Northern College Nominates Ray Roussy for 2014 Premier’s Award

Northern College News and Events

TIMMINS, ON: Northern College has nominated an exceptional alumnus in the technology category of the 2014 Premier’s Awards for Outstanding College Graduates. The Premier’s Awards is an annual provincial awards program that acknowledges the successes of Ontario’s college graduates.

Northern alumnus Ray Roussy has had a substantial impact on the commercial drilling industry. Roussy graduated from the Northern College in 1969, with a diploma in Mechanical Technology.

Roussy has dedicated his career to developing and commercializing sonic drilling technology. Despite the fact that the technology had been abandoned by industry giants and researchers due to the high cost of research and low reliability of early prototypes, Roussy worked tirelessly to make the technology practical for industrial use. After years of commitment without external financial or engineering assistance, he developed the patented Roussy sonic drill head.

The sonic drilling technology that Roussy had developed first found success in the early 1990s, when a comparative study by the United States Army Corp of Engineers (CoE) praised the technology. The CoE concluded that that sonic drilling had some significant advantages over conventional drilling methods; it was faster than traditional drilling methods, produced samples of the highest quality, required only two people to operate, and had a much smaller impact on the environment.

Sonic drilling technology is now used extensively for mineral exploration, geothermal loop installation, environmental investigation, drilling in sensitive ecosystems, and to rescue traditional drill rigs when they reach an obstacle impervious to traditional methods.

Leveraging the initial successes of his creation, Roussy now owns both drilling and manufacturing businesses. His drill heads and rigs are in high demand in the geothermal installation, environmental investigation, and mineral exploration industries.

“We have a long history of producing graduates with exceptional technical and entrepreneurial skill,” says Fred Gibbons, President of Northern College. “Mr. Roussy is a shining example of how ingenuity and perseverance can lead to success. His unwavering determination to see his goals achieved when others believed them to be unattainable is an inspiration to students, innovators and entrepreneurs everywhere.”

Premier’s Awards nominations are submitted from each of Ontario’s 24 colleges in six categories: business, creative arts and design, community services, health sciences, technology and recent graduate.

This year’s Premier’s Awards winners will be announced at a gala awards evening on November 24, 2014 in Toronto as part of the Higher Education Summit. Winners are presented with a bronze medal, a framed certificate signed by the Premier of Ontario, and a $5,000 bursary directed to their alma mater.

Past Northern College Premier’s Award recipients include Donald C. MacKinnon and Donald Jan Dekker, who both received the Premier’s Award for Technology. Last year, Northern College nominated Shawn Batise, Jennifer Breton, and Paul Andre Huet.


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Crystal Bresson
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