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SPEAKERS

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

Professor 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.




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Bissan Ghaddar
Assistant Professor, Management Sciences, Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario

Bissan Ghaddar is an Assistant Professor of Management Science at the Ivey Business School working on problems at the intersection of smart cities, IoT, and optimization models. Prior to joining Ivey Business School, she was as an Assistant Professor in Data Analytics at the Department of Management Sciences at the University of Waterloo. She has also worked on energy, water, and transportation network optimization at IBM Research and on inventory management problems at the Centre for Operational Research and Analysis, Department of National Defence Canada. She was 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 work has been published in prestigious journals such as Mathematical Programming, SIAM Journal on Optimization, Transportation Research, among others. Her research has been supported by national and international scholarships including NSERC, Cisco, H2020, and FP7 IIF European Union Grant.

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Brian Rivard
Adjunct Research Professor, Business, Economics and Public Policy, Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario

Brian Rivard is an Adjunct Professor and Director of Research for the Ivey Energy Policy and Management Centre, in the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University. His area of expertise and study is electricity market design and regulation. Brian has experience as an energy consultant, most recently as a Principal at Charles River Associates. He also worked for the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) as Director of Markets. While working at the IESO, Brian was responsible for providing analysis of the impacts of changes to the IESO Market Rules, Market Design, government policies, and other industry initiatives. For almost 15 years at IESO, he helped support the development of market-based approaches to managing Ontario’s electricity system needs. In addition, Brian spent six years as a senior economist with the Canadian Competition Bureau. He has written articles for various publications such as the Energy Journal, Canadian Competition Record, Antitrust Law Journal, and the Journal of Economic Theory as well as chapters included in Competition Policy and Intellectual Property Rights in the Knowledge-Based Economy and Payments Systems in the Global Economy: Risks and Opportunities. He has also provided expert testimony before the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Ontario Energy Board. He received his MA and PhD in Economics from the University of Western Ontario.

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Zhongwei Chen
Canada Research Chair in Advanced Materials for Clean Energy & Professor, Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo

Zhongwei Chen is a Chemical Engineering Professor, the Director of the Collaborative Graduate Program in Nanotechnology, and the head of the Applied Nanomaterials and Clean Energy Lab at the University of Waterloo. He is also a member of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnologyand a Canada Research Chair in Advanced Materials for Clean Energy.

Professor Chen’s research group aims to provide sustainable energy infrastructures and resources for future generations by developing novel high performance nanostructured materials for use in clean sustainable technologies. Professor Chen holds 4 patents in technologies relating to sustainable energy infrastructures.

The development of rechargeable zinc-air batteries is an exciting area of his research. Zinc-air batteries are partially comprised of oxygen, which does not need to be stored. This theoretically simplifies the design and increases the energy density of the cell, which creates the potential to attain the highest specific energy of any known battery technology.


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Andy (Xueliang) Sun
Canada Research Chair in Development of Nanomaterials for Clean Energy; Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering; Professor, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, University of Western Ontario 

Biography TBA
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Catherine Burns
Executive Director, Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology, University of Waterloo

Catherine Burns is a Systems Design Engineering Professor and the Director of the Advanced Interface Design Lab at the University of Waterloo.

She conducts research in Ecological Interface Design, cognitive work analysis, and graphical interface design and visualization, which has been applied in military systems, healthcare, power plant control, and oil and gas refining.

Professor Burns’ current projects include mobile decision support tools for cardiac nurses, supporting situation awareness in power plant operators, diabetes management tools, and supporting human-to-human and human-to-agent collaboration in uninhibited aerial vehicle environments. Her research is sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Bell University Labs, Research in Motion (RIM) and NSERC.

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Rashmi Chandra
Postdoctoral Researcher, Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo

Rashmi Chandra is a postdoctoral researcher at Civil and Environmental Engineering department, University of Waterloo. She obtained PhD in Biological sciences from Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research at CSIR-IICT. She worked at Tec de Monterrey, Mexico and Arizona State University. Her major research work is focused on waste to energy through strategic regulation of photosynthetic machinery towards diverse bioenergy generation routes and extensively studied the process of Photofermentative-Hydrogenesis, Biophotovoltaics, and Algal photochemical synthesis (Photo-Lipogenesis).

She has 22 publications in peer-reviewed international journals and 7 book chapters along with several conference communications to her credit. She is the recipient of Dr. R. N. Sarma Memorial Best Junior Research Fellow Award for year 2012, AUCBT excellence award for 2013 given by BRSI and HEAM Scholar for year 2014 for my research contribution. Dr Rashmi Chandra is also member of Nation System of researcher Conacyte Mexico. She has been conferred Best Reviewer awards from Bioresource Technology journal in year 2017 and outstanding contribution in reviewing from International journal of hydrogen energy, Waste management, and Renewable energy. Rashmi Chandra also serving as guest editor for the Science of the Total Environment.


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Trevor C. Charles
Professor, Biology, University of Waterloo

Dr. Charles is a professor in the Department of Biology of University of Waterloo, Director of Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research, and Founder and CSO of Metagenom Bio. He carries out research in bacterial genetics and is an expert in analyzing genetic material recovered directly from environmental samples, also known as functional metagenomics. In 2015, Dr. Charles was honoured with an Ontario Genomics Institute SPARK Award for an innovative project that uses waste methane to create renewable bioplastics. His research group studies the mechanisms of gene regulatory circuits that control the interactions of Rhizobiales bacteria such as Sinorhizobium meliloti with their eukaryal hosts. The group also develops methods for functional metagenomics using alternate surrogate hosts, and employs these methods to isolate novel genes with interesting functions from microbial community genomic libraries. Current research emphasis is on functional metagenomics, bioplastics, the microbiome in controlled environment agriculture, bacterial genome engineering, bio-economy, clean technologies, and sustainable communities. Prof. Charles has numerous awards to his credit such as the 2015 Fellowship of Association of Biotechnology and Pharmacy (India), 2015 International Award of the Ninth DBN Science and Technology Awards (China). He is also an associate editor of the Journal BMC Microbiology and is on the editorial board of Frontiers in Microbiology. His professional associations are with the American Society for Microbiology, Canadian Society of Microbiologists, International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, and International Society for Microbial Ecology.


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Tej Gidda
Vice President, GDH; Adjunct Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo

Tej Gidda is Vice President of GHD, working in the fields of carbon emission reductions and waste management, with a focus on diversion technologies. He has been involved in a significant number if composting, anaerobic digestion, mixed waste processing, energy-from-waste and advanced biosolids treatment technologies in Ontario and elsewhere, as well as landfill gas management and leachate treatment.

As an Adjunct Professor in Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Waterloo he is involved in funding applications and development of new approaches for energy production from waste materials, as part of collaborative research teams.


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