Shift by Alberta Innovates

Tonya Wolfe and Red Deer Polytechnic: supporting entrepreneurs across Alberta

May 17, 2023 Shift Season 4 Episode 9
Shift by Alberta Innovates
Tonya Wolfe and Red Deer Polytechnic: supporting entrepreneurs across Alberta
Show Notes

Nestled in central Alberta, Red Deer Polytechnic is a post secondary institution with major aspirations--and some serious clout. With lots of connections through the regional innovation networks across the province and the Technology Access Centres in Alberta and across the country, they're built to support students AND entrepreneurs.

In this discussion with Tonya Wolfe, the director of RDP's two centres of innovation, we learn about how the school gets power, touch base on what the tech access centres are, learn about their role with the Regional Innovation Networks, and generally plumb the depths of what she oversees and how the school supports innovation in Alberta.

Welcome to Shift!


Tonya Wolfe, PhD P.Eng, Director, Centres for Manufacturing and Energy Innovation at Red Deer Polytechnic, and adjunct professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta.

Tonya is a recognized leader in Alberta’s innovation space, Tonya is never satisfied with the status quo. Her areas of expertise include metallurgy, materials design, additive manufacturing, welding, wear resistant materials, steelmaking, biomedical engineering, and process modeling, and she enjoys sharing her knowledge in order to facilitate the growth of innovation for SMEs.

Tonya has a professional engineering designation, a Bachelor of Applied Science from Queen’s University, and graduate degrees from the University of Alberta. Her MSc investigated the use of biomaterials for prosthetic applications and her PhD studied composite overlays deposited by plasma-transferred arc welding.

Prior to arriving at Red Deer Polytechnic in 2020 as the CIM-TAC Manager, Tonya spent more than two decades building connections and working to advance technologies and innovation with Alberta’s manufacturers. 

She is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (, the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, and a founding member of the Alberta Additive Manufacturing Network. 

In her spare time, Tonya competes as a Masters Synchronized Swimmer and is a leader with the Girl Guides of Canada, an organization she has been a member of for over 40 years.

Shift by Alberta Innovates focuses on the people, businesses and organizations that are contributing to Alberta's strong tech ecosystem.