Diane Gray — Founding President and CEO, CentrePort Canada; Chair of the Mitacs Board of Directors
Ms. Diane Gray is the founding President and CEO of CentrePort Canada Inc. CentrePort is Canada’s first tri-modal inland port and Foreign Trade Zone and encompasses 20,000 acres in the North West quadrant of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Ms. Gray previously worked for the Province of Manitoba from 1995 to 2009 and simultaneously served as Deputy Minister of Finance, Deputy Minister of Federal-Provincial and International Relations, and Deputy Minister of Trade. In December 2010, she was awarded the Lieutenant Governor's Medal for Excellence in Public Administration for Manitoba and in May 2013, awarded the Women of Distinction Award for Management and Leadership.
Ms. Gray currently serves as Chair of Manitoba Film and Music; Chair of MITACS; and co-Chair of World Trade Centre Winnipeg. In addition, Ms. Gray serves on the boards of the Manitoba Technology Accelerator; Public Policy Forum of Canada; the Canada West Foundation; and the Associates of the Asper School of Business.
Ms. Gray is a graduate of the University of Manitoba's and University of Winnipeg's Joint Masters of Public Administration Program and has an undergraduate degree in political studies from the University of Manitoba.
Jacques Beauvais — Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of Ottawa
Jacques Beauvais is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa. He received his Ph.D. in physics from Université Laval in 1990 then pursued post-doctoral studies in electrical engineering at the University of Glasgow, UK. His training in optics coupled with his experience in engineering led to his appointment as Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Université de Sherbrooke (UdeS) in 1993. His experience in nanotechnology led him to establish the first nanolithography laboratory in a Canadian university while directing the Microelectronics Research Group at Sherbrooke until 2003. From 2003 to 2006, he was director of the Centre for Nanofabrication and nanocharacterization then became the Founding Director of the Centre for Excellence in Information Engineering of UdeS, which today has been renamed the Interdisciplinary Institute for Technology Innovation (3IT).
In 1997, his research group discovered innovative processes for the nanofabrication of electronic devices in integrated circuits. Six patents related to this technology were the basis of a startup company, Quantiscript inc. Jacques Beauvais was the president of Quantiscript from 1999 to 2004, then vice-president, technology, from 2004 to 2006. Since 2007, his research activities have focused mainly on developing carbon nanotube based sensors which are at the core of a new patent (2010) and several industrial collaborations. He also established a close collaboration with a robotics research group and is now developing a tactile skin technology. He also joined an interdisciplinary research group in 2007 in order to study the social acceptability of new technologies, resulting in three collaborative books on the subject for which he is a co-author with the other group members.
In 2007, Jacques was named Vice-president, Research, at the Université de Sherbrooke, where he was responsible for the development, financial support, and implementation of the MiQro Innovation Collaborative Centre (C2MI), in partnership with IBM Canada and Teledyne Dalsa. He now sits on C2MI’s Board of Directors. He was also a member of the council of the National Research Council of Canada and is currently a member of the Research Council of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CiFAR).
Sarah Bevan — Managing Director, President and CEO of UBS Bank (Canada), a wholly owned subsidiary of UBS AG
With over 30 years of experience in the field of international wealth management, Ms. Bevan demonstrates a depth of expertise as a versatile and dynamic business leader. Ms. Bevan was educated in England and holds a B.A. (Honours) in Modern Languages (French/Spanish) and History from CCAT in Cambridge. With UBS AG since 2007, Ms. Bevan brings to Canada decisive leadership and extensive management skills, with a proven ability to significantly increase revenues in an intensively competitive environment. Prior to joining UBS AG, Ms. Bevan spent 15 years in New York, working for Barclays Bank plc which was then acquired by RBC. At RBC she headed the international wealth management division in New York. Prior to New York, she worked for 15 years in London, England where she started her financial markets career with Nesbitt Thomson Bongard Limited followed by Credit Suisse and Citibank NA, covering and travelling to Latin America and various corners of the world. She sits on the Board of UBS Bank (Canada), as well as the Board of the Banff International Research Station (BIRS).
Karen Chad — Vice-President Research, University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Karen Chad is the Vice-President Research at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) and is also a faculty member in the U of S College of Kinesiology.
With a Ph.D. from the University of Queensland in Australia, Dr. Chad is a prolific researcher holding several research grants and contracts and has supervised numerous graduate students. She has received numerous awards for her research leadership, including the YWCA Woman of Influence Award, the International Award for Innovation in Research, the National Leadership Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the “Woman of Influence” Business Award, and Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award.
Dr. Chad sits on a number of national and international boards and has chaired or overseen more than 200 key boards, committees, research programs, and teams in a wide range of areas including indigenous matters, health, natural resources, energy, global food and water security, digital innovation, and environment. She is highly regarded for her strong competencies in partnership development, governance, strategic planning, and innovative organizational structures. With a commitment to research with impact, bringing expertise on issues of importance to communities and to society, Dr. Chad stands solidly on the foundation of the 4-P model (public, private, post-secondary partnerships).
Dr. Chad is also very familiar with Canada's major science initiatives. This is evidenced in the leadership she has and continues to provide to the development and oversight for two of Canada's largest national science initiatives - The Canadian Light Source and The International Vaccine Centre - to enhance Canada's leadership in globally important research and development through partnerships and international standards of excellence.
Amiee Chan — President and CEO, Norsat International Inc.
Dr. Amiee Chan has over 15 years of experience in executive management and research & development in the telecommunications industry. Offering a rare blend of technical and corporate strength, Dr. Chan’s strategic vision has driven Norsat’s innovative product development program and resulted in consistent revenue growth since her appointment as CEO in 2006. In 2012 Dr. Chan won a Women’s Executive Network Top 100 Award, ranked third in PROFIT/Chatelaine’s list of Top Female Entrepreneurs, and led Norsat to win a BC Export Award for Advancing Technology & Innovation. Dr. Chan holds an Executive MBA from Simon Fraser University where she majored in Strategy and New Ventures and a Ph. D. in Satellite Communications from the University of British Columbia. An accomplished engineer, she has been published over a dozen times, holds three US patents, and has been involved in high-level research teams such as the NASA ACTS Terminal Program. Dr. Chan is a member of the UBC Engineering Advisory Council and serves on the Dean’s External Advisory Board for the Beedie School of Business at SFU.
Philippe Gervais — Principal, Navigator
As the Principal for the Montreal office, Philippe brings over 25 years of experience of strategic advice to politicians, corporate executives and not-for-profit sector decision makers.
Philippe has distinguished himself in the fields of government relations, strategic advice and campaign planning and execution at the national and international levels. He provides strategic advice and communications counsel to Navigator clients in sectors such as energy, environment, mergers and acquisitions and international trade.
He has played key roles in political campaigns both here in Canada and abroad, including US Presidential campaigns. During the 2006 election, he served as National Deputy Campaign Manager for the Conservative Party of Canada.
Prior to joining Navigator Philippe ran the Quebec operations of a national government relations firm for 22 years. From 1990 to 1993, he worked for the Minister of National Revenue as Special Assistant responsible for the implementation of the GST. His government service continued with positions as Executive Assistant to the Federal Minister of Public Works and Government Services and then as Political Attaché to the Deputy Premier and President of Treasury Board of Quebec.
Philippe currently is a member of the board of directors of many organizations including H2O Innovation Inc. (TSXV: HEO) where he acts as Chairman of the Board of one of Canada’s fastest growing clean tech companies.
Iain Klugman — CEO, Communitech
Iain Klugman is the President and CEO of Communitech Corporation. He has overall responsibility for all operations of this award-winning organization including regional, provincial, and national mandates (through Communitech’s national arm – the CDMN).
Before joining Communitech in 2004, Iain’s career spanned leadership roles in the private and public sectors, including Director of Global Branding and Advertising for Nortel, Executive Director of Communications with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), CEO of Ontario Tourism (provincial crown corporation), and roles with the Privy Council Office and Industry Canada. Over the past 30 years, Iain has been involved as Board Member or Chair of 27 different organizations including national and regional, social and business organizations. In additional to Mitacs, he currently he serves as a special advisor to the President of the National Research Council, the Digital Government Board of the Province of Ontario, Volta Labs, Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, and is a Senior Fellow with the Brookfield Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Iain has been recognized with many awards: for 2017, he was named one of the 50 most influential people in Toronto by Toronto Life; in 2016 he was named by Canadian Business Magazine as one of the 50 most powerful business people in Canada, and in 2015 was awarded Startup Canada’s national award for Entrepreneur Support and Promotion. Iain holds an MBA from Laurier University, an MPA from Dalhousie University, a BA from Laurentian University, and has completed executive education programs at the University of Toronto.
Marie-Hélène Labrie — Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications, Cogeco
Ms. Labrie was named Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications in 2018. She has more than 20 years of broad experience in government relations, public communications and marketing. Prior to joining Cogeco, she was at Enerkem starting in 2008, most recently as Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Communications, where she built the company’s corporate image and reputation, positioning the organization as a global leader in the field of biofuels. Previously, Ms. Labrie worked with a range of companies as a communications consultant from 2006 to 2008, and from 1997 to 2006 she held roles at CAE including Director, Strategic Planning and Marketing. She began her career with the Government of Canada from 1993 to 1997, working on diverse portfolios. Ms. Labrie holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Université Laval in Québec City, where she also completed a Masters in International Business.
Bruce MacDougall — Principal, Burcot Park Holdings Inc.
Bruce MacDougall is a tech entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in the telecom sector. Bruce is involved in the ICT community in Atlantic Canada, focusing on startups, business strategy, and technology leadership. Bruce also consults on issues of telecom strategy and rural broadband developments.
From 2016 to 2019, Bruce was the Regional Vice President for Atlantic Canada at Rogers Communications. In this role he led Rogers enterprise business activities in Atlantic Canada and liaised closely with all levels of government in the region.
Prior to joining Rogers, Bruce was the founder and president of Internetworking Atlantic Inc. (IAI), an Atlantic Canada based telecommunications service provider that was acquired by Rogers in 2015. Over a period of 15 years, IAI acted as an innovative and disruptive force in the telecom sector.
Bruce is a board member and the past chair of Digital Nova Scotia, the industry association representing the ICT industry in the province. He has held several positions in both the private and public sectors, notably with the CBC in Ottawa and Halifax.
Originally from Quebec, Bruce has an engineering degree from McGill University and an MBA from Queen’s University. He lives in Halifax with his family. Bruce is a registered professional engineer in three provinces and a long-standing member of the IEEE.
John Milloy — Former Minister of Research and Innovation and former Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities; Government of Ontario
From 2003 to 2014, John Milloy served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for the riding of Kitchener Centre. During that period he held a number of Cabinet Portfolios including Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities; Research and Innovation; Community and Social Services; Government Services; and Government House Leader. Prior to that, he worked as the Director of Public Affairs for the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), a Waterloo based Think Tank. He came to CIGI from Parliament Hill, where he worked for several senior Cabinet Ministers, including five years in the office of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.
Upon retirement from politics, John returned to the academic world and currently serves as the Co-Director of the Centre for Public Ethics and Assistant Professor of Public Ethics at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, and the inaugural Practitioner in Residence in Wilfrid Laurier’s Political Science Department. He is also a lecturer in the Master of Public Service Program at the University of Waterloo. As well as his work with Mitacs, John sits on a number of other boards including the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation, Waterloo North Hydro, and is the Government of Ontario representative on the board of MaRs.
John holds an Honours B.A. from Carleton University, an M.A. from the London School of Economics and a Doctorate in Modern History from the University of Oxford where he was a Commonwealth Scholar. He is married to physician Sara Pendergast and has two young sons.
Doug Mitchell — National Co-chair, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Douglas Mitchell is a respected business and community leader who has brought great energy and commitment to a wide range of organizations. He has made invaluable contributions to the strength and viability of amateur and professional sports in Canada.
Doug studied law at UBC, and throughout his legal career, Doug has continued to find ways to contribute to professional and amateur sport. After watching Canada sit out hockey competitions in the 1972 and ’76 Olympics, Doug dedicated himself to reinvigorating the Canada Olympic Hockey program. He was instrumental in building the Calgary-based program and bringing the national team back to full force and onto the Olympic podium. During the early 1980s, Doug also served as a member of the National Hockey League Board of Governors.
In 1984, Doug took a five-year break from his law firm to serve as Commissioner of the Canadian Football League. For many years, Doug also provided colour commentary for the Calgary Stampeders and, more recently, developed Legacy Sports Inc., which is a part owner of the Football Club. Throughout his career, Doug has played a leadership role in many other sports endeavours, including the 2001 World Track and Field Championships. He founded a national awards program, the BLG Awards, to honour Canadian University Athletes and has also served as a volunteer amateur football, hockey, soccer and baseball coach.
Although sports have been a great passion throughout Doug’s life, it is not the only area to benefit from his leadership. He has generously shared his time and skills with a wide range of organizations, including Chairman of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, the United Way of Calgary, The Calgary Booster Club, the Campbell McLaurin Foundation for the Hearing Handicapped, Theatre Calgary, the Calgary Zoo, Chairman of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Bar Association. He has also served as a leading advocate of Alberta’s economic development as Chair of the Alberta Economic Development Authority and founder of the Global Business Forum. Doug is proud to give back to his province and country as Honourary Lt. Colonel of the King’s Own Calgary Regiment. Doug’s exemplary record of community service has earned him numerous honours. He received the Lester Pearson Award as outstanding alumni of the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union. He is also a member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame. In 2004, Doug was named one of the most influential Albertans in the province’s first 100 years. That same year, he became a member of the Order of Canada.
Gilbert Nolasco — Consultant, Cohérence RH and Partner at Camiré & Associés
Gilbert Nolasco has over 30 years of experience working in a variety of complex organizational contexts in finance, retail, and distribution. Mr. Nolasco holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Montreal and a senior management framework Diploma from the International Centre for Research and Studies in Management (CIREM). In 2014 he started Cohérence HR, a consulting service focused on coherent people management with quick and constructive problem-solving. It aims to bring success to businesses by focusing on committed leaders, inspiring their teams to develop their business potential and talent. Since 2016, he is also a Partner at Camiré & Associés, a consulting group dedicated primarily to management coaching for business leaders. From 2009 to 2013, he participated in the organizational transformation of Desjardins Group and the implementation of its Strategic Plan. He has held the positions of Vice-President, Human Resources, Support Functions Mouvement and Vice-President Talent Management and Employee Services.
Prior to joining Desjardins Group, Mr. Nolasco worked at RONA Inc. from 2000 to 2009, where he contributed to the growth of pan-Canadian acquisition projects and successively held the positions of Director of HR, HR Vice-President Retail Operations, and Vice-President in charge of Enterprise Integration and Optimization of Business Processes. As such, from 2005 to 2009 he was a member of RONA’s Management Committee. Before that, Mr. Nolasco joined Desjardins in 1976. He had risen through the ranks for 20 years, until becoming Regional Director of the Federation des Caisses Populaires Desjardins of Montreal and Western Quebec. For over two decades, Mr. Nolasco has been an invited speaker on a broad range of topics including labour relationships, talent management, compensation, and acquisition-integration. Groups to whom he has given expert lectures include the Conference Board of Canada, IT Federation of Quebec (FIQ), and Manitoba Quality Network. He served on the board of directors of the Père Lindsay Foundation from 2004 to 2012.
John Hepburn, CEO and Scientific Director
John Hepburn studied at the University of Waterloo (BSc, 1976) and the University of Toronto (PhD, 1980), followed by two years as a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He began his academic career back at the University of Waterloo, where he was appointed an Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Physics in 1982, and ultimately Chair of Chemistry in 1998.
In 2001, he moved to the University of British Columbia as Head of Chemistry and Professor of Chemistry with a joint appointment to Physics & Astronomy. He became Dean of Science in 2003, and Vice-President, Research in 2005. The international portfolio was added to his list of responsibilities in August 2009. In June 2016, he became Vice-President, Research and Partnerships at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) and served in that role until January 2020. He began as CEO and Scientific Director of Mitacs in February 2020.
John Hepburn has served on numerous boards and advisory committees, both nationally and internationally. He is currently on the Boards for WestGrid (as Chair), Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping, and BrainsCAN (a CFREF-funded research centre of excellence), and is on the advisory committee for the France-Canada Research Fund.
Ridha Ben Mrad, Chief Research Officer
Ridha Ben Mrad, P.Eng., is the Chief Research Officer and Associate Academic Director of Mitacs, Director of the Mechatronics and Microsystems Group and a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto. He joined the University of Toronto in 1997, having previously held positions at the National Research Council of Canada and the Ford Research Laboratory. He joined Mitacs in 2016 and is also currently Chair of the Mitacs Research Council. He is also currently President and Chief Technology Officer of Sheba Microsystems Inc., a Toronto based manufacturer of cameras for the smart phone and automotive industries.
Ridha Ben Mrad’s research interests are micro-actuators and sensors, MEMS, microfabrication, and development of smart materials based devices. He led a large number of collaborations with industrial partners from across Canada working on developing a number of new technologies. His research has led to 20+ US, Canadian, European and Chinese patents and more than 200 refereed research publications. He has supervised the work of more than 20 PHD students, 38 Master’s students, 14 researchers, 3 Post-Doctoral Fellows, and 64 senior undergraduate students.
He has received the Faculty Early Career Teaching Award and the Connaught Innovation Award and sits on several committees, including the Steering Committee of the IEEE Journal on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems and the IEEE IES Publication Committee. He has also served as editor on various publications including the IEEE Industrial Electronics Tech News, Mechatronics, and the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics. He was the founding Director of the Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics at the University of Toronto and was Associate Chair of Research of his department.
Eric Bosco, Chief Business Development & Partnerships Officer
Eric Bosco is an entrepreneur and business leader who helps companies grow through research and development. As Chief Business Development & Partnerships Officer at Mitacs, he works closely with governments, academia and industry to promote innovation.
Prior to joining Mitacs in 2007, Eric served as the founder and President of XYZ Imaging, a company he led from a small start-up to a world leader and innovator in the use of holography in the 3-D imaging industry with capital investments totalling $25 M. His research led to the practical realization of direct-write digital holography. Eric was also the director of a not-for-profit holography laboratory for the purpose of teaching holography to CEGEP students in Québec and conducting scientific outreach and research by academics. He also worked on the science team of the Tokamac de Varennes, Canada’s experimental nuclear fusion reactor, where he participated in the development of a sub-millimetre interferometer.
As a pioneer in his field, Eric’s understanding of the importance of academic research to the growth of commercial enterprises led him to join Mitacs, a national research organization that promotes innovation. Eric’s combination of business and scientific research experience provides him with the ideal skill-set to lead our business development team to connect companies and Mitacs’ academic partners.
Catherine Chick, Chief Information Officer
Catherine joined Mitacs in 2017. As Chief Information Officer, she oversees Mitacs’ information and communications technology (ICT). This position ensures that Mitacs can continue to meet the demand of program growth, perform robust analyses of program outcomes, and provide timely and efficient reporting for stakeholders .
Prior to joining Mitacs, Catherine served as Vice President, Business Services and Technology at Seaspan, where she oversaw the company’s IT operations and the delivery of process and system transformation projects.
Catherine holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Business Administration from McMaster University.
Jennifer Wilkie, Chief Financial and Human Resources Officer
Jennifer joined Mitacs in September 2008. As Chief Financial and Human Resources Officer, her role includes oversight of all Mitacs corporate services teams including Financial Services, Grant Management, and Human Resources & Administration.
Prior to joining Mitacs, Jennifer worked as Corporate Planner for the City of Coquitlam. She was also a senior manager at KPMG in various offices across the country. In addition to her Chartered Accountant designation, Jennifer also has her BBA from Simon Fraser University.
Alison Ewart, Vice-President, Programs (Ontario)
Jeffrey Ho, Vice-President, Finance (Vancouver)
Joe Belfontaine, Vice-President, National Partnerships (Toronto)
Lissa Matyas, Vice-President, International Partnerships (Montreal)
Duncan Phillips, Vice-President, Strategic Enterprises (Vancouver)
Winnie Sin, Vice-President, Human Resources (Vancouver)
Jesse Vincent-Herscovici, Vice-President, Business Development (Montreal)
The Mitacs Research Council (MRC) is a committee of the Mitacs Board and is dedicated to maintaining the research integrity of Mitacs programs. The role of the MRC is to provide research expertise to the Board and to advise the Board on strategies, initiatives and issues related to Mitacs research. The duties and responsibilities of the MRC are to safeguard standards for research and innovation and scholarship consistent with policies of the Board.
The MRC consists of the Chair and 18 members. MRC members provide a broad representation of research in Canada across regions, disciplines, and sectors from academia, industry, and the public sector.
Catherine Adams — University of Alberta
Dr. Cathy Adams is a Professor in the Department of Secondary Education and Vargo Teaching Chair at the University of Alberta. She holds a B.Sc. (Computing Science) and PhD (Secondary Education) from the University of Alberta, and a Masters in Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University. Cathy’s interdisciplinary research investigates the integration of computing technologies across a wide range of educational environments, and focuses on their pedagogical, relational, epistemological, and ethical implications. Cathy is an award-winning teacher regularly invited to give lectures, seminars, and workshops on phenomenological research, and on the everyday and ethical use of digital technologies in educational, healthcare, and other professional settings. She is also a long-time advocate for K-12 Computing Science education (computational and data literacy) in schools. Cathy sits on the Pan-Canadian K-12 Computer Science Framework Advisory Group and is currently working with her province's Ministry of Education on integrating computational thinking into Alberta's K-12 curriculum.
Cristina Amon — University of Toronto
Cristina Amon has been the Dean of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering and Alumni Professor of Bioengineering in Mechanical & Industrial Engineering since 2006. She received her Mechanical Engineering diploma from Simón Bolívar University, and her MS and ScD degrees in 1988 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Prior to her leadership at the University of Toronto, she was the Raymond J. Lane Distinguished Professor and Director of the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems at Carnegie Mellon University.
A pioneer in the development of Computational Fluid Dynamics for formulating and solving thermal design problems subject to multidisciplinary competing constraints, she conducts research in nanoscale thermal transport in semiconductors, energy systems and bioengineered devices.
Dean Amon serves on the BoD of MKS Instruments Inc., a leading global provider for advanced manufacturing of semiconductor devices, energy generation and electro-optical products. She is chair of the research committee of NCDEAS (National Council of Deans of Engineering and Applied Science), past chair of the Global Engineering Deans Council, and serves on advisory boards for several institutions including Stanford, UCLA, UIUC and Waterloo.
Cristina Amon has received numerous professional and leadership awards, including the ASME Gustus Larson Memorial Award, ASEE Westinghouse Medal, ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award, and the Society of Women Engineers' Achievement Award. In 2012 she was recognized as one of Canada's most Influential Women. She was inducted to four academies: Canadian Academy of Engineering, Spanish Royal Academy, Royal Society of Canada and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. She is an elected fellow of all major professional societies in her field and has authored over 350 refereed articles in education and research literature.
Jo-ann Archibald, Q’um Q’um Xiiem — University of British Columbia
Jo-ann Archibald, Q’um Q’um Xiiem, from the Stó:lō/Soowahlie and St’at’imc/Xaxli’p First Nations in British Columbia, is professor emeritus of Educational Studies in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She has held the following positions at UBC: director of the First Nations House of Learning, director of UBC’s Indigenous teacher education program (NITEP), associate dean for Indigenous Education, and a full professor in the Educational Studies Department in the Faculty of Education, UBC. She received a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree from the University of British Columbia, a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree from Simon Fraser University. She has also held various positions with NITEP for 18 years and has been a faculty member at UBC for 34 years before retiring in 2017.
Jo-ann’s scholarship relates to Indigenous knowledge systems, story work/oral tradition, transformative education at all levels, Indigenous educational history, teacher and graduate education, and Indigenous methodologies. From 1992- 2018, Jo-ann edited an annual theme issue of the Canada Journal of Native Education (CJNE.). Jo-ann is the author of numerous publications related to Indigenous Education. Her book, Indigenous Storywork: Educating the Heart, Mind, Body, and Spirit published in 2008 by UBC Press continues to be used by students, academics, and teachers. This book focuses on the role of Indigenous stories and storytelling for holistic learning, teaching, and research.
Jo-ann received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 2000; an honorary Doctor of Letters from Capilano University in 2012; the Simon Fraser University Outstanding Alumni Award for Academic Achievement in 2012; a 2013 American Education Research Association Scholars of Colour Distinguished Career Contribution Award; a 2015 Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring from UBC; an Award for Lifelong Service to Education from the Association of BC Deans of Education in 2017; and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2017. Most recently, she received the Order of Canada for her role in helping to advance Indigenous education in schools.
Ridha Ben Mrad — Mitacs Associate Academic Director
Ridha Ben Mrad, P.Eng., FCSME, Director of the Mechatronics and Microsystems Group and a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto. He joined the University of Toronto in 1997, having previously held positions at the National Research Council of Canada in Vancouver, BC, and the Ford Research Laboratory in Dearborn, Michigan. R. Ben Mrad received a PHD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1994. He also received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with Honors and with Distinction from Penn State, a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering both from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. R. Ben Mrad’s research interests are micro-actuators and sensors, MEMS, microfabrication, and development of smart materials based devices. He led a large number of collaborations with industrial partners from across Canada working on developing a number of new technologies. His research led to a number of patents and inventions including 10 US, Canadian, European and Chinese patents and more than 160 refereed research publications. He supervised the work of more than 16 PHD students, 38 Master’s students, 14 researchers, 3 Post-Doctoral Fellows, and 64 senior undergraduate students. He received the Faculty Early Career Teaching Award in 2002 and the Connaught Innovation Award in 2013 and in 2014. R. Ben Mrad chairs the IEEE IES Committee on MEMS and Nanotechnology (2015-2016), is a member of the Executive Board of the CanSmart Group, is Associate Editor of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Tech News (2013-current), serves on the Steering Committee of the IEEE Journal on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (2010-current) and is a member of the IEEE IES Publication Committee (2013-current). He was a Technical Editor of the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (2010-2014) and a guest editor of the IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics (2010-2012). He was as the founding Director of the Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics at the University of Toronto (2009-2011), served on the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Mechanical Engineering Grant Committee (2008-2011) and was Associate Chair of Research of his department (2009-2012).
Jean-Paul Boudreau — Mount Allison University
Dr. Jean-Paul Boudreau is a proud Acadian with strong Maritime roots. A graduate of the University of New Brunswick and Laurentian University, he earned his PhD in experimental psychology from Tufts University in Boston.
Dr. Boudreau began his career at the University of Prince Edward Island, where he founded the UPEI Infant Cognition Lab. He then served as chair of the Department of Psychology at Ryerson University, establishing Canada’s first interprofessional Psychology Training Clinic within a hospital, a partnership with St. Michael’s Hospital. He also served as the university’s dean of arts and special advisor and executive lead, social innovation.
A developmental scientist, Dr. Boudreau’s research focuses on the dynamic interaction between mind and action during infancy. He has published and presented his work internationally. He was the founder and director of Ryerson’s Children, Health, Infancy, Learning, and Development (CHILD) Lab and is a fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association.
Dr. Boudreau became Mount Allison University’s 15th President and Vice-Chancellor on July 1, 2018.
Dr. Kevin Leyton-Brown — University of British Columbia
Kevin Leyton-Brown is a professor of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia and an associate member of the Vancouver School of Economics. He holds a PhD and M.Sc. from Stanford University (2003; 2001) and a B.Sc. from McMaster University (1998). He studies the intersection of computer science and microeconomics, addressing computational problems in economic contexts and incentive issues in multiagent systems. He also applies machine learning to various problems in artificial intelligence, notably the automated design and analysis of algorithms for solving hard computational problems.
He has co-written two books, "Multiagent Systems" and "Essentials of Game Theory," and over 100 peer-refereed technical articles; his work has received over 11,000 citations and an h-index of 41. He is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI; elected 2018). He was a member of a team that won the 2018 INFORMS Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Advanced Analytics, Operations Research and Management Science, described as "the leading O.R. and analytics award in the industry." This award recognizes a "completed, practical application that had significant, verifiable and quantifiable impact on the performance of [a] client organization," in his case the Federal Communications Commission. Leyton-Brown also received UBC's 2015 Charles A. McDowell Award for Excellence in Research, a 2014 NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship—previously given to a computer scientist only 10 times since its establishment in 1965—and a 2013 Outstanding Young Computer Science Researcher Prize from the Canadian Association of Computer Science. He and his coauthors have received paper awards from JAIR, ACM-EC, AAMAS and LION, and numerous medals for the portfolio-based SAT solver SATzilla at international SAT solver competitions (2003–15).
He currently advises Auctionomics, AI21, and Qudos. He is a co-founder of Kudu.ug and Meta-Algorithmic Technologies. He was a scientific advisor to UBC spinoff Zite until it was acquired by CNN in 2011. His past consulting has included work for Zynga, Trading Dynamics, Ariba, and Cariocas.
Soumaya Cherkaoui — Université de Sherbrooke
Dr. Soumaya Cherkaoui is a Full Professor at Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of Université de Sherbrooke, Canada. Since 2005, she is also an Adjunct Full Professor at Lulea University, Sweden and has been the Director of INTERLAB, a research Laboratory which conducts research funded both by government and industry. Before joining U. Sherbrooke as a faculty member, Pr. Cherkaoui worked for industry as a project leader on projects targeted at the Aerospace Industry. Pr. Cherkaoui was a Visiting Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering of the University of Toronto. In 2006, she was a Visiting Professor at the Centre of Distributed Systems and Software at Monash University, Australia and a Visiting Professor at Bell Laboratories, Toronto. In 2012, she was an invited visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley.
Pr. Cherkaoui has more than 100 publications in reputable journals, conferences and workshops in the area of communication networks. She has participated as a General Chair, Editor, Member of Technical Committee, Session Chair, or Program Committee Member of numerous conferences or referenced journals.
In 2010, she was appointed member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Network of Centres of Excellence Auto21, Canada and member of the Expert Advisory Panel of Precarn, Canada
Her research and teaching interests are in Wireless Networks. Particularly, she works on V2V and V2I communications, Cyberphysical systems, Machine-to-Machine Communications, IoT.
Andrew Csinger — Entrepreneur in Residence, McGill EnginE
Andrew Csinger is a seasoned technology entrepreneur and advises high technology startup firms including Tanka Technologies and Blockchain Intelligence Group. Andrew actively pursues university technology transfer opportunities and industry-academic research collaborations. He is director of several non-profits including the Centre for Innovation in Mineral Resource Engineering. Dr. Csinger was Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of British Columbia, and Adjunct Professor in the Cognitive Systems Group.
Andrew was EVP Research and Managing Director at MineSense Technologies. He was on the Board of Advisors of ISSNet, an NSERC funded research network focused on computer and network security. He was a founding member of the Steering Committee for the Vancouver Institute of Visual Analytics, and a Technical Expert for Eurostars, a joint program between Eureka and the European Commission to support international R&D projects. Dr. Csinger holds several patents in internet security, mining technology, and related areas.
Andrew was EVP of Product Strategy at Seattle-based Dategrity, and CIO of Group Telecom during its successful initial public offering in March 1999. In 1996, he founded Xcert Software, a technology leader in Public Key Infrastructure (PKI); the company was acquired by RSA.
Andrew received his Ph.D. and M.Sc. Degrees in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from McGill. His work on artificial intelligence techniques has been published in journals and conferences around the world. He is a recent graduate of the INSEAD International Corporate Governance Program.
Dr. Csinger is regularly invited to speak at conferences and events, about technology and its effects on society and business. Andrew has been both mentor and reviewer for the New Ventures BC business plan competition since 2007 and participated in other initiatives such as the Ontario Research Fund review panel for the Premier’s Catalyst Award.
Lisa Crossley — CEO, Reliq Health Technologies, Inc.
Dr. Lisa Crossley is the CEO of Reliq Health Technologies, Inc., a publicly-traded healthcare IT company with offices in Vancouver, BC and Hamilton, ON. Lisa has diverse experience across multiple market segments, including biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, life science tools, diagnostics and healthcare information technology. Prior to joining Reliq Health, Lisa was CEO of VitalHub Corp., CEO at Quantum Dental Technologies and President & CEO at Natrix Separations. In these roles, she raised over $38 Million in venture capital and angel financing from investors in the US and Canada. She is a current member of the Genome Alberta Board of Directors and has previously served on the Board of the Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO), Viron Therapeutics, Boyd Technologies, and Women in Science and Technology Businesses (WSTB). She was a member of the Council of Canadian Academies’ Expert Panel on the State of Industrial R&D in Canada. Lisa holds a B.Sc. in Anatomy & Cell Biology from McGill University and a B.A.Sc. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario.
Cory Mulvihill — MaRS
Cory Mulvihill is the Lead Executive, Policy & Public Affairs. He focuses on coordinating relationships with government stakeholders and aligning MaRS and its network with government policies. He also explores new opportunities and initiatives that align with MaRS’ strategic objectives. He previously served as Chief of Staff to Ontario’s Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. His previous roles in the government include Chief of Staff to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, and Senior Policy Advisor to the Ministers of Economic Development and Innovation, and Research and Innovation.
Prior to working for the Province, Cory completed his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at SickKids and the University of Toronto with a focus on cystic fibrosis. Cory is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and completed an Hon. B.Sc. in Chemistry. Cory’s move to MaRS brings him closer to his experience in and passion for the life sciences sector, and more broadly to the implementation of innovation policy.
Stephen Perelgut — IBM
Stephen Perelgut is currently the IBM Canada Cloud Ecosystem Business Development Manager. His previous role was managing University Relations for IBM Canada where he interacted with researchers from every research university in Canada as well as government labs and public sector funding agencies. His interests and activities cover a broad spectrum of computing sciences but he has always maintained a passion for undergraduate education in computing topics, having lectured for a total of 18 terms at the University of Toronto's Department of Computing Science. Stephen currently sits on many faculty, school and government advisory boards, commenting on program development.
Maryam Sadeghi — MetaOptima Technology
Maryam Sadeghi, the CEO and Co-Founder of MetaOptima Technology, completed her PhD in Computing Science at Simon Fraser University in the Medical Image Analysis lab.
In 2012, she co-founded MetaOptima Technology in Vancouver, Canada, where MoleScope and DermEngine were developed for intelligent skin analytics, imaging and management. The company was one of ten that were shortlisted for the 2013 BCIC New Ventures Competition and won a $40,000 Wavefront Wireless prize package. In 2014, Dr. Sadeghi also won the Venture Prize from Coast Capital Savings.
From 2013-2015, Dr. Sadeghi was director of the Digital Health Hub (Innovation Boulevard), where she was actively involved in R&D and commercialization activities. She also worked closely with the Gerontology Research Center (GRC) at SFU on innovative health solutions for senior care and independent living.
In 2016, Dr. Sadeghi made the Business In Vancouver’s Forty Under 40 Awards List for her innovative work and successful commercialization of DermEngine (an intelligent dermatology platform) and MoleScope (a mobile dermoscope). Recently, Maryam was appointed as a Mitacs Research Council member, was credited as one of BC’s most influential women in BC Business Magazine, and her company was listed as a “Ready To Rocket” business in the area of digital health.
Since its development, MetaOptima has become one of the fastest growing digital health technology companies in Canada and continues to strive to empower physicians and patients for better care outcomes.
Helge Seetzen — TandemLaunch
Helge Seetzen is a successful multi-media technology entrepreneur with deep experience in the university tech transfer space. He currently serves as the CEO and General Partner of TandemLaunch – a startup foundry that works with driven entrepreneurs to turn research from the world’s best universities into exceptional consumer technology companies. Under his leadership, TandemLaunch has created over 20 technology companies, accounting for hundreds of jobs, $500M+ in market value, and commercialized technologies from over 50 international universities.
Prior to TandemLaunch, Helge co-founded Sunnybrook Technologies and later BrightSide Technologies to commercialize high dynamic range (HDR) display technology and champion the development of the local dimming LED TV concept. BrightSide was successfully sold to Dolby Laboratories at high return to shareholders after receiving accolades such as the Best Buzz Award at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show and a "Top 100 Technologies in 2006" rank by Popular Science Magazine. At Dolby he led all cross-functional development activities for Dolby's first two consumer video products including today’s Dolby Vision standard for HDR video. In this capacity he built research and engineering departments in Canada and the US, and was closely involved in licensing negotiations with many major consumer electronics manufacturers.
Helge's leadership in the technology transfer, innovation and entrepreneurial space has been widely recognized through awards such as Business in Vancouver's 40 under Forty award for business accomplishment, the NSERC Innovation Challenge Award for university technology transfer, and a Special Recognition Award from the Society for Information Display for the pioneering of LED TV technology. Helge serves on the boards of over 20 organizations including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Canada’s national research funding body), MITACS (Canada’s principal industrial grant program for students), HEC Montreal’s Entrepreneurship Program, and over a dozen private corporations. He is a Fellow of the McGill Dobson Center for Entrepreneurship and strong supporter of many other initiatives encouraging entrepreneurship. As a technical leader, he served as the General Chair for Display Week, the largest technical conference on displays, as well as currently as President of the Executive Board of the Society for Information Display. He has published over 20 journal articles, writes a regular column on venture capital innovation in the Information Display Magazine, and holds over 80 patents with an additional 50 pending US applications. Helge received a B.Sc. in physics and a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary imaging technology (physics & computer science) from the University of British Columbia.
Maryam Tabrizian — McGill University
Maryam Tabrizian is the James McGill Professor and the Director of Biomat’X Laboratories at the Biomedical Engineering Department in the Faculty of Dentistry at McGill University. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Guggenheim fellow, International Fellow of the Biomaterials Science & Engineering, FRSQ chercheure-Nationale awardee and was the founder of the FQNRT Centre for Biorecognition and Biosensors (CBB) that she directed from 2002 to 2011. Development of novel interfaces for improved interaction of biomaterials within biological environments is the overall objective of her research. This research is carried out through the design, fabrication and characterization of multifunctional and bioactive surfaces as well as developing methodologies and protocols for their creation. Her laboratory masters a broad expertise in surface modification techniques, namely chemical, molecular assembly and biological methods to cope with the highly divergent requirements for surface properties for their applications in regenerative medicine, nanomedicine and Lab-on-a-Chip platforms. She is the author of 220 peer-reviewed publications, over 100 invited talks, many book chapters, patents and over 340 conference communications. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Materials (MDPI), Associated Editor of International Journal of Biomaterials Research and Engineering (IJBRE) and an Editorial Board Member of Journal of Biological Engineering (JBI).
Claude Laguë — University of Ottawa
Dr. Claude Laguë, P.Eng., ing., FCAE│MACG, FEC│FIC, is a tenured Professor in the Faculty of Engineering. An agricultural engineer holding degrees from Université Laval and from the University of California, Davis, Dr. Laguë specializes in the engineering of agricultural machinery and manure management systems and in the assessment and mitigation of the environmental impacts of agricultural activities. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario and in Québec.
He began his professional career as a project engineer for the consulting engineering firm Urgel Delisle et Associés. From 1989 to 1999 he held a faculty position at Université Laval, where his teaching and research activities focused on agricultural machinery engineering. While at Université Laval, Dr. Laguë also served as Vice-Dean (Research) of the Faculté des sciences de l'agriculture et de l'alimentation and he was the founding chair of the Département des sols et de génie agroalimentaire. In January 2000, Dr. Laguë was appointed to the Sask Pork Chair in Environmental Engineering for the Pork Industry industrial chair at the University of Saskatchewan's College of Engineering and he served as Dean of the College between 2002 and 2006.
Dr. Laguë was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa in August 2006 and he completed his 10-year tenure on June 30, 2016. As the Chief Executive Officer of the Faculty of Engineering, Dr. Laguë's responsibilities extended to all academic and resource matters within the Faculty. A member of the National Council of Deans of Engineering and Applied Science (NCDEAS|CCDISA) from 2002 to 2016, Dr. Laguë chaired that organization between 2008 and 2011. In that capacity, he represented Canadian engineering schools at the Canadian Engineering Leadership Forum (CELF|FLGC) and served as an Advisor to Engineers Canada's Board of Directors. Between 2011 and 2013, Dr. Laguë served as Chair of the Council of Ontario Deans of Engineering (CODE).
He is passionate about the importance of entre/intrapreneurship and innovation in engineering education. As a Fulbright Canada Scholar, he studied the “entrepreneurial ecosystems” in place in four major engineering schools in California in 2016-17. Between February and May 2019, Dr. Laguë was a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship of the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
Carolyn Watters — Dalhousie
Dr. Watters is a Full Professor in the Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University specializing in human-computer engagement in information spaces from documents to social media. Her interdisciplinary and collaborative work has spanned all three tri-council areas, NSERC, SSHRC, and CIHR. She has published well over 150 peer-reviewed articles and supervised many PhD and Masters students. Dr. Watters has been a member of an NSERC Discovery Grant committee, the NSERC Discovery Grant Process Review Panel, and the initial Chair of the NSERC Create Competition Committee. She is currently a member of the SSHRC Governing Council, Chair of the Maritimes Higher Education Commission, and Chair of CALDO, a consortium engaged in graduate initiatives in Latin America. Dr. Watters has recently been the Provost and Vice President Academic for Dalhousie University, one of Canada’s oldest universities and a member of the U15 group of research-intensive universities in Canada. In February 2019, Dr. Watters joined the NRC, on secondment, as the organization’s inaugural Chief Digital Research Officer.
Jimi Tjong — Ford Motor Company
Dr. Jimi Tjong is the Technical Leader and Manager of the Ford Powertrain Engineering, Research & Development Centre (PERDC). It is a result oriented organization capable of providing services ranging from the definition of the problem to the actual design, testing, verification, and finally the implementation of solutions or measures. The Centre is currently the hub for Engineering, Research and Development that involved Canadian Universities, Government Laboratories, Canadian automotive parts and equipment suppliers. The Centre includes16 research and development test cells, prototype machine shop, PHEV, HEV and BEV development testing which occupies an area of 200,000 sq ft. The Centre is the hub for Production / Design Validation of engines manufactured in North America and an overflow for the Ford worldwide facilities. It also establishes a close link worldwide within Ford Research and Innovation Centre, Product Development and Manufacturing Operations that can help bridge the gap between laboratory research and the successful commercialization and integration of promising new technologies into the product development cycle.
His principal field of Research and Development encompasses the following:
Optimizing Automotive Test systems for cost, performance and full compatibility. It includes the development of test methodology and cognitive systems.
Calibration for internal combustion engines.
Alternate fuels, biofuels( including DME/OME), lubricants and exhaust fluids
Lightweight materials with the focus on Aluminum, Magnesium, biomaterials.
Battery, Electric motors, supercapacitors, stop/start systems, HEV, PHEV, BEV systems.
Nanosensors and actuators.
High performance and racing engines.
Surface Coating for friction reduction, thermal barrier and light-weighting
Non-destructive monitoring of manufacturing and assembly processes.
Advanced gasoline and diesel engines focusing in fuel economy, performance and cost opportunities.
He has published more than 120 Technical papers and presented in the above field internationally. Dr. Tjong is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Windsor, McMaster University and University of Toronto. He continuously mentors graduate students in completing the course requirements as well as career development coaching.
Allan Woodbury — University of Manitoba
Dr. Woodbury is a senior groundwater hydrologist and professional engineer with over 40 years of experience across western Canada, and internationally. His focus is on stochastic groundwater hydrology, geothermal energy and contaminant transport in the subsurface. He is internationally recognized for innovative research and high-level technical reviews. Allan is a Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering, at the University of Manitoba and currently a Visiting Professor, Earth & Environmental Sciences, UBC Okanagan. He is also on the Board of Advisors for Aquanty Hydrosphere Analytics of Waterloo, Ontario.
Dr. Woodbury’s impactful work has been highly cited by peers and sought after by governments. He has published in six books/monographs, wrote numerous technical reports for Canadian governments and businesses, provided consultation to at 16 governments and organizations across North America, and presented in at least 61 conferences across the globe.
The focus of Dr. Woodbury's professional efforts is the role of groundwater in geotechnical, mining, environmental and water supply issues, particularly in a regulatory framework. These efforts involve investigations, assessment of remediation methods for contaminated waters and soils, water supply quality and quantity, engineering design, and the development and application of regulatory guidelines.