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Ultrasonic device that 'sees' through concrete wins innovation competition

 Ultrasonic device that 'sees' through concrete wins innovation competition

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​An ultrasonic device that can measure the strength of concrete structures and accurately predict their future condition was declared the winner of the OPG category in this year’s Ignite Start-up Pitch Competition.

Dubbed “Timeshift”, the inventive prototype is the brainchild of Farid Moradi and Hamed Layssi, whose Ottawa-based company FPrimeC Solutions Inc. specializes in developing and implementing innovative non-destructive testing solutions.

The winning team from FPrimeC Solutions Inc.
Winners Farid Moradi (3rd from left) and Hamed Layssi (2nd from right).

“We are very excited about winning,” said Moradi, co-founder and president of FPrimeC Solutions. “It was a serious competition with some very good presenters and ideas.”

​The pitch competition, now in its fifth year, was led by the Spark Centre, a non-profit that supports entrepreneurs in Durham Region and Northumberland County. OPG, which operates both the Darlington and Pickering nuclear generating stations in the region, sought inventive next-generation concepts and improvements for the hydro and nuclear inspection industry.

Many inventors applied to compete in this year’s all-new OPG category. Teams presented their best ideas over two rounds of pitches in front of a panel of OPG executives. Out of four finalists, FPrimeC Solutions was declared the winner on Dec. 5.

The company will receive $25,000 of seed funding to complete and commercialize Timeshift and also benefit from professional mentoring from members of OPG’s Inspection and Reactor Innovation division.

“There is nothing like our product in the market,” said Moradi, who came up with the Timeshift idea while completing his PhD at the Université de Sherbrooke in Quebec. He and Layssi, both civil engineers, came to study in Canada from their native Iran and founded FPrimeC Solutions in 2015.

The company’s proposed invention uses high-frequency sound waves to accurately gauge the condition of concrete structures, such as bridges, dams, foundations and slabs. The technology can also predict what the structure will look like in three years time, providing a completely new dimension to concrete inspections and maintenance at hydro and nuclear power plants.

Moradi says his company will be using the seed money to implement the Timeshift device in a series of pilot projects and get it ready for commercial use. An application is already underway to trademark the Timeshift name.

“We’re working to bring the most innovative non-destructive testing solutions for cost-effective and reliable assessment of aging infrastructure in Canada and across the world,” Moradi said.

The three other finalists in the Ignite pitch competition were GPROSYS, a team from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology planning an improved drone system for maintenance and inspection; the Royal Military College of Canada, whose research group pitched an improved inspection technique of CANDU fuel channels; and 2G Robotics, a company specializing in underwater laser scanning and imaging technology for underwater inspections.

For more information on OPG Ignite please email