IEEE Illumination Conference
IEEE
Speakers

  • IEEE Illumination 2017

    Date

    February 2nd and 3rd, 2018


    Location

    Louis' Loft
    93 Campus Dr, Saskatoon
    SK, Canada


    Keynote Speaker

    To Be Announced


    Ticket Prices

    To Be Announced


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Past Speakers

Keynote: Michael Wesolowski

Michael Wesolowski

Dr. Mike Wesolowski is the Research and Commercial Manager for the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation. His role includes strategic development of the research capacity of the Saskatchewan Centre for Cyclotron Sciences, strengthening existing relationships with academic partners and facilitating research and commercial access to the Cyclotron by securing relationships with potential users.

He is also cofounder of Luxsonic Technologies Incorporated, a pre-revenue Saskatchewan based start-up that was founded in 2014 by two medical imaging researchers who share a passion for developing innovative solutions to the day-to-day problems faced by medical professionals. A finalist in the 2015 Tech Venture Challenge, Luxsonic is currently developing products for the teleradiology marketplace. Dr. Wesolowski is also one of the founding members of the Society of Postdoctoral Scholars at the University of Saskatchewan, a volunteer organization that acts as a social hub and information portal for postdocs on campus while providing a formal and continuous structure through which postdocs can communicate with U of S administrators and the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars.

Dr. Wesolowski has a PhD in Physics from the University of Waterloo and wide ranging multidisciplinary research experience in physics, nanotechnology, nuclear pharmacokinetics and medical imaging. His doctoral work involved the characterization of carbon and organometallic nanomaterials which were synthesized using high intensity pulsed laser systems. This includes pioneering work in the facile laser based synthesis of 1D polyyne chains which may one day serve as wires in molecular devices. Prior to joining the Fedoruk Centre, Dr. Wesolowski was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Medical Imaging at the University of Saskatchewan where he worked on the development of x-ray phase contrast imaging technologies, detection of prostate cancer using positron emission tomography computed tomography (PET-CT), and the study of kidney function using newly developed techniques in nuclear medicine.

Aaron Genest from Solido

Solido Logo

Dr. Aaron Genest is the Director of Customer Experience for Solido Design Automation, a Saskatoon-based company that produces CAD software for the semiconductor design industry. In his work with Solido, Dr. Genest has contributed to the company’s transition from a start-up to a successful, sustainable, and growing organization. Solido’s innovative corporate structure, unique approach to training and support, and rapid in-house engineering and software research program has led them to be best-in-class in delivering software solutions for some of the semiconductor design industry’s hardest problems.

This talk presents Solido’s pragmatic approach to technical invention, which has produced 16 patents and created the foundation for a suite of successful software products. Dr. Genest’s talk will use the case studies of the development of the High-Sigma Monte Carlo and Hierarchical Monte Carlo algorithms to exemplify Solido’s key R&D strategies: precise problem definition, fast failure, gaining wisdom from failure, and thorough verification before declaring success.

Solido’s customers include most of the world’s top semiconductor design companies and they are currently hiring talented technologists (software, math, stats, EE, EP, etc.) for their Saskatoon-based R&D and Applications Engineering teams.

James Glennie

James Glennie

James is CEO of SaskWind: a renewable energy development company based out of Saskatoon. He has worked in the energy sector, around the world, for 25 years.

Following graduation he was with Esso Petroleum in London for four years in downstream finance before moving to Russia where he spent the next five years. During that time he held a variety of finance positions prior to establishing and leading the equity and fixed income research department of National Reserve Bank in Moscow. 

In the 15 years in which he has been in the wind industry James has had a variety of senior roles including Chief Executive of the New Zealand Wind Energy Association, Head of Offshore Wind at the British Wind Energy Association, Director of Business Development at the Wind Energy Institute of Canada and Director of the Renewable Energy Research Cluster at the University of Houston in Texas.  He has cultivated a particular interest in the electrical integration of wind energy and the financial analysis of renewable energy systems. 

James is a Canadian Permanent Resident and lives in Saskatoon. He has a B.Sc. in Marine Geotechnics (Bangor, North Wales), an M.Sc. in Marine Resource Development and Protection (Heriot-Watt, Scotland) and a Master of Business Administration (London Business School, England). He is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Sean Maw

sean-maw-pic

Dr. Maw completed his BASc and MASc degrees in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He then completed a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Alberta, looking at the development of artificial muscle fibers for advanced prosthetics. During this time, he rose through the ranks of skating, coaching and administration in the sport of speed skating, which led to employment as the Research Director at the Olympic Oval in Calgary for five years. While at the Oval (University of Calgary), he taught courses in Kinesiology and helped develop the first year design course in Engineering. After moving to Mount Royal University for 9 years, teaching in and helping lead the Engineering Transfer Program there, he moved to the University of Saskatchewan in 2014 to take the position of Huff Chair in Innovative Teaching.

Dr. Maw’s technical research is largely situated in sports engineering but he is also very active in pedagogical research in the areas of creativity and problem solving, employment trajectories for engineers, and academic integrity. He’s an active soccer player and ballroom dancer, and is passionate about all things related to aerospace. He helped develop skin suits for the 2006 Torino Winter Olympic Games, crash protection systems for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, and he was the English/French announcer at the speed skating venue for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. He currently serves on the Boards of the Canadian Engineering Education Association, and the Branch Out Neurological Foundation.

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http://www.ieeeillumination.ca/files/2016/01/Jason-L_0.png

Brennan Martin and Jason Lau

Brennan Martin
Jason Lau

Brennan grew up in Saskatoon spending the last decade learning everything he could about networks. Recently, Brennan earned the prized CCIE (#50782 – Routing & Switching) certification from Cisco Systems, in addition to holding 4 CCNP(Routing & Switching, Security, Wireless, Data Centre) and the CCDP certifications. Brennan has over 10 years of experience building all types of networks, including underground networks in the mining industry.

Jason was born, and raised in Hong Kong for the majority of his life, immigrating to Canada when he was 12 years old. He stayed in Saskatoon for schooling and eventually graduated at the University of Saskatchewan in 2014, where he received his Bachelor of Engineering degree, majoring in Computer Engineering.

Since he joined ESTI, Jason has become a strong asset, working with storage and network technologies. He has earned his CCNA certification from Cisco Systems and is trying to decide which to pursue next.

http://www.ieeeillumination.ca/files/2016/02/Angie.jpg

Angelika Ortlepp

Angelika

Angelika Ortlepp is the founder of Suncatcher Solar, a family business that grew out of
a strong interest in using solar power and other renewable energy.

Angelika, who designed and lives in the first Suncatcher Solar home, is a professional engineer with a degree in Engineering Physics and an M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering. For many years, she taught labs for the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics at the University of Saskatchewan. She introduced renewable energy to the curriculum and supervised design projects on solar energy. Her “living lab” home and the resulting thesis have provided first hand knowledge and real life experiences to share with students and a growing list of clients.

Since that first experimental prototype, Suncatcher Solar has completed an extensive list of renewable energy projects across Saskatchewan and designed passive solar homes for clients throughout Canada. This spring they will be installing the first solar power system for the Saskatchewan Environmental Society’s Solar Co-operative.

Cinnati Loi

Cinnati Loi

Cinnati Loi received his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering with Great Distinction and B.Sc. (3-Yr) in Computer Science with Great Distinction in 2008 from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. During his undergraduate program, he has worked as a hardware student engineer intern at SED Systems, a Division of Calian Ltd., Saskatoon, SK, Canada, where he designed hardware and software for satellite communication modems.

He received his M.Sc. at the University of Saskatchewan in 2010. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Saskatchewan in 2015 under the supervision of Dr. S.-B. Ko and holds the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship.

He currently works as a Hardware Engineer at SED Systems, Inc.

Tony Mountjoy

tony-mountjoy-pic

Tony Mountjoy is the founder of Asmoteknologies Ltd.:

We develop locally from Regina, Saskatchewan for any open source platforms such as mobile applications for Blackberry, Android, iPhone, Windows phones, iPads, tablets, and desktop computer applications like Windows 10, Mac OSX, Linux, and others like laptops, TV and e-readers. We test all our web-based solutions on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari across all modern devices. We use our own Azreal 8 language on the Azreal Cloud Platform, a pure C program that reduces management complexity, to create all of our cloud apps and tools that we’re proud to say saves or makes your business money at lowered risk. We work online. Some projects require a common working location, others are on-site and most are remote.

Jon Poulin from IEEE NSS

Jon Poulin

Jon Poulin will be giving a short speech as a representative of the IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium.

Lindsay Sweet

Lindsay Sweet

Lindsay graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a B.Sc. in Computer Science in 2013 and with a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering in 2014. While attending the U of S he was active member of the IEEE as a Class Representative and as the Academic Director during his last two years of study.

Lindsay had the opportunity to work in a variety of sectors throughout his university years including energy, telecommunications, and agriculture. He worked with SaskPower, SaskTel, and Case New Holland and during that time transitioned from technical support jobs to finishing as a research Engineer.

Upon completion of his Engineering degree Lindsay returned to his family farm where he has found his experiences in the College of Engineering to be instrumental in his new career. Regardless of this unconventional career path post-grad, Lindsay maintains that if he were to do it all again he would still choose electrical engineering.

Nathan Ziegler

Nathan Ziegler

Mr. Ziegler earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan in 2005, and has focused his career on sustainable energy production for the past 10 years. His role at Saskatoon Light & Power is to promote and explore new ideas for power generation utilizing renewable and/or low impact energy sources. Mr. Ziegler was project manager for the construction of the Saskatoon Landfill Gas Collection System, and oversees the operation and maintenance of the power generation facility. Previously he worked as a consulting engineer specializing in industrial automation, and worked on projects like the award winning Whistler Athletes’ Village District Energy System for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.

Keynote Speaker – Andrew Malcolm


Andrew Malcolm earned diplomas in electrical technology in 1948 and 1950 from Saunders Trades & Technical High School and West­chester Community College, respectively, in New York. He worked as an electronics technician, design engineer, and chief draftsman before changing to become an engineering writer in 1960. Then, for ten years he worked as an engineering writer in the military and aerospace electronics industries. He returned to college and received a BS and MS in printing (1971, 1977). Since 1972, he taught English to engineering and science students at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY and retired in 2001.

Prof. Malcolm has applied electronics to teaching English to the deaf using the syn­chronous display of print with speech sound. His research has included testing the efficacy of instruction by this simultaneous method, including demonstrating that flashing target words and morphemes on a video screen results in statistically signi­ficant improvement in student performance. He has also demonstrated improved learning techniques for hard-of-hearing students (as contrasted with the profoundly deaf) and the significance of class size, frequency, and attendance to learning.

Prof. Malcolm has been a member of IEEE (IRE) since 1954, is now a Life Member. He has published many articles on a number of subjects in IEEE journals and magazines. He was general manager of the Indian River Engineer, the newsletter of the Cape Canaveral Section of IRE (1959-1962), general chair of the 1984 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference, member of the IEEE-USA Health Care Engineering Policy Committee (1987-1991), editor for the IEEE-USA Technology Policy Council (1990-1992), and has given 25 S-PAC talks since 1995.

Prof. Malcolm has been president of the Teachers of English and Language Arts special interest group of the Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf and has been published in American Annals of the Deaf and Teaching English to the Deaf and Second Language Learners. He has received many awards for writing, including the Gannet Newspapers’ Golden Pen award. He is a fellow of the Society for Technical Communi­cation (STC), held several local and national offices including Secretary (2002—04), and has been published in STC journals.

 

William Topping


Will Topping is an electrical engineer (E.I.T.) with a brilliant knack for solving technical problems. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, he’s had a passion for electronics from an early age, always building and inventing. During his time at the University of Saskatchewan, he has been involved in many innovative projects, including a virtual presence robot that he built using mostly recycled parts, and operated remotely for a science expo demonstration. When he was approached to work on the MagnoPlug, he jumped at the chance. After a ton of design revisions and optimizations, a few solder burns and three prototypes later, the MagnoPlug was born.

 

Michael Klein


Mike is owner and CEO of Meshy Communications Inc. a Saskatoon-based marketing firm. Mike has more than 17 years of professional experience in the areas of communications, marketing and design. He has worked with a diverse range of educational, non-profit and corporate clients, including some of Saskatchewan’s biggest brands.

Mike is an active public speaker and trainer (more than 120 hours of presentations in the last year) on the topics of digital marketing and social media management.

Mike loves being involved in my community. He helped found and build MoSo, one of Canada’s premier interactive and music conferences and has worked on the Board of the Saskatchewan Professional Marketing Association for the past two years. In the past he was involved in the University of Saskatchewan’s Alumni Association Awards Committee and served on the executive of the Saskatoon-based Kilpatrick Flyfishers Club.

Mike holds a BComm in Marketing from the University of Saskatchewan and a Diploma in Graphic Design from the University of the Fraser Valley.

 

Ivar Mendez

Dr. Ivar Mendez is the Chairman of the Department of Surgery and Fred H. Wigmore Professor of Surgery at the University of Saskatchewan and the Unified Head of Surgery of the Province of Saskatchewan.

Dr. Mendez received his MD and PhD in Anatomy from the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario where he also completed his post-graduate training in Neurosurgery. After completion of his neurosurgical residency, Dr. Mendez was awarded the Resident Research Prize by the American Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. His research Fellowship was done at the Department of Medical Cell Research, University of Lund, Sweden. From 2000 to 2012, Dr. Mendez was the Chairman and Founding Member of the Halifax Brain Repair Centre, the most comprehensive neuroscience research institute in Atlantic Canada. Dr. Mendez was the Head of the Division of Neurosurgery at Dalhousie University and the QEII Health Sciences Centre for more than a decade.

Dr. Mendez is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American College of Surgeons. As a Clinician/Scientist, Dr. Mendez’ research focus is in functional neurosurgery, brain repair, stem cells, robotic neurosurgery and computerized systems in neurosurgical applications. His laboratory research has been supported by peer-reviewed funding from a number of sources including the Canada National Centers of Excellence, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada Foundation for Innovation and Parkinson’s Disease Foundation of USA. He is recognized internationally as an expert in his field, having over 200 international and national presentations as well as over 200 scientific publications. For the past decade he has worked in the use of remote-presence robots for medical care in neurosurgery. In 2002, Dr. Mendez and his team performed the first long distance telementoring neurosurgery in the world and in 2013, he reported the first experience in remote programming for neuromodulation devices. Dr. Mendez was the President of the Canadian Neuromodulation Society (CNS) from 2009 – 2012 and under his leadership he promoted the access of neuromodulation therapy to all citizens of Canada.

Dr. Mendez has taken an active role in humanitarian and global health issues. He has been instrumental in establishing and equipping neurosurgical units in several developing countries. Through the Ivar Mendez International Foundation, he has instituted programs for school breakfast, dental care and computer education in his native Bolivia. In 2010, Dr. Mendez was awarded a Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year Award and was named one of 10 most Influential Hispanic Canadians for his clinical research and humanitarian contributions. Dr. Mendez also received the Health Canada – 2011 Contribution to the Improvement of the Health of Canadians Award and The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Dr. Mendez is also a gifted photographer and sculptor. He has published three books of photography of Bolivia and has exhibited his sculptures in Bolivia, Canada and the United States.

 

Julian Demkiw


How the Red Eye Changed my Life & Other Unexpected Journeys
Julian Demkiw, BE’99, MA’10, will talk about his experiences as an electrical engineering student at the Univ. of Saskatchewan and how unexpected opportunities took his career and life in directions he had never imagined. Although not working as a professional engineer, Julian attributes his experiences in the College of Engineering as instrumental in his life today and if he had the opportunity, would do it all over again. Julian has worked in public relations and fundraising at the University of Saskatchewan and as Director responsible for strategic planning at Legal Aid Saskatchewan. Currently, Julian is the Executive Assistant to the President of the University of Saskatchewan working as her chief of staff assisting the President and other senior university leaders in management of their strategic priorities. Julian holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and an Interdisciplinary Master’s Degree in Rhetoric and Organizational Communication.

 
 

Victor Povar


Victor Povar is a Senior Consultant for DeepQA, Watson and Cognitive
Research solutions in IBM Global Business Services (Vancouver). Victor
Povar is working on NLP, Ontologies and Semantic Technologies in the area
of unstructured data for clients across multiple industries: O&G,
Automotive, Telecom, Healthcare, Banking, Insurance, Retail and others.
There have been multiple patents awarded for the technology that we
developed.

Keynote Speaker – Guru Madhavan

Guru Madhavan is a program officer and study director at the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council—collectively called the National Academies—in Washington, DC. Madhavan received his M.S. and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and an M.B.A. from the State University of New York (SUNY). He has worked in the medical device industry as a research scientist developing cardiac surgical catheters for ablation therapy. Madhavan has received the AT&T Leadership Award, the SUNY Chancellor’s Promising Inventor Award, the Rotary International Foundation’s Paul Harris Fellowship, the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Mike Sargeant Career Achievement Award, EE Times’ Student of the Year Award, the American College of Clinical Engineering’s Thomas O’Dea Advocacy Award, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers’ Robert Stewart Engineering–Humanities Award, the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation’s AAMI–Becton Dickinson Award for Professional Achievement, the District of Columbia Council on Engineering and Architectural Societies’ Young Engineer of the Year Award, and the IEEE–USA Professional Achievement Award. Madhavan was also selected as one among 14 people as the “New Faces of Engineering” in the USA Today in 2009, and selected as an outstanding young scientist to attend the 2008 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions. He is an IEEE ambassador and technology editor for “Evolution: This View of Life.” Madhavan’s co-edited books include “Career Development in Bioengineering and Biotechnology” (Springer), “Pathological Altruism” (Oxford University Press), and “Practicing Sustainability” (Springer).

Topic: Practicing Sustainability with an Engineering Mindset

Practicing and achieving sustainability starts by being willing to look critically at the concept. It also means enabling rich and vigorous discussion to determine a framework for best ideas and practices. I will discuss how a systems engineering mindset could be helpful toward characterizing—and tackling—the essential challenges embedded in complex concepts such as sustainability, globalization, innovation, economic growth, competitiveness, and career development while focusing on what they all mean in terms of real trade-offs.

 

Special Banquet Speaker – Alan Kearns

Alan Kearns, Canada’s Career Coach and CareerJoy founder, Globe & Mail career expert, Chapters/Indigo Trusted Advisor and author of Get the Right Job Right Now! is one of Canada’s leading authorities on career management issues. As founder, president and head coach of Canada’s career coaching company, Alan has shaped his almost 20 years of career management experience into a company that helps people from all over North America to navigate a wide variety of career-related issues.

Voted one of the Top 40 entrepreneurs under the age of 40, Alan is a regular contributor to Canadian media (http://www.careerjoy.com/news-and-events/in-the-media) on the latest trends in the Canadian workforce, he has been on a number of shows including, Til Debt Do U$ Part, Princess, Canada AM, BT, The National & The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos.

He is the career expert on the upcoming new reality show on the O Network – Million Dollar Neighbourhood. As host of the country’s top rated Career Podcast (http://www.careerjoy.com/podcast), CareerJoy Conversations, he interviews high-profile career gurus ranging from John Stanton, founder of The Running Room, to Jim Citrin, best-selling author of The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers.

Alan is a highly sought after guest speaker (http://www.careerjoy.com/services/speaking) at organizations and conferences in Canada, where he enlightens employers and employees on all topics related to professionals and their careers.

 

Michael Klein

Michael Klein is Owner and CEO of Meshy Communications Inc. Mike has more than 15 years of professional experience in the areas of communications and marketing, working with a diverse range of educational, non-profit and corporate clients, including the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Regina, the Government of Saskatchewan, the Canadian Lung Association, the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority, PotashCorp, Cameco, the Snowbirds Demonstration Team, ENQ Semiconductor, Analog Design Automation and Solido Design Automation.

Mike is an active public speaker and skilled trainer on the topics of digital marketing and social media management. Past organizations he has spoken for include PSEWeb, Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan, Edwards School of Business, Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, Acuity Forums, Saskatchewan Professional Marketing Association and IABC Saskatoon.

Mike believes strongly in community involvement. He is a founding member of MoSo (Canada’s Mobile and Social Media Conference) and sits on the Board of the Saskatchewan Professional Marketing Association.

Mike holds a BComm in Marketing from the University of Saskatchewan and a Diploma in Graphic Design from the University of the Fraser Valley.

Topic: Online Marking

 

Roger Pierson

Roger Pierson is a Professor and Director of Research in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences in the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. He received BS and MS degrees from Purdue University and a PhD in Reproductive Endocrinology/Physiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Roger is a Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, Canadian Institute of Academic Medicine and a Past-President of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society. Dr. Pierson’s research has generated more than 500 papers, technical reports, book chapters and abstracts, in addition to more than 30 copyrighted computer programs. He is the co-editor of Imaging in Infertility and Reproductive Endocrinology, a state-of-the-art text and reference book.

Dr. Pierson’s research is multi-disciplinary and revolves around ovarian follicular development in natural cycles and under ovulation induction and hormonal contraception conditions. Studies on ovarian function in women by Dr. Pierson and colleagues at the University of Saskatchewan were cited as one of the top 100 scientific discoveries of 2004. Some of the tools developed in Dr. Pierson’s laboratory for the analysis of high-resolution ultrasonographic images have proven useful, not only in the assessment of ovarian function, but also in the assessment of ovarian masses and tumours and breast masses. Other areas of research include development of computer software for tissue characterization and analysis of ultrasonographic and MR images, 3-dimensional ultrasonography, early embryo development, automated detection of embryonic anomalies and development of animal model systems for investigation of human reproductive dilemmas. Roger is a jazz musician and has a small portfolio of sculptural works.

 

Lynn Oliphant

Lynn Oliphant is a professor emeritus with the University of Saskatchewan where he taught in the Western College of Veterinary Medicine for nearly three decades. He grew up just north of Detroit and studied biology at Wayne State University and the University of Washington where he earned a PhD in Zoology before immigrating to Canada in 1971. In addition to the regular classes he taught through his home department, he offered several interdisciplinary classes including “Planet Earth- the Issues Confronting Us” and “Ecology and Human Justice”. He also led two field classes for graduate students, one into the Sonoran desert and the second to Costa Rica. He is a recipient of many awards for conservation and sustainability including the Canadian Geographic award in Sustainability for his work on the Craik Sustainable Living Project. Lynn directed the Saskatchewan Co-operative Falcon Project which produced over 500 Peregrine Falcons, then an endangered species, for release in Canada and the midwest United States. Lynn has had a lifelong interest in sustainable living and currently lives in a self-designed and built strawbale house with his veterinarian wife, Rhonda Shewfelt. He is currently working on a book on the biodiversity on the quarter section of land where he resides .

 

Robert Dumont

Robert Dumont obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan in 1977. He has been involved with a wide range of energy efficiency activities including commercial, institutional and residential building energy audits, integrated design of new institutional buildings for energy efficiency, whole building air tightness tests, standards development work for housing agencies including the National Building Code of Canada, Saskatchewan Housing Corporation, demonstration projects including the Canadian Advanced Houses Program, the Saskatchewan Advanced House, and the Factor 9 Home. He was an associate research officer for the Institute for Research in Construction of the National Research Council where he co-developed the residential energy analysis software program HOTCAN, which is now being marketed as the HOT-2000 program. He also performed surveys of the airtightness of residential buildings and helped develop air tightness details for new construction.

Topic: Vereco Net Zero Energy Building

The Vereco Net Zero Energy Building is a very energy efficient building designed to provide all of its energy needs from on-site solar resources including photovoltaics, passive solar and active solar thermal. Located in Saskatoon, the net-zero building is likely in the coldest location in the world for this type of building. Built in 2010, the 1440 square foot bungalow was on exhibit for 10 months to the public at a local museum site, and then moved to a rural location.

The outstanding performance of the house is grounded in the world class energy efficiency measures employed. Electrical energy use for LAME (Lights, Appliances, and Miscellaneous Energy) was minimized by using Energy Star Appliances, light emitting diode and compact fluorescent lamps, and an innovative “green plug” switching arrangement for the 120 volt outlets that allows the occupants to power down the phantom electrical loads in the house from a central switch.

 

Dylan Carlson

Dylan Carlson graduated from the U of S in 2006 from the EE/CS program. During his time as part of the Student Branch, he was an Illumination committee member and the Coordinator of Illumination 2006. Additionally, he served on the IEEE Student Branch Executive and spent many hours in search of the perfect Falcon Punch. He is one of the original founding members of Buck the Scholarship along with Brett Lovas and Dave Pedersen).

Following graduation, he spent 3 years as a Project Coordinator with Black and McDonald in Toronto where he worked on a variety of large medical and industrial projects. After his return from the “centre of the universe”, he joined Handy Group of Companies as an IT Specialist. His professional interests include: improving SMB effectiveness and efficiency with technology, SMB storage, virtualization, networking and disaster recovery.

 

Lindsay Bedard

Lindsay Bedard is an Electrical Engineer with over 8 years of experience in the consulting industry. Seven of those years have been in the mining sector, focusing on detailed engineering design, construction supervision, and commissioning activities.

Lindsay has been involved in both brown- and green-field projects for clients in the diamond, potash and uranium industries. She has developed core skills in low and medium voltage power distribution, motor control systems, instrumentation, and process control, and is now leveraging her experience to lead the Electrical and Instrumentation Department at ENGCOMP, a multi-discipline consulting engineering firm in Saskatoon.

Lindsay has seen first-hand how sustainability can shape the direction and outcome of a project. From the environmental considerations involved with engineering and building the DeBeers Victor Diamond Mine on First Nations land in northern Ontario, to finding ways to re-service and re-use construction materials and electrical equipment for various potash plant expansions throughout Saskatchewan, Lindsay has witnessed an entire spectrum of factors that can influence the perception of sustainability in engineering.

Recently, Lindsay became a member of the IEEE to participate in conferences such as Illumination 2013, and to promote the profession and career options in the mining industry to students and young professionals. She is also involved with initiatives at the UofS, and presented at the Discover Engineering Conference for Grade 8 Girls this past November.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Albert (Al) J. Rosa

Al Rosa received his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Manhattan College (NY) in 1963, his MSEE from the University of Missouri (Columbia) in 1964, and his Ph.D. (EE) from the University of Illinois (Urbana) in 1975.

Dr. Rosa spent almost 24 years in the U.S. Air Force. As a young officer he worked on sensitive intelligence-gathering RF systems. In mid-career he taught at the USAF Academy. He spent a sabbatical as the chief scientist for the Air Force in London, UK. After being promoted to colonel he was given a dual appointment as chief of the Systems Integration Staff in the Unified Space Command and the director of architecture for the System Integration Office. His effort resulted in a seven volume architecture that integrated global and space-based systems that is still in use.

Rosa was awarded a Legion of Merit upon retirement from the Air Force. He also received an Air Force Commendation, five Meritorious Service medals during his military career, the IEEE Centennial Medal and the IEEE Millennium Medal. In December 2001 he was awarded a Presidential Award for mentoring underrepresented youth by the White House.

For a more detailed biography, click here.

Topic: Education in the New Millennium

Nothing changes more rapidly than modern technology.  Engineers, Computer Scientists, Technologists face the daunting task of staying current or face obsolescence.  To stay current means to be involved in life-long learning.  This never-ending task requires a commitment to continual adaptation and education.  Education, too, is undergoing change.  For centuries education followed the tutor-mentor model.  Then, with the advent of the twentieth century and for many decades to the present day, education was delivered in a familiar classroom lecture and lab formats.  But times they are a changing.  A comparison between the Space Age that began in the late 1950s and today’s Information Age shows starkly how what is important has changed.  How does one keep up?  How is education evolving to meet these challenges? What are your responsibilities as a technical professional in these regards?  What are some of the pitfall to avoid and how can you avoid becoming redundant?  These are topics that will be covered.

Nicholas Kokkastamapoulos

The “Art of Networking” has been instilled into Nicholas Kokkastamapoulos, ever since he was as a young five-year old “helper” in his uncle’s tailor shop.  He watched in awe how his uncle “schmoozed” his patrons with great flair (earnestly and sincerely) and story-telling – regardless of their profession or walk of life.  Every day was always a mix of clientele lounging in the shops’ centered leather sofas, gabbing hours on end in a variety of diverse topics.  Networking for his uncle was about developing and keeping “rapport”.  From that time, Nicholas grew up understanding and appreciating the importance of having a circle of diverse friends, colleagues, associates as well as knowing the rules of “netiquette” when meeting and socializing within networking environments.  Networking (and sometimes job opportunities) has been used in each of his varied roles encompassing military service, hospitality/food & beverage industry, not-for-profit/non-government sectors, legal career, education, and corporate relations.  And to find a new tailor when his uncle sadly passed away.  It was networking, too, that led Nicholas Kokkastamapoulos to his current career within the Edwards School of Business.

Topic: Networking Workshop

You have heard people talk about “networking” but for you it’s: 1) still something you’re trying to understand when it comes to your own career and social circles; 2) important but you see it more as a trial hindered by your lack of confidence and techniques (or simply plain fear of rejection to engage a complete stranger); or 3) something you’ve heard it all or there isn’t really more to learn!  Well, networking is the key to relationship building, whether it finds you jobs, recruit talent, win new customers, discover investors who’ll support your ideas, or simply finding the right hairdresser!  It is a skill to be learned and a principle held dear.

In this networking workshop, you will learn a few concepts and techniques such as:

  • The importance of “investing” in your networking (it’s giving – not taking!)
  • 15 most common barriers to networking
  • 17 rules of networking etiquette (“netiquette”)
  • 10 sure-fire ways to improve your networking skills
  • “Advice call” techniques and other ways to engage your current/potential network
  • Organizing your network so it works more effectively
  • Professional image and dressing according to the occasion

Come and enjoy an interactive session where you will walk away with straightforward, unique insights and practical, clear advice when it comes to building your business and social circles.  Build the confidence needed to begin networking for the first time or enhance the skills already used.

Scott Johnston

Scott Johnston is a Certified IT Specialist working in IBM’s Systems and Technology Group providing pre-sales technical support for IBM Power Systems.  He has been with IBM Canada for 18 years. Scott received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical engineering from the University of Saskatchewan in 1993.

Topic: IBM Watson

Watson represents the latest achievement in machine learning and natural language processing.  In February, 2011, Watson competed against and defeated the best human players, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter on a nationally televised Jeopardy! tournament.  Watson is a cluster of 90 IBM Power 750 servers executing IBM’s DeepQA software spanning across nearly 3000 Power7 processor cores. Learn about Watson, the natural language processing and analytics behind it, and how Watson technology will revolutionize information technology from providing advanced diagnostics in healthcare, to online web-based support.

Roger Pierson

Roger Pierson is a Professor and Director of Research in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences in the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. He received BS and MS degrees from Purdue University and a PhD in Reproductive Endocrinology/Physiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Roger is a Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, Canadian Institute of Academic Medicine and a Past-President of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society. Dr. Pierson’s research has generated more than 500 papers, technical reports, book chapters and abstracts, in addition to more than 30 copyrighted computer programs. He is the co-editor of Imaging in Infertility and Reproductive Endocrinology, a state-of-the-art text and reference book.

Dr. Pierson’s research is multi-disciplinary and revolves around ovarian follicular development in natural cycles and under ovulation induction and hormonal contraception conditions. Studies on ovarian function in women by Dr. Pierson and colleagues at the University of Saskatchewan were cited as one of the top 100 scientific discoveries of 2004. Some of the tools developed in Dr. Pierson’s laboratory for the analysis of high-resolution ultrasonographic images have proven useful, not only in the assessment of ovarian function, but also in the assessment of ovarian masses and tumours and breast masses. Other areas of research include development of computer software for tissue characterization and analysis of ultrasonographic and MR images, 3-dimensional ultrasonography, early embryo development, automated detection of embryonic anomalies and development of animal model systems for investigation of human reproductive dilemmas. Roger is a jazz musician and has a small portfolio of sculptural works.

Topic: Reproductive Imaging, Technology and Disease Management

Roger is going to give out a very dynamic speech on his work in the biomedical industry focused very closely on the audience.  He is planning on touching various topics in the industry such as imaging in reproductive imaging, reproduction technology and the future of disease management. He is going to identify areas all along that path where engineering and business development have things in common and where technological advance is going to create business niches.

Dinner Speaker: David Callele, P.Eng., Ph. D.

David is an electronics engineer and computer scientist with over 25 years of professional experience. Familiar with almost every aspect of the operations of customer-focused organizations committed to the delivery of superior high-technology products and services, David specializes in helping the customer determine what they really need, then delivering it.
David’s diverse experience includes technology-based entrepreneurship, managing new product R&D, telecommunications, and video game design and development. Currently Business Development Manager at TRLabs Saskatchewan and President of his own video game studio, Experience First Design Inc., David has been an employee, an employer, a consultant, an entrepreneur, and an academic.
David is a University of Saskatchewan Alumni, starting his studies in the College of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan in 1979. Between 1979 and 2011, he obtained a B.E. (Electrical), B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. (Computer Science) and enough course credits to make one shake their head and wonder why he just kept going back again and again.

Topic: The Lighter Side of Engineering, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

You can’t spend 30 years as an engineering entrepreneur and have everything go as planned. Sometimes things go in unexpected directions, that’s just reality. Unexpected events can make it seem like the sky is falling but that old adage about time healing all wounds actually has a strong kernel of truth. I really can look back at some of the wilder things that have happened and laugh about them now. I hope that you will join me as I share some truly unexpected tales from the “What just happened?” side of our profession and the valuable lessons learned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Panel: Business of Innovation

While the participants in this panel bring very diverse backgrounds and experience to these discussions they share a common passion – namely “innovation” and more particularly “The Business of Innovation”. Successfully bringing innovative solutions to market presents some very significant opportunities but also present some very significant challenges. Our presenters today will each share their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges associated with “The Business of Innovation”.

Panel Chair: Gordon A. Sparks, Ph.D, P.Eng, MCIP, CMC

Dr. Gordon Sparks is a Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and the Director of the Engineering Entrepreneurship Program in the College of Engineering, U of S. He holds a B.Sc. (University of Alberta) 1967, M.Sc. (University of California, Berkeley) 1969, and a Ph.D. (University of California, Berkeley) 1971. Dr. Sparks has over 35 years experience in teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and contract research and consulting in the area of transportation engineering, engineering economics and decision analysis. Most recently Dr. Sparks lead a multi – year research program funded by ISIS Canada, one of the Networks of Centres of Excellance funded by the Federal Government, on Life Cycle Engineering & Costing. In addition to his teaching and research at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Sparks is a Managing Partner, Vemax Management Inc., a Canadian – based company with offices in Edmonton and Saskatoon in Canada as well as Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. VEMAX specializes is providing asset management systems to public sector agencies and has, for the past decade, provided the asset management systems used by two Highway Departments plus a number of Cities in Western Canada as well as a numerous Councils and Shires in Australia. In addition to being a Registered Professional Engineer, Dr. Sparks is a Certified Management Consultant, Registered Community Planner, and Member of the Boards of Canadian Environmental Technology Advancement Corporation – West and CAA Saskatchewan. Dr. Sparks is a member of the Saskatchewan Angel Investment Network.

Panelist: Jerome Konecsni

Dr. Konecsni joined Innovation Saskatchewan in October of 2011. The organization was created to coordinate and facilitate the strategic development of an innovation agenda for the province. His appointment was based on extensive experience in Saskatchewan’s research and innovation community. Before joining Innovation Saskatchewan, he served as Director General of the National Research Council’s Plant Biotechnology Institute in Saskatoon recognized as Canada’s technology leader in plant science.

Dr. Konecsni also brings an entrepreneurial background from prior positions as the President and CEO of both Genome Prairie and BioSmart Technologies, and as Vice President Corporate Development for Bioriginal Food & Science Corporation. He also served as Vice President – Agricultural Biotechnology, Small Industry Services, Marketing and Commercialization and Corporate Services at the Saskatchewan Research Council. He has extensive international experience and has managed and facilitated many international research collaborations and consortia. His leadership profile also includes service on a number of Boards and Committees such as: Chair of AgWest Bio and the Saskatchewan Nutraceutical Network, Vice Chair of STEP and Member of the Knowledge Translation Committee of SHRF.

Dr. Konecsni was born in Saskatchewan and received his education from University of Saskatchewan and a doctorate from Karunya University in India.

 

Panelist: Blair Knippel – Technology, Media and Telecom Group Leader/ CleanTech Group Leader – Saskatchewan

Profile
Blair has worked with Deloitte throughout his entire career starting in 1988. After working extensively with Technology, Media and Telecommunication (TMT) clients throughout most of his career, Blair was appointed Deloitte’s TMT and CleanTech leader in Saskatchewan.

Experience
Blair serves a wide variety of Canadian and International TMT, CleanTech and other clients. He concentrates his professional practice on Canadian and international business consulting assignments. Blair is experienced in providing tax and general business advice to TMT and CleanTech clients throughout the continuum of business operations, from start-up to IPO/sale. He works in conjunction with TMT, CleanTech and other practitioners across North America to bring leading edge tax and business ideas to clients. Blair is currently Deloitte’s lead on a project with the Government of Saskatchewan to bring TMT clients, particularly in the Bio-Tech and IT sectors, to Saskatchewan.

Professional affiliations/certifications
• Guest Lecturer, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Saskatchewan and University of Saskatchewan (W. Brett Wilson Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence)
• Chair, Saskatchewan Capital Network (Saskatchewan’s sole angel investment organization)
• Co-Chair, Saskatoon Chamber’s Science City Committee/Enterprise Committee (2004 to date)
• Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, Director 2002-09 / President 2007-08
• University of Saskatchewan Huskies Football Foundation, (2000 to date)

Education
CPA – State of Illinois, 2002
CA, 1991
BComm, University of Saskatchewan, 1988

Panelist: Patrick Kolla

Patrick was raised in the small farming community of Cudworth, SK. Patrick is currently completing a B. Sc. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan with the Engineering Entrepreneurship option. His work experience includes a year with Ensign Energy in the oilfield prior to University and three summers with Cameco Corp. throughout. Patrick has also had the opportunity to be a part of several student groups during University. He is currently the V.P of the Mechanical Engineering Students Association and was previously the President of the PPP. The PPP is a university wide student group, which has donated over $100,000 to local charities. Upon completion of his degree, Patrick will be working with BHP Billiton as a Mechanical Engineer in Training.

 

 

Panelist: Razvan Rusescu

Razvan is originally from Romania and has moved to Canada 11 years ago. He has completed an internship with PCL Construction Management Inc. in 2010 where he assisted with the construction of the VIDO-InterVac building on the U of S campus. For the past two years Razvan has been volunteering for the Canadian Society for Civil Engineers Student Chapter (CSCE) and is currently holding the role of treasurer. The CSCE is a not for profit group that organizes student events and raises money for the Civil Engineering banquet and local charities. Razvan will be finishing his Civil Engineering degree from the University of Saskatchewan with the entrepreneurship option in May 2012 and is going on to work for CETAC-WEST in Calgary, Alberta.

Orin Laney

Orin Laney became interested in electronics when he built his first crystal radio at age twelve. He was raised in the Washington DC area and received his BSEE from the University of Maryland under its Co-op Engineering Program. After working as a design engineer for four years, he paused for two years to obtain an MBA from Brigham Young University. Since graduation, Mr. Laney has founded several small businesses in the electronics field. He is busier than ever, designing, researching, and making deals.

Mr. Laney does most of his design in video and high speed analog, digital signal processing, ultrasonics, and real-world computer interfacing. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member and is a former Chair of the Intellectual Property Committee.

Topic: Tales of an Experienced Engineer

Before leaving the womb of your alma mater, there are certain facts of life that you should know. FACT: grades are poor predictors of career success. FACT: not all jobs are worth having. FACT: calculus causes warts. Would you like to know what to ask a recruiter, what employers actually look for, and what it is that engineers really do?

Mr. Laney will serve up a potpourri of anecdotes drawn from a long and varied career, including: the time he had to stick his arm in a vat of liquid hydrogen, the Boss from Hell, and the Project That Would Not Die. He will cover the warning signs of a bad job, the best ways (and reasons) to leave a position, and the crucial differences of excellent engineers. Mr. Laney will also provide an assessment of the current state of the profession, an opinionated look at various career paths, and an explanation of why shuttles blow up and telescopes don’t focus. Finally, he will explain how the graduating engineering student can have some fun while making a living, and the promises and challenges that await those who care to go looking for them.

 

Steven J.R. Seiferling

Steve obtained an Honours Degree in English in 2001 and his law degree in 2004 from the University of Saskatchewan. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 2005 after clerking with the Federal Court in Ottawa. He obtained his Master of Laws degree in Law and Technology from the University of Ottawa in 2006 and returned to his home province of Saskatchewan in 2008.

Steve practices in intellectual property law including trade-marks, copyright, and patents, as well as commercial law, licensing, franchising, trade secrets, competition law, privacy law, and labour and employment law.

He is a sessional lecturer in Labour Law at the University of Saskatchewan’s Edwards School of Business and is a registered Canadian Trade-mark Agent. He is active in the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada as well as the Canadian Bar Association, Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan, CLASSIC Legal Clinic and the Saskatchewan Rugby community. Steve is also bilingual and can offer services in French.

Topic: “Intellectual Property and the Commercialization of Intangible Assets”

 

Michael Siourounis

Michael graduated in 2009 with Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan. During his undergraduate years he was strongly involved in extra-curricular events such as the Cameco Spectrum 2007 planning committee and IEEE student branch.

Michael was well recognized for his work on his fourth year design project, the CDMA Vehicle Theft Device, which allows you to simply text your car from any cell phone and safely shut it down in the event it is stolen. The car then transmits its location back to you so you can retrieve it. His team won first prize in the Innovative Design Competition, and was featured in various articles as well as on Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet, which was also chosen as the best segment of 2009.

Michael is currently working on a Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. His research is focused on non-destructive testing techniques for concrete, and he has already been awarded a Natural Science and Engineering Research Council Post-graduate Scholarship for Masters (NSERC PGS-M).

Topic: “Furthering Your Education”

Janea Bellay-Dieno

Janea Bellay-Dieno is an independent Financial Advisor with Performance Financial Services in Saskatoon, SK. She completed her Bachelor of Commerce degree in Marketing and Finance from the University of Saskatchewan in 2001. She is life insurance licensed, mutual funds licensed and is currently working on completion of her Certified Financial Planning designation. Prior to becoming a Financial Advisor she had a successful career in sales and marketing in many international industries. She worked in sales for a software company in Paris, France, and following that she was recruited to a web networking company in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She has travelled extensively through Europe, Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Asia. In 2004 she accepted a position as Regional Sales Manager for a large Canadian hotel company called Silver Birch Hotels. The end goal was to always start her own financial planning practice as she enjoys meeting with people and helping them find solutions to meet their life goals. Janea spends her free time volunteering with various committees including President for the Saskatchewan Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs Saskatoon chapter, a member of the Financial Advisors Association of Canada, Advocis, a member of BNI Saskatchewan, and an active member of Business Professional Women’s Club of Saskatoon. Janea enjoys the role as an independent Financial Advisor as she is able to provide her expert advice on multiple options and a choice of investment and insurance vehicles to meet her client’s financial planning objectives.

Topic: “Protecting Your Business”

Shawn Abbott (iNovia Capital)

As a technologist, entrepreneur, executive, venture capitalist and educator, Shawn Abbott has over twenty years experience in technology-based businesses.

As President of Rainbow Technologies (NASDAQ: RNBO) commercial operations, he consolidated three divisions, built a management team to return the US$70 million business to profitable growth, and positioned it for a successful sale in 2004 at nearly one-half billion USD. As corporate Chief Technology Officer, he was responsible for strategy and instrumental in the creation and leadership of a new business that quickly grew to US$10 million revenue per quarter.

Prior to joining Rainbow, Shawn established and built the AND group, which pioneered the encryption-based CD-ROM software distribution system used on several million discs. Under his leadership, AND was consistently profitable and grew to twenty staff before sale.

Shawn has served as a board member to numerous private and public companies internationally and is an experienced angel investor. As a general partner with SpringBank TechVentures, he has helped numerous technology companies develop. He is an accomplished public speaker, having presented at more than one hundred conferences on Internet security and business topics, and taught software design courses in several countries. He is past chair of the Banff Venture Forum.

Shawn is a primary inventor of “USB Keys”, holding a key patent in the area. He has written numerous articles and feature pieces for industry publications, and contributed the chapter on hardware cryptography to McGraw Hill’s “ICSA Guide to Cryptography”. He holds a B.Sc. in physics from the University of Alberta and has done post graduate study at the University of Calgary, Stanford, and UC Irvine.

Topic: “Entrepreneurship: Why and Where Do I Start?”

Mark Wolff

Advance-Tek Consulting Inc is a boutique SR&ED firm based out of Saskatoon and is located at Innovation Place, adjacent to the University of Saskatchewan. The Scientific Research and Experimental Development program is a tax incentive program designed to encourage Canadian companies to conduct research and development. Currently across Canada the federal government provides approximately $4 Billion dollars to 15,000 applicants annually. Mark has been working exclusively in the area of SRED preparation for the past 8 years primarily in the Prairie Provinces working with 100 plus companies in varying industries from the energy sector to software development. As a principal in Advance-Tek Consulting Inc, Mark is responsible for managing the firm’s preparation of client’s SR&ED claims from the initial project qualification, technical document preparation, project costing and interactions with the CRA.

 

Gordon Sparks

Dr. Gordon Sparks is a Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and the Director of the Engineering Entrepreneurship Program in the College of Engineering, U of S. He holds a B.Sc. (University of Alberta) 1967, M.Sc. (University of California, Berkeley) 1969, and a Ph.D. (University of California, Berkeley) 1971. Dr. Sparks has over 35 years experience in teaching at both the udergraduate and graduate levels, and contract research and consulting in the area of transportation engineering, engineering economics and decision analysis. Most recently Dr. Sparks lead a multi – year research program funded by ISIS Canada, one of the Networks of Centres of Excellance funded by the Federal Government, on Life Cycle Engineering & Costing. In addition to his teaching and research at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Sparks is a Managing Partner, Vemax Management Inc., a Canadian – based company with offices in Edmonton and Saskatoon in Canada as well as Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. VEMAX specializes is providing asset management systems to public sector agencies and has, for the past decade, provided the asset management systems used by two Highway Departments plus a number of Cities in Western Canada as well as a numerous Councils and Shires in Australia. In addition to being a Registered Professional Engineer, Dr. Sparks is a Certified Management Consultant, Registered Community Planner, and Member of the Boards of Canadian Environmental Technology Advancement Corporation – West and CAA Saskatchewan. Dr. Sparks is a member of the Saskatchewan Angel Investment Network.

 

Aman Abid

Aman Abid is an Industrial Technology Advisor (ITA) with the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program or IRAP. The program works with industry directly delivering technical, business advisory and financial services.

Aman joined IRAP from private industry and brings with him over 14 years of industry experience having served in numerous operational roles. His professional experience has been accumulated from several industry sectors including automotive, aviation, heavy industrial machinery, consumer as well as commercial products.

Aman’s primary area of focus as an ITA is serving the manufacturing client base within Saskatchewan.

 

Daniel Biank

Daniel Biank lives and works in Waukesha, Wisconsin with his wife, Erin, two-year-old daughter, Abigail, and new son, Benjamin. Dan attends law school part time while working full time as the Risk Manager for GE Healthcare’s imaging businesses. He directs and implements processes to ensure patient and user safety for MRI, CT, X-Ray, PET, and related technologies. Dan started on GE’s Edison technical leadership program, working throughout GE’s medical device division in engineering development and program leadership. He led computer platform integration for MRI and the global response to implement new European regulations before progressing into Regulatory Affairs. While in Regulatory Affairs, he defined and executed regulatory strategies for MRI products and clinical research, securing global registrations and supporting external audits. Dan has a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Valparaiso University and a Masters of Engineering from University of Illinois at Chicago, he is also a licensed Professional Engineer and Regulatory Affairs Certified.

Balancing Work with Life

Balancing Work with Life discusses how to align purpose and day-to-day living to achieve both personal and professional goals. The message is based on timeless principles highlighted with practical insights from personal experiences including successes and shortcomings.

 

Dr. Hugh Wood (Vecima Networks)

Dr. Hugh Wood is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan with degrees in Engineering and in Applied Physics. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the Province of Saskatchewan. After post-doctoral studies in Stockholm, Sweden, Dr. Wood joined SED Systems in Saskatoon as an R&D engineer. He became manager of R&D for the company, directing the development of a full line of industrial monitors and controllers. While with SED Systems, Dr. Wood also assisted with marketing activities for new products, especially the development of European markets in Scandinavia, Germany, Denmark and England for the industrial monitors. After a change of priorities at SED, Dr. Wood became a faculty member of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan in 1980 and was the Department Head from 1993 until 2000. He taught electronics and control systems and published a number of original papers in the area of automation and control. Some of his research work, in conjunction with others, was adopted by the Government of Alberta and used as the basis for marketing agricultural products to Japan and other Pacific Rim countries.

Dr. Wood has been a director of Vecima Networks Inc. since 1990, and has served on the boards of several other companies. He is currently Chief Operating Officer of Vecima Networks in Saskatoon. Dr. Wood also serves on the Minister’s Council on Information Technology where he advises the Provincial Government on policy issues surrounding the growth and expansion of the IT industry in Saskatchewan.

Dr. Wood serves on the Board of Directors of TRLabs, an international industry-university-government communications research consortium. He is also a volunteer Director of the Saskatchewan Orchestral Association.

 

Dennis Akins

Dennis Akins is the Director of Engineering and Project Manager at SED Systems in Saskatoon, SK. He received his B.Sc. Electrical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan in 1970 and his M.Sc. Electrical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan in 1972. He is also a professional engineer registered with APEGS.

While at SED Systems he has been involved with various satellite projects such as: European Space Agency Deep Space Antennas in Perth, Australia and Cebreros, Spain and a Supra-thermal Mass Spectrometer Instrument on the Japanese Akebono Satellite.

 

Andrew Pratt

A graduate of the University of Saskatchewan with a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering, Andrew Pratt has worked at International Road Dynamics Inc. in Saskatoon for the last 20 years. Throughout his career there, he has worn many different hats from software developer to operations manager. He currently manages IRD’s Level 1 and 2 Customer Support, Data Services, and Transponder Administration teams.

 

Denard Lynch

Denard Lynch started his career in the telecommunications industry with SaskTel in 1972 after graduating from the University of Saskatchewan with a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering. After his return from an assignment with the Trans Canada Telephone System (Ottawa) in 1978, Denard helped architect SaskTel’s Broadband Fibre Optic Transmission System (FOTS), the longest, and one of the first, fibre transmission systems in existence at the time. After relocating to Saskatoon in 1988, Denard was involved as an Operations Manager in the City’s conversion to 100% digital switching technology. In 1992 Denard was again “loaned” from SaskTel to Telecommunications Research Laboratories (TRLabs) new Saskatoon location where he established the first TRLabs full-time internet connectivity via an ISDN link to the U of S. After obtaining an M.Sc. in 1998, he returned to SaskTel to help with the Company’s Year 2000 Readiness project. After a successful transition to the new millennium, Denard was again seconded to TRLabs and lectured part-time at the U of S. In 2001 he accepted a full-time position and is currently an Assistant Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Denard is a registered Professional Engineer and member of APEGS. He has been an IEEE member for over 35 years, and is currently a Senior member. He has held various Executive positions with the North Saskatchewan Section and is currently Past Chair. He has also just been appointed Chair of the Student Activities Committee for IEEE Canada

 

Amit Gupta (Solido Designs)

Amit Gupta is co-founder, President & CEO of Solido Design Automation Inc. In 1999, he co-founded Analog Design Automation Inc. (ADA), a startup for semiconductor design software. Over the next five years, as President & CEO and VP Marketing and Business Development, he helped the company grow through periods of target market identification, initial prototype development, field trial successes, product commercialization and launch, sales generation with quarterly revenue growth and acquisition by Synopsys Inc. To fund this growth, he raised investment from venture capital and government sources.

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, he was product manager for the wireless group at Nortel Networks and a hardware engineer for the RF Communications group at Harris Corporation. He graduated with degrees in both Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with great Distinction from the University of Saskatchewan. He was awarded the 2005 outstanding alumni award for significant accomplishments since graduation.

 

Carl Selinger

Carl is a frequent guest speaker, and facilitates strategic planning sessions, focus groups and “Synectics” brainstorming sessions. His seminar, “Stuff You Don’t Learn in Engineering School,” has helped several thousand engineers and other professionals over the past decade learn non-technical soft skills — like decision-making, setting priorities and managing time, negotiating, teamwork, running meetings, and writing and speaking better — to be more effective and happier persons. Articles on these themes appear regularly in IEEE Spectrum magazine, where he is a Contributing Editor. His book Stuff you Don’t Learn in Engineering School: Skills for Success in the Real World has been published by Wiley-IEEE Press. Stuff has been translated into Chinese and has been published in China.

He has taught aviation, transportation and marketing courses at Pace University, New Jersey Institute of Technology and City University of New York (York College and City College). He is a faculty advisor to Cooper Union’s chapter of Tau Beta Pi (the national engineering honorary society), which elected him “Eminent Engineer”.