Ontario Nonprofit Network

Mitacs Accelerate Fellowship (Postdoctoral)

British Columbia Institute of Technology


Mitacs Accelerate Fellowship (Postdoctoral),

“Development of Copper Based Additive Manufacturing Techniques”

Academic Institution: BCIT CARI

Supervisor: Dr. Kim Dotto, Dr. Jaimie Borisoff

Industry Partner: Rapidia Tech Inc.

Location: Burnaby/ Vancouver, BC

Duration: 20 months

Capacity: full time

Stipend: $75K, $15K per term, project length five consecutive 4 month terms 

Application deadline: March 24h, 2023

Application process: Please submit resume and cover letter to Dr. Kim Dotto, at [email protected] – selected candidates will be contacted with further details.

Project Brief

Rapidia Tech Inc. is a Canadian company, headquartered in Vancouver, BC, engineering additive manufacturing (AM) technology. The first major product developed and brought to market is an innovative water-based metal AM process that is faster, simpler, safer, and more cost-effective than the current metal material extrusion (MEX) systems on the market. This system consists of a 3D printer and a partial pressure sintering furnace. To date, two stainless steel materials (316L and 17-4PH) have been qualified on the system.

The goal of the proposed research project is the development of copper for Rapidia’s innovative paste extrusion process. Copper is a highly sought-after material with unique properties that has a wide range of applications in various industries including biomedical, electrical, manufacturing, and energy storage. The ability to 3D print copper parts on Rapidia’s system will thus have a large impact on several manufacturing industries.

There are two major research challenges to be addressed to produce high-performance copper parts on the Rapidia system: (1) the development of a suitable feedstock formulation that has excellent printability and (2) the determination of appropriate processing conditions for sintering to yield copper meeting all the industry specs. This research project will require expertise in formulation science, MEX 3D printing, powder metallurgy, and sintering.

About the Position


•Lead the project described above to develop AM copper for the Rapidia system.

•Operate feedstock compounding equipment to prepare experimental formulations for testing.

•Use Rapidia’s printer and adjust parameters to produce high-quality printed/ green samples.

•Use Rapidia’s furnace and fine-tune sintering conditions to yield optimized sintered properties.

•Apply a variety of materials characterization methods and tools including Archimedes method, tensile testing, metallography/ microstructure, carbon and oxygen content, electrical and thermal conductivity, DSC/TGA, dilatometry, SEM-EDS.

•Collaborate with the R&D team to continually improve Rapidia’s proprietary vacuum sintering furnace technology.

The project work will be done at both Rapidia and the BCIT Centre for Applied Research and Innovation (CARI) https://www.bcit.ca/applied-research/cari/  in the Teck Copper Innovation Hub (relocation expenses not provided).  Successful candidates will also be required to maintain enrollment in the BCIT Mitacs Internship course (fees covered by BCIT) for the duration of the project.


•Ph.D. in materials engineering, metallurgical engineering, mechanical engineering, or similar field. 

•Practical experience in powder metallurgy process development, especially related to sintering.

•A strong theoretical understanding of metallurgy, heat treatment, and/or sintering. 

•Expertise in formulations science, MEX 3D printing, powder metallurgy, and sintering.

•Experience in AM of copper would be an asset.

•Experience in characterization of AM processes and sintered properties of materials (see list of techniques above).

BCIT champions a diversity of experiences, ideas, cultures, and perspectives, fostering a community permeated with equality and inclusivity. https://www.bcit.ca/applied-research/research-support/equity-diversity-inclusion

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