Energy Day 2018 Speakers

Professor, Chemistry;
Canada Research Chair in Solid State Materials
University of Waterloo

Professor Linda Nazar is a faculty member of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Waterloo, and is cross appointed to the Department of Electrical Engineering. Nazar, holder of a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Solid State Materials since 2004, has focused her research on developing new materials for energy storage and conversion for the past 15 years. She has published well over 160 papers, review articles and patents in the field.

Founding Executive Director, WISE;
Ontario Research Chair in Public Policy for Sustainable Energy
University of Waterloo

Jatin Nathwani is the founding Executive Director, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE) and holds the prestigious Ontario Research Chair in Public Policy for Sustainable Energy at the University of Waterloo.

His current focus is on implementing a global change initiative: he is the Co-Director, with Professor Joachim Knebel (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany), of the consortium ‘Affordable Energy for Humanity (AE4H): A Global Change Initiative’ that comprises 130+ leading energy access researchers and practitioners from 30 institutions and 16 countries.

Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering
University of Waterloo

David Simakov is an Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Simakov's main research expertise is in heterogeneous catalysis, reactor design, and techno-economic analysis applied to thermocatalytic conversions. Currently, Dr.Simakov is working on carbon capture and utilization (CCU), focusing on thermocatalyticconversion of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) intorenewable and substitute synthetic fuels.

Prior to starting his independent academic career, Dr. Simakov conducted his postdoctoral training in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he worked on thermo-catalysis and reactor design for solar thermal reforming after receiving his Ph.D. from the Israel Institute of Technology working on the design of catalytic membrane reformers for integrated fuel cell systems.

Associate Professor, Geological Engineering; Geography & Environmental Management
University of Waterloo

Yuri Leonenko studies how we can best capture and store COinto underground formations in order to limit the increasing impact of global warming. His research involves understanding the complex multi-phase flows and transport phenomena that regulate how CO2 behaves in the porous subsurface.

He has played significant role in establishing the Carbon Management Canada (CMC) Center of Excellence with $50 million of government funding. He is also actively involved in the development and promotion of Carbon Capture and Storage technologies, including the Shell Sequestration Project and the Wabamun Lake CO2 Sequestration Project (Phase-I, preliminary research).

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Associate Professor, Management Science,
Ivey business School,
University of Western Ontario;
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Management Sciences, University of Waterloo

Bissan Ghaddar's current research explores  problems at the intersection of smart cities, IoT, data analytics, and mathematical modeling and optimization for large-scale problems. Prior to joining the University of Waterloo, she worked on energy and transportation network optimization at IBM Research Dublin and on inventory management problems at the Centre for Operational Research and Analysis, Department of National Defence Canada. She was also invited for extended research visits at the Universität zu Köln in Germany and the University of Avignon in France. Dr. Ghaddar received a Ph.D. degree in operations research from the University of Waterloo, Canada. Her research has been supported by prestigious national and international scholarships and in 2012 she was awarded an FP7 IIF European Union Grant.

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Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering;
Hydro One Endowed Chair;
Associate Director, WISE;
University of Waterloo

Claudio Cañizares' research focuses on four main areas: stability and security analysis and improvements of power systems in a deregulated environment; optimal management and forecasting in competitive electricity markets; simulation and studies of energy systems with multiple energy carriers; and simulation, modeling and analysis of FACTS controllers in power systems.

Claudio's recent work with WWF studied the feasibility of brining solar and wind energy to remote Arctic communities. The study identified Iqaluit, Sanikiluaq, Rankin Inlet, Arviat and Baker Lake as communities that could benefit the most from renewable energy, saving as much as 10 per cent of their energy costs in a 10-year span.

PhD candidate, Information Systems and Science for Energy Group;
Computer Science,
University of Waterloo

Christian Gorenflo studies data management and storage in the context of blockchains. Scalability is one of the major issues with current blockchain technology. While the lack of high performance consensus algorithms poses the largest bottleneck at the moment, systems must be able to deal with vast amounts of data once this problem is solved. To ensure that data management will not become the next road block, his research focuses on understanding characteristic blockchain workloads, specifically in the energy market, and on optimizing database performance for these workloads.

Before coming to the University of Waterloo in 2015, Christian Gorenflo received his Physics Diplom at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in 2013 studying information storage through magneto-electric coupling on metallic surfaces.

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Associate Professor, Information Systems,
School of Accounting and Finance,
University of Waterloo

Theophanis Stratopoulos is an associate professor of information systems at the School of Accounting and Finance of University of Waterloo. His teaching and research focus is on the economics of information technology (IT). More specifically, he is interested in how firms leverage IT enabled strategies to achieve and sustain competitive advantage and superior financial performance. Currently, he is working on projects related to emerging technology adoption and its implications. Dr. Stratopoulos is actively working on blockchain adoption methodologies that can be applied across various industry networks including power and energy, health, banking, I.T, and construction. This will help to evaluate the long term impacts of the large scale adoption of blockchain technology applications on the Canadian and global economies.

He has worked (consulted) on data analytics projects for large US firms, and delivered workshops (training) accounting professionals on impact of emerging technologies and use of data analytics with R. He has developed workshops and material for training accounting professors/professionals on data analytics with R, and he is a contributor in the HUB of Analytics Education. He is a member of the CPA Canada - Audit Data Analytics committee and guest editor of a special issue on audit data analytics for the Managerial Auditing Journal.

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Founder & Chief AML Ninja,
Outlier Solutions Inc.

Amber is a compliance geek who fell in love with bitcoin when a friend and colleague asked her to update a risk assessment. His company at the time was a payment processor that worked with bitcoin exchanges. Believing that you can only truly understand something by interacting with it, Amber requested that her retainer be paid in bitcoin, Despite this meaning that she had to spend a weekend learning about wallets and security (everything was command line at the time), she quickly fell down the rabbit hole and hasn’t stopped exploring since.

Amber has been a compliance geek since graduating from the University of Waterloo. Amber joined the compliance group at one of Canada’s largest insurers where she focused on the implementation of technology-based processes to streamline compliance. She has since worked in in-house roles with major securities firms and banks, before joining a boutique compliance consulting firm. Amber has also worked with a larger consulting firm, before launching Outlier Solutions Inc. (Outlier) in 2013. 

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Lab Manager, Agent-Based Modelling Laboratory; Adjunct Professor, Information and Computing Technologies, York University

Marek Laskowski received his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Manitoba in 2011. His research interests include software architecture of agent based modeling and decision support systems, pervasive internet systems, natural language processing, computational game theory, and applied machine learning. He is actively involved in developing novel agent based models for public health decision support, directing the release of the next-generation open-source Simstitution framework for agent based modeling, and devising smart phone based public health surveillance technologies.

Director of Business Operations
Jaza Energy

Founded in 2015 Jaza Energy is based in Atlantic Canada and Tanzania. For nearly a decade he has worked  with communities in East Africa adapt to climate change through the charity he founded called Community Forests International.

In 2013 an engineering grad student conceived a low cost energy system that could put electricity in every home. After successfully testing the Energy Hub model in several communities, the student and Sandy incorporated Jaza Energy and raised investment to scale the technology and make access to electricity more affordable.

Manager, Global Programs and Initiatives
University of Waterloo

Nigel is responsible for the successful management of the Affordable Energy for Humanity Global Change Initiative at WISE. This new international research project will focus on addressing energy poverty through the development of low carbon energy systems that are responsive to the needs of the global populations that need them the most.

CarbonCure Technologies

CarbonCure's technology chemically repurposes waste carbon dioxide during the concrete manufacturing process to make greener and stronger concrete. The technology reduces greenhouse gas emissions, lowers material costs and improves concrete quality – truly a win-win-win solution. The company has attracted domestic and international venture investment, and has received numerous awards, including the 2016 Manning Award, was listed among the Cleantech Group Top 100 Cleantech companies, and is a Carbon XPRIZE semi-finalist.

Through collaboration with leading designers, the company and its partners are supplying a scalable solution to address the growing demand for green building materials. CarbonCure's technology is currently installed in more than 35 concrete plants across North America.

Rob holds a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from McGill University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Victoria.

Senior Planning Engineer
SNC Lavalin

SNC Lavalin provides engineering and construction solutions across four key markets: Infrastructure, Mining & Metallurgy, Oil & Gas and Power.

The company is one of very few firms to provide clients with comprehensive end-to-end project solutions – including financing & asset management, consulting & advisory, digital & artificial intelligence, design & engineering, procurement, construction & project management, operations & maintenance and sustaining capital.

World-class expertise at scale delivers value to clients and the depth and breadth of capabilities sets SNC Lavalin apart from the competition. The specialized services can be contracted flexibly for niche mandates to megaprojects.

Director, School of Accounting and Finance
University of Waterloo

James has taught courses in the undergraduate program but in recent years taught almost exclusively in the Master of Taxation program. Courses he has taught in that program include Introduction to Business Structuring and Estate Planning.

Senior Vice President Sustainability
Greenfield Global

John is a WISE Advisory Council member.

He is the Senior VP, Sustainability for Canada's largest biofuels and sole specialty alcohol producer. Of note, he served in the Ontario Legislature as an MPP from 2003-2011. John was called to Cabinet and served as Minister of Research & Innovation, then as Minister of Revenue and finally as Minister of the Environment. John was instrumental in securing the University of Waterloo's new Digital Media Campus in Stratford and serves on its Advisory Board. Currently he is Chair of the Stratford Perth County Community Foundation.
Senior Sustainability Specialist
Region of Waterloo

David Roewade comes from a business development and marketing background then branched into the environmental field over 25 years ago. His undergraduate degree is in environmental resource management and a Master’s degree focused on climate change and community economic development. David operated an environmental consulting business for several years with clients including the federal government, industry associations, post-secondary schools and community groups. David joined the Region of Waterloo’s Public Health department in 2001 working on health hazard investigation and moved onto developing and implementing the Region’s Sustainability Strategy beginning in 2007. Currently, he manages the Region’s interests in their corporate and community GHG action plans and is currently working with local partners to implement a Community Energy Investment Strategy as well as develop a Climate Adaptation Plan.

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Peter Howard
VP, Sustainability
Pond Technologies Inc., York University

Senior executive and expert on environment, sustainability and climate change and how to create strategies to align sustainability with financial objectives. Peter has over a decade of experience delivering strategic sustainability consulting to both the public and private sectors, and a track record of helping organizations identify and execute sustainability-related initiatives that reduce risks and deliver returns. Peter is working to grow the company and commercialize Pond's technology.

He previously worked as the Manager, Sustainable Business Practices for PricewaterhouseCoopers and for the Ontario government, helping to develop its greenhouse gas emission reduction plan. He has also advised multinational corporations, governments, and not-for-profits on how to incorporate sustainability, renewable energy, and greenhouse gas emissions management into their business strategy and operations.

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