to increase long-term retention.  We have interviewed over 30 key informants and are currently conducting surveys in all three communities.  As our study began at the same time as Covid-19, we are also capturing how the pandemic has affected employment.  We have engaged stakeholders in all three communities in order to ensure the local employment context is captured.  Click here to view the video story.


Dr. Chris Murray, Associate Professor , Departments of Physics and Sustainability Sciences

Industry Partner: True North Printed Plastics

When it became clear that Ontario supply of PPE such as N95 masks was not enough to keep healthcare workers safe from COVID-19, a group of engineering graduate students in Thunder Bay began finding ways to solve the problem. Not only did they begin developing open-source masks that anyone could download plans for and create on a 3D printer, they started to make connections with other groups doing the same thing all over Canada. A network of students, professors, doctors, clinicians, and many others was formed, as well as industry partners. The work of those students, led by Mr. Andre Lafreniere, led to many separate projects throughout the summer, including one devoted to DIY mask design funded by MITACS. It also led to a collaboration with True North Printed Plastics (Bracebridge, ON), which is currently funded by the Ontario Centres of Excellence and devoted to creating reusable filter masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19.  Click here to view the video story.