Mitacs funding enables hands-on experience for KPU student

Tue, Sep 24, 2019

A project to help building companies land more work in the Lower Mainland has received support from Kwantlen Polytechnic University thanks to a $15,000 award from Mitacs.  


Mitacs has partnered with BuildMapper to provide the funds for a project that KPU student Tina Charmchi carries out under the supervision of psychology instructor Dr. Levente Orban. BuildMapper is a B.C. grown tech startup that has built an online platform to help the trades acquire more jobs as it aggregates all construction jobs in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.


“As we at Mitacs celebrate 20 years of driving Canadian innovation, we are delighted to provide this first funding opportunity for Kwantlen Polytechnic University students,” says Alejandro Adem, chief executive officer of Mitacs, a not-for-profit organization that fosters growth and innovation in Canada.


“We look forward to many more opportunities to partner with KPU to enable meaningful opportunities for students that drive innovation.”


Charmchi says the project helped her learn coding skills and useful industry knowledge in a condensed timeframe.


“The Mitacs Internship has been a remarkable learning opportunity,” adds Charmchi. “I have been able to apply knowledge acquired throughout my degree in a non-academic setting and I have also been able to expand my skillset beyond what my program could have offered.”


The collaborative data science project is looking to automate and enhance the platform’s algorithms as BuildMapper looks to expand across Canada.


“BuildMapper is extremely excited to be working with Dr. Levente Orban on two progressive projects that will help automate our processes and expand our offering to the rest of Canada,” says Jithan Virk, chief executive officer of BuildMapper.


“Mitacs Accelerate internships is a very significant step for university-industry collaborations at KPU. This clears the path for cutting-edge research and development projects with companies across Canada, and opens incredible skill-building and experiential learning opportunities for KPU students,” says Orban.