Alumni Speakers Bureau

Do you need a speaker who has an inspiring story of innovation and success in science or technology?

Welcome to ACCELERATE & CONNECT: ASTech Alumni Speakers Bureau.

Our goal is simple: to connect our ASTech alumni (Finalists and Winners of an ASTech Award) and the broader community interested in science, technology and innovation. Invite our alumni to share their story of success to help inspire the next generation of innovation in Alberta.

The ASTech Foundation shines a spotlight on incredible examples of innovation that often fly under the radar. We will gladly introduce you to any of our speakers and we’ll leave it up to you to sort out the details. This is a free service.

For more info or to contact a speaker, please email info@astech.ca.

 

Search for Speakers near you:

Jeff LaFrenz

  • Jeff LaFrenz
  • Organization: President, VizworX Inc.
  • ASTech Awards: 2018 FInalist, Outstanding Commercial Achievement in Science & Technology
  • Area of Expertise: Commercial Achievement
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. Industrial and Commercial Applications of Augmented and Virtual Reality
    2. Data Visualization: How Understanding Your Data Drives Better Decisions
    3. Reducing Construction Rework Costs Through Augmented Reality-Based Data
  • Geographic Areas:

    Calgary area

  • Location: Calgary AB
  • Short Bio:

    VizworX is a software solutions and development company specializing in the application of leading edge interaction technologies and information visualization methodologies to drive customer success. Jeff is a serial entrepreneur and systems engineer with over 30 years experience in technology commercialization. He thrives on pulling together complex technical and business requirements, contextualizing them in local and global environments and building teams to solve customer challenges.

Dr. Nader Mahinpey

  • Dr. Nader Mahinpey
  • Organization: Professor and NSERC-IRC Chair, University of Calgary
  • ASTech Awards: 2018 Finalist, Outstanding Achievement in Energy & Environmental Innovation
  • Area of Expertise: Energy
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. Carbon Capture
    2. Carbon Conversion
  • Geographic Areas:

    Calgary area

  • Location: Calgary AB
  • Short Bio:

    Dr. Nader Mahinpey holds the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Novel CO2 Capture Technologies for Oil Sands Operations. His research revolves around economically attractive reduced CO2 emissions capture for energy producers and developing novel technology to convert the carbon into useful products, thereby bridging the gap between short and long-term solutions.

    The technologies developed by Dr. Mahinpey have direct economic, environmental and health impacts on society and a broad range of application to the oil and gas industry, power plants, cement industries, synthesis of ammonia, natural gas purification and other chemical and petrochemical industries.

Dr. Frank Maurer

  • Dr. Frank Maurer
  • Organization: Professor & Associate Dean, Innovation & Strategic Partnerships, University of Calgary
  • ASTech Awards: 2018 FInalist, Outstanding Commercial Achievement in Science & Technology
  • Area of Expertise: Start Up/Entrepreneurship; Technology; Commercial Achievement
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. Immersive Analytics
    2. The Role of Universities in the Innovation Ecosystem
  • Geographic Areas:

    Throughout Alberta

  • Location: Calgary AB
  • Short Bio:

    Dr. Frank Maurer’s research interests are immersive analytics applications and multi-surface systems. His group’s research combines empirical approaches with the development of innovative tools and applications. He is a co-founder, CTO and Board member at VizworX.

Grant Sanden

  • Grant Sanden
  • Organization: CEO, Enersoft Inc.
  • ASTech Awards: 2018 Outstanding Science & Technology Start-Up
  • Area of Expertise: Start-Up Entrepreneurship; Technology; Commercial Achievement
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. Science Demonstrations: Fabrication and Robotics
    2. Entrepreneurship: I’ve Built 3 Companies
  • Geographic Areas:

    Calgary area
    Edmonton area
    Red Deer area
    Southeast, including Lethbridge and Medicine Hat
    Outside Alberta

  • Location: Calgary AB
  • Short Bio:

    As a mechanical engineer, I love building robotic industrial equipment and working with technology to solve industrial and everyday problems. My rapid prototyping shop changes the way design is done. I would rather build it today and test it immediately than spend too much time on engineering. I want to show audiences they can do amazing things with the new tools that are available to everyone.

Brian Tischler

  • Brian Tischler
  • Organization: Farmer/Software & Hardware Developer, Genetic Potential Ltd.
  • ASTech Awards: 2018 Outstanding Achievement in Agricultural Innovation
  • Area of Expertise: Agriculture
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. Autonomous Agriculture
    2. Open Source Software
    3. Practical New Ag Initiatives
  • Geographic Areas:

    Edmonton area
    Red Deer area
    Outside Alberta

  • Location: Mannville, AB
  • Short Bio:

    New ideas drive me, doing bleeding edge tech that doesn’t exist commercially. This pushes innovation, not only in the DIY world but also allows commercial industry to improve as well. Open source and open ideas allows people from all over the world to learn, grow and contribute.

Dr. David Knudsen

  • Dr. David Knudsen
  • Organization: Professor & Head, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary
  • ASTech Awards: 2018 Special Award: Outstanding Contribution to Canada's Space Industry
  • Area of Expertise: Space Science and Technology
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. Aurora
    2. Space weather
    3. Space instrumentation
  • Geographic Areas:

    Throughout Alberta

  • Location: Calgary AB
  • Short Bio:

    The University of Calgary Space Physics Group has been involved in the development of more than 20 instruments launched into space over the past 40 years. My colleagues and I would like Albertans to know that Alberta is a space-faring province, and a world leader in the development of space instrumentation and technology devoted to the study of near-Earth space, the upper atmosphere and the aurora borealis.

Dr. Kristen Barton

  • Organization: MD/PhD Student, University of Calgary
  • ASTech Awards: 2017 Leaders of Tomorrow
  • Area of Expertise: Science
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. Medical Research: arthritis and joint injury
    2. Medical Technology and Innovation
    3. Mentorship and Leadership Development
  • Geographic Areas:

    Calgary area
    Throughout Alberta
    Outside Alberta

  • Location: Calgary, AB
  • Short Bio:

    I work on exercise programming, optimizing technology for joint injuries, and study osteoarthritis in individuals who have sustained previous knee and hip injuries. The research aims to get individuals to improve their function and mobility while living with a chronic condition.

Dr. Laleh Behjat

  • Organization: Professor, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary
  • ASTech Awards: 2017 Public Awareness
  • Area of Expertise: Engineering
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. Engineering Design, Innovation and Diversity
    2. Leadership in a Gendered Workplace
    3. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education and Outreach
  • Geographic Areas:

    Calgary area

  • Location: Calgary AB
  • Short Bio:

    My research interests include developing software for the automation of the design of integrated circuits as well as issues related to design for diversity, innovation and creativity. I have a pssion for increasing the status of women in STEM. I believe engineering benefits society and I really enjoy teaching engineering to students from kindergarten to PhD levels.

Dr. Mohamed Gamal El-Din

  • Organization: Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta
  • ASTech Awards: 2017 Innovation in Oil Sands
  • Area of Expertise: Environment
  • Presentation Topics:

    1, Treatment and Reclamation Strategies for Oil and Process Water
    2. Treatment of Municipal Wastewater
    3. Drinking Water Treatment

  • Geographic Areas:

    Edmonton area

  • Location: Edmonton AB
  • Short Bio:

    The research of Dr. Mohamed Gamal El-Din focuses on the fundamentals of advanced and innovative treatment approaches to water and wastewater (both municipal and industrial, such as oil and gas). Since 2011, he has held an NSERC Senior Industrial Research Chair in Oil Sands Tailings Water Treatment. He is one of the Theme Leads of the Future Energy Systems theme on Resilient Reclaimed Land and Water Systems.

Connor Gottfried

  • Organization: CEO, Leara eLearning Inc.
  • ASTech Awards: 2017 ICT
  • Area of Expertise: eLearning
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. The Future of Learning
  • Geographic Areas:

    Calgary area

  • Location: Calgary, AB
  • Short Bio:

    I am an elearning innovator making mobile learning and responsive course authoring more accessible. I’m driven by the goal of a globally connected world where highly effective learning is available anywhere, anytime and on any device, regardless of age, gender, or socio-economic status. I see a future where web technologies are combined with artificial intelligence, virtual reality and artificial reality to distribute learning opportunities to allow everyone to grow and achieve their goals.

Dr. Emily Marasco

  • Organization: Researcher, Engineering Education, Schulich School of Engineering
  • ASTech Awards: 2017 Public Awareness; 2018 Leaders of Tomorrow
  • Area of Expertise: Engineering Education
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. Creativity in Technical Fields
    2. Engineering and Science Communication
    3. STEM Education and Outreach
  • Geographic Areas:

    Calgary area
    Edmonton area
    Red Deer area
    Southeast
    Northwest
    Northeast
    Throughout Alberta
    Outside Alberta

  • Location: Calgary AB
  • Short Bio:

    Dr. Emily Marasco is a sessional instructor at the Schulich School of Engineering. She is also an education specialist with EZ-Robot and co-host/developer of The Robot Program, an educational web series for robotics and program education. Her award-winning research focuses on creativity and cross-disciplinary curriculum development for engineering students. K-12 and community outreach programs.

Dr. Faramarz Samavati

  • Organization: Professor, Computer Science, University of Calgary
  • ASTech Awards: 2017 Technology Finalist
  • Area of Expertise: Science / technology
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. Creative Visualization in Digital Earth
    2. Sketch-based Modeling: A Natural Method for Digital Content Creation
    3. PUPs: A Meta Modeling Framework for 3D Digital Content Creation
  • Geographic Areas:

    Calgary area
    Edmonton area
    Red Deer area

  • Location: Calgary AB
  • Short Bio:

    My research focus is geometric modeling and computer graphics. I also actively pursue real-world and practical applications related to my fundamental research. This has allowed me to make strong contributions to multiple technological innovations: Digital Earth, Sketch-based Modeling and Medical Imaging and Visualization.

Dr. Mark Boyce

  • Dr. Mark Boyce
  • Organization: Professor of Ecology and ACA Chair in Fisheries & Wildlife, University of Alberta
  • ASTech Awards: 2014 Science
  • Area of Expertise: Science
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. Canada’s Energy Policy: the Urgent Need for Science
    2. Managing Moose by Citizen Science (moose survey app)
    3. Trophy Hunting in Alberta?
  • Geographic Areas:

    Throughout Alberta
    Outside Alberta

  • Location: Edmonton, AB
  • Short Bio:

    I am a wildlife biologist with keen interest in conservation. My research in mostly in Alberta with recent projects on grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, elk, moose and sage grouse.

Allan Chegus

  • Allan Chegus
  • Organization: Stream Systems Ltd.
  • ASTech Awards: Stream Systems Ltd., Winner, 2016 Startup
  • Area of Expertise: Emerging Operating Technology / Advanced Simulation
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. Emerging Trends in Operating Technology, Software and Simulation
    2. System and Network Thinking
    3. Innovation Bridging Several Sectors
  • Geographic Areas:

    Throughout Alberta

  • Location: Calgary, AB
  • Short Bio:

    I imagine a world where industry is optimized, where large capital projects operate perfectly after they are built; where cross-functional teams collaborate seamlessly because they see each other’s point of view; and where assets and industrial systems are fully utilized. In this world, money, energy, time and the environment are saved. I’ve spent my career in industry, and I know how difficult it is to make optimal decisions in environments with multiple dynamic variables interacting. That’s why I’ve been driven to create software that makes decision making for industry easy.

Dr. Zhangxing (John) Chen

  • Zhangxing (John) Chen
  • Organization: Professor, NSERC/AIEES/Foundation CMG & AITF Chairs, University of Calgary
  • ASTech Awards: Chen, Dr. Zhangxing (John), Winner, 2012 Technology Chen, Dr. Zhangxing (John), Honouree, 2010 Science
  • Area of Expertise: Applied Technology
  • Presentation Topics:

    Studies of Hybrid Steam-Solvent Processes for Oil Recovery
    Studies of Unconventional Oil and Gas Reservoirs
    Modelling and Simulation of Unconventional Oil and as Reservoirs

  • Geographic Areas:

    Throughout Alberta
    Outside Alberta

  • Location: Calgary, AB
  • Short Bio:

    Dr. Chen has made a career of shaking up the modern oil and gas industry with his innovative concepts, particularly in petroleum reservoir engineering and simulation. His inventions – and his acumen in commercializing them – are dramatically improving efficiencies in oil and gas recovery processes.

    Dr. Chen is a Professor in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Calgary and holds two research Chair awards: the NSERC/AIEES (AERI)/Foundation CMG Senior Research Chair in Reservoir Simulation and the AITF Industrial Chair in Reservoir Modelling. He is the most advanced researcher in reservoir modelling and simulation in Canada and is a global leader in the field. He was recognized by Oilsands Review (February 2009) as one of the three most prominent researchers in reservoir simulation in the world.

    Dr. Chen is building fundamental theories about enhancing oil and gas recovery, both economically and environmentally, and developing innovative models and algorithms to enhance understanding of the physics and chemistry of reservoirs.

    The state-of-the-art reservoir simulation toolkits Dr. Chen has created allow for multiple parallel runs, faster computation, and rigorous optimization. The novel techniques he has developed are faster and have greater accuracy than what had been available. His great advancements in simulation have improved workflow including risk and uncertainty analysis and, in turn, have provided significant savings in capital costs for all of the involved Alberta oil companies.

    Dr. Chen has published 353 peer-reviewed manuscripts, written five acclaimed textbooks and edited seven high-quality popular books. His research has been extremely well received and employed not only by his peers in academia but also by industry. His work has been cited over 4,000 times by others. Dr. Chen has received 30 prestigious awards and honours.

Dr. Jonathan Curtis

  • Dr. Jonathan Curtis
  • Organization: Lipid Chemistry Group, University of Alberta
  • ASTech Awards: Lipid Chemistry Group, Winner, 2015 Applied Technology
  • Area of Expertise: Science
  • Presentation Topics:
  • Geographic Areas:
    Edmonton area
  • Location: Edmonton, AB

Yonathan Dattner

  • Yonathan Dattner
  • Organization: Luxmux Technology Corporation
  • ASTech Awards: Luxmux, Winner, 2015 Startup
  • Area of Expertise: Start-Up/Entrepreneurship
  • Presentation Topics:

    Starting a Technology Start-up in Alberta
    Silicon Nano-photonics, Technology and Application
    How to Leverage Gov’t Support from R&D to Commercialization

  • Geographic Areas:

    Throughout Alberta

  • Location: Calgary, AB
  • Short Bio:

    Throughout Yonathan’s career, he has worked closed with academia, industrial partners and government to introduce new technologies into the market. As founder and President of Luxmux Technology Corporation, Yonathan has raised over $6 million in capital for the purpose of commercializing Luxmux’s new spectrometer technology. He has negotiated and secured capital from private, industrial and multiple government sources such as Nonobridge, IRAP, SDTC, AITF and more.

    During Yonthan’s tenure at the Integrated Sensors, Intelligent Systems Lab (ISIS) at the University of Calgary, he has published a number of peer-reviewed journal papers and patents in the field of CMOS Image Sensors and Silicon nanophotonics. He received the Queen Elizabeth II Award and the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Award through the National Science and Engineering Council of Canada.

    Yonathan Dattner received his B.Sc in Electical Engineering from Technion – Institute of Technology, his M.Sc at the University of Calgary and was an external student at the University of British Columbia’s Microsystems and Nanotechnology Group. Yonathan is a professional member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.

James Freeman

  • James Freeman
  • Organization: CTO, Zedi Inc.
  • ASTech Awards: Zedi Inc., Winner, 2014 Commercial
  • Area of Expertise: Commercial Achievement
  • Presentation Topics:

    Building an Internet of Things Platform
    Innovation and the Upstream Conventional Oil & Gas Production Operations Market

  • Geographic Areas:

    Calgary area
    Edmonton area

  • Location: Calgary, AB
  • Short Bio:

    James oversees all market-facing development of Zedi’s technology-enabled solutions. Zedi has developed a cloud-based platform that ties together sensors, intelligent field instrumentaiton, M2M and web-based applications to allow customers to manage remote production operations and make better business decisions.

Dr. Mayank Goyal

  • Mayank Goyal
  • Organization: University of Calgary
  • ASTech Awards: Dr. Mayank Goyal, Winner, 2016 Technology
  • Area of Expertise: Medicine; acute stroke
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. Evidence-based Medicine: How it Works
    2. Acute Stroke: Recent Advances
    3. Changing Acute Stroke: A Journey
  • Geographic Areas:

    Calgary area

  • Location: Calgary , AB
  • Short Bio:

    Dr. Mayank Goyal is a Professor in the Department of Radiology and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary. He is the Director of Imaging and Endovascular treatment at the Calgary Stroke Program. He is also the Medical Director of the Seaman Family MR Research Centre.

    Dr. Goyal’s passion and main research interest is acute stroke imaging, workflow and intervention. He has over 150 publications in peer-reviewed journals. He is one of the Principal Investigators in two global trials. He is world renowned for his ground-breaking work in efficiency and workflow in acute stroke intervention and has travelled extensively to share his expertise. Mayank is also an innovator and always thinking of solutions to problems including the new way of imaging in acute stroke called multiphase CT angiography. This technique became the basis of the PROVE IT study and was implemented globally as part of the ESCAPE study.Initial results and feedback suggest that on average this technique saves 20 minutes in acute stroke treatment.

    Dr. Goyal is an integral part of changing stroke care across the world, impacting thousands of patients to have a better outcome from this devastating disease.

Jerry Hanna

  • Jerry Hanna
  • Organization: CEO, Clearflow Enviro Systems Group Inc.
  • ASTech Awards: Clearflow Enviro Systems Group Inc., Winner, 2013 Environment
  • Area of Expertise: Environment
  • Presentation Topics:

    Water Management
    Erosion Control
    Effects of Sediment on the Environment

  • Geographic Areas:

    Throughout Alberta

  • Location: Edmonton, AB
  • Short Bio:

    I am driven by challenge. Finding the right answer to difficult issues in regards to water and the environment.

    Our work maters because water is a global issue. If we have the ability to produce a recyclable water for industry and reduce demand on the potable water we will then have more water for people to drink, less demand on source water from creeks, rivers, lakes, etc. and a much safer environmental footprint for industry.

Dr. Michael D. Hill

  • Dr. Michael Hill
  • Organization: University of Calgary, Calgary Stroke Team
  • ASTech Awards: Calgary Stroke Team, Winner, 2015 Societal Impact
  • Area of Expertise: Science
  • Presentation Topics:

    Stroke Neurology
    Biomedical
    Drug Development
    Advances in Brain Imaging

  • Geographic Areas:

    Throughout Alberta
    Outside Alberta

  • Location: Calgary, AB
  • Short Bio:

    Dr. Michael Hill is a Professor for the Departments of Clinical Neurosciences, Community Health Sciences, Medicine and Radiology at the University of Calgary. He is also Director of the Stroke Unit for the Calgary Stroke Program, Alberta Health Services.

    Dr. Hill’s research interests include stroke thrombolysis, stroke epidemiology, and surveillance and clinical trials. He is funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and holds the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Alberta/NWT/Nunavut professorship in Stroke Research. He holds and has held operating and clinical trials grants from the CIHR, Heart & Stroke Foundation of Alberta/NWT/Nunavut and from various industry partners as well as NIH (NINDS). Dr. Hill has also received a number of awards, including the Barnett, The Pessin Award and the ARP merit award and the Performance Recognition award for his role in research and his outstanding publication record.

Tyler Hrynyk

  • Tyler Hrynyk
  • Organization: AlbertaSat, University of Alberta
  • ASTech Awards: AlbertaSat, Winner, 2016 Special
  • Area of Expertise: Applied Technology
  • Presentation Topics:

    Alberta’s First Satellite: Ex-Alta 1
    Alberta’s Second Satellite: Ex-Alta 2
    AlbertaSat’s Educational Outreach Program

  • Geographic Areas:

    Edmonton area

  • Location: Edmonton, AB
  • Short Bio:

    The AlbertaSat team is driven by a tenacity to explore space through the use of Cube Satellites. Our work matters because we are developing new technology at the University of Alberta while also giving undergraduate students opportunities to be involved in a space project that they otherwise wouldn’t have. The long term impact of our work will hopefully be creating a space industry in Alberta, creating a spacecraft engineering and science program at all education levels.

Guy Hummel

  • Guy Hummel
  • Organization: CEO, Hatsize Learning Corp.
  • ASTech Awards: Hatsize Learning Corporation, Winner, 2012 ICT
  • Area of Expertise: Start-Up/Entrepreneurship
  • Presentation Topics:

    Building a Technology Company
    Selling Technology to Customers in the U.S.

  • Geographic Areas:

    Calgary area

  • Location: Calgary, AB
  • Short Bio:

    Guy Hummel believes that that best way to learn is by doing. He founded Hatsize Learning Corporation in 2000 to bring hands-on learning to online IT training and he continues to lead the company as its CEO. Hatsize’s customers are primarily large US software companies.

    Guy is also the winner of the MERLOT Award for Exemplary Online Learning Resources for his Linux Survival website, a free tutorial that helps people learn Linux through guided practice.

Dr. Christian Jacob

  • Dr. Christian Jacob
  • Organization: University of Calgary
  • ASTech Awards: LINDSAY Virtual Human, Winner, 2015 ICT
  • Area of Expertise: Science
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. Body Universes: How computer games change the way we do science
    2. A Flight Simulator for the Human Body: Replaying the “Fantastic Voyage”
    3. How far has computational physiology come?
  • Geographic Areas:

    Throughout Alberta

  • Location: Calgary, AB
  • Short Bio:

    I am passionate about illustrating the fascinating “Body Universes” of human anatomy and physiology with the help of the latest in computer technology. My research team uses 3D virtual reality and augmented reality environments together with computer game engines to build stunning immersive worlds inside and around the human body. One of our key projects is the LINDSAY Virtual Human (lindsayvirtualhuman.org), which we always like to show in action. We work on computational physiology, with aspirations for virtual drug testing and on innovative teaching and learning environments.

Glen Kathler

  • Glen Kathler
  • Organization: Applied Research and Innovation Services, SAIT Polytechnic
  • ASTech Awards: Kathler, Mr. Glen, Winner, 2015 Agriculture Kathler, Mr. Glen, Finalist, 2014 Agriculture
  • Area of Expertise: Applied Technology
  • Presentation Topics:

    Applied Research
    RFID systems development and testing
    UAVs, Intelligent Sensor Networks, innovation, disruptive technologies

  • Geographic Areas:

    Throughout Alberta
    Outside Alberta

  • Location: Calgary, AB
  • Short Bio:

    I am a passionate educator – both on campus and off. After 11 years as an instructor at SAIT Polytechnic, I joined the Applied Research and Innovation Services department as a full-time researcher. Since 2008, my team has explored the application of RFID technologies across a range of industries: livestock tracking, inventory management, oil-and-gas and beyond. Along the way, we’ve honed our expertise; helped companies design, develop, prototype and test their new technologies; and had some fantastic adventures – in the lab and in the field. An avid story-teller, I love speaking to groups on applied research, RFID systems development and testing, UAVs, Intelligent Sensor Networks, innovation, disruptive technologies – and am known for finding a sports analogy to bring things to life.

Dr. Ryan Lewinson

  • Dr. Ryan Lewinson
  • Organization: University of Calgary
  • ASTech Awards: Dr. Ryan Lewinson , Winner, 2016 Tomorrow
  • Area of Expertise: Science
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. Medical Science, Technology and Innovation
    2. Health
    3. Career and Professional Development
  • Geographic Areas:

    Calgary area

  • Location: Calgary, AB
  • Short Bio:

    Ryan completed his PhD in biomedical engineering and studied the musculoskeletal biomechanics of footwear, movement and injury. He is currently a medical student and a Director at glacierRx where he provides research consulting. He has authored numerous research articles and is heavily involved in the academic community. he is motivated by innovation and developing new technology.

Dr. Todd Lowary

  • Dr. Todd Lowary
  • Organization: University of Alberta
  • ASTech Awards: Lowary, Dr. Todd, Winner, 2015 Science
  • Area of Expertise: Science
  • Presentation Topics:

    The Role of Carbohydrates in Infectious Diseases
    Building a National Research Network

  • Geographic Areas:

    Calgary area
    Edmonton area

  • Location: Edmonton, AB
  • Short Bio:

    My research involves using chemistry combined with biochemical/biological investigations to understand how carbohydrates are involved in the development of infectious (largely bacterial) diseases.The basic science research we do has impact on the development of novel therapeutic agents to treat infectious disease, new diagnostics and vaccines. Outside of my own research, I am the Scientific Director of the Canadian Glycomics Network (GlycoNet). This Networks of Centres of Excellence-funded Network is focused on developing novel solutions to unmet medical needs through exploiting the role that carbohydrates play in biology.

Jessica Luc

  • Jessica Luc
  • Organization: University of Alberta
  • ASTech Awards: Jessica Luc, Finalist, 2016 Tomorrow
  • Area of Expertise: Science
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. Innovation and Science: The Life Behind Research on Ex Vivo Organ Perfusion and Artificial Hearts
    2. Medical Education and Mentorship: The Importance of Investing in the Future Generation
    3. Success, Failures and Staying Human: The Secret to Happiness
  • Geographic Areas:

    Edmonton area

  • Location: Edmonton, AB
  • Short Bio:

    Jessica is a third year medical student at the University of Alberta with a passion for research, the improvement of quality healthcare mixed with an interest in humanism in medical education.

    Jessica has conducted research in three different fields and published in science, translational, clinical and education research. Her research collaborators include the Mayo Clinic, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre, University of Sydney and The Collaborative Research Group.

    Jessica was named a Top 30 Under 30 in Alberta and was awarded full tuition scholarships. She hosts the Humanism in Medicine Film Festival, established a temporary boutique for homeless youth and hosted a Fashion Show for All Sizes to bring awareness to the prevention of eating disorders.

David Manz

  • David Manz
  • Organization: Manz Engineering Ltd.
  • ASTech Awards: Manz, Dr. David, Winner, 2011 Societal Impact
  • Area of Expertise: Corporate Social Responsibility — Safe Drinking Water
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. Challenges providing water treatment for disadvantaged communities.
    2. BioSand Water Filter
    3. Commercialization and marketing of water treatment technology.
  • Geographic Areas:

    Calgary area
    Edmonton area
    Red Deer area
    Southeast, including Lethbridge and Medicine Hat

  • Location: Calgary, AB
  • Short Bio:

    Because I know how to provide safe drinking water for disadvantaged communities worldwide I am driven to pursue this objective.  Because I can do it I must do it.
    My work matters because the provision of safe drinking water (potable water in general) saves lives and improves lives.
    There are millions of Bio-Sand water filters (my technology – freely given) being used world wide.   It is probable that a thousand or more are being constructed every day – providing improving the lives of several thousand people every day.

Dr. Randy Mikula

  • Dr. Randy Mikula
  • Organization: Research Scientist (PhD), Kalium Research
  • ASTech Awards: Mikula, Dr. Randy, Winner, 2013 Oil Sands
  • Area of Expertise: Oil Sands Research
  • Presentation Topics:

    The History and Future of Oil Sands Tailings Management
    Oil Sands Environmental Challenges

  • Geographic Areas:

    Throughout Alberta

  • Location: Edmonton, AB
  • Short Bio:

    Randy Mikula is the former team leader of the department of Natural Resources research effort on oil sands tailings. Over 30 years in oil sands extraction and tailings research has bred a passion for environmental issues associated with the development of Canada’s oil sands resource. The polarization that has developed between environmental and industry interests often leaves the public with misconceptions about the consequences of oil sands development.

    Dr. Mikula is currently principal scientist at Kalium Research, a new company devoted to responsible development of Canada’s oil sands resource, and is uniquely positioned to present an unbiased and non-judgmental view about the state of the industry.

Jonathan Neufeld

  • Jonathan Neufeld
  • Organization: Chief Executive Officer, TECTERRA
  • ASTech Awards: TECTERRA Inc., Finalist, 2014 Community
  • Area of Expertise: Start-Up/Entrepreneurship
  • Presentation Topics:

    Technology, Innovation and Commercialization
    Trends in Geomatics
    The TECTERRA Model of Innovation Support

  • Geographic Areas:

    Throughout Alberta

  • Location: Calgary, AB
  • Short Bio:

    Jonathan Neufeld joined TECTERRA in 2011 to create a world-leading geomatics lab facility and training program. As a result, the geomatics lab has been able to assist hundreds of companies acorss Canada to test and develop new technology. He provides direction and leadership in the definition, execution and management of TECTERRA’s investment and funding programs.

    He holds a B.Sc and an MBA. He is the father of three small children and an avid hiker, climber and cyclist. He is passionate about where technology will take us into the future.

Dr. Shawna Pandya

  • Shawna Pandya
  • Organization: Alberta Health Services / University of Alberta
  • ASTech Awards: Ms. Shawna Pandya, Finalist, 2009 Tomorrow
  • Area of Expertise: Innovation, Big Ideas and the Future
  • Presentation Topics:

    Innovation
    Technology and the Future of Medicine
    Turning Ideas into Reality

  • Geographic Areas:

    Throughout Alberta
    Outside Alberta

  • Location: Edmonton, AB
  • Short Bio:

    Hang out in 0g? Check. Work at NASA? Check. Perform brain surgery? Check. Pilot a plane? Check. Found a company based on a challenge to positively impact 1 billion people? Check., and check.

    For Dr. Shawna Pandya, life has just been one adventure after another, and she is just getting started. Armed with backgrounds in neuroscience, space, entrepreneurship and medicine, Dr. Pandya has led a life devoted to technology, innovation, social development and of course, adventure!

Dr. Ding-Yu Peng

  • Dr. Ding-Yu Peng
  • Organization: University of Saskatchewan
  • ASTech Awards: Peng, Dr. Ding-Yu, Finalist, 2015 Oil Sands
  • Area of Expertise: Oil Sands Research
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. Thermodynamics, Energy and Environment
    2. Mathematical Modelling of the Behaviour of Petroleum Systems
  • Geographic Areas:
    Throughout Alberta
    Outside Alberta
  • Location: Saskatoon, SK
  • Short Bio:

    My expertise is in the applied thermodynamics. My research is driven by my pursuit of excellence with a view to serve the human kind and conserve the environment. By sharing my knowledge with the researchers in academic and industrial sectors, I have made significant impact on the quality of life through environmental and economical benefits to our society.

Dr. Alex Ramirez-Serrano

  • Organization: Founder & President, 4Front Robotics
  • ASTech Awards: Ramirez-Serrano, Dr. Alex, Winner, 2014 Applied Technology
  • Area of Expertise: Applied Technology: Unmanned Aerial Drones and Ground Vehicles
  • Presentation Topics:
    1. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Present and Future)
    2. Commercial Applications of Drones
  • Geographic Areas:

    Calgary area
    Edmonton area
    Red Deer area
    Southeast, including Lethbridge and Medicine Hat
    Outside Alberta

  • Location: Calgary, AB
  • Short Bio:

    Dr. Alex Ramirez-Serrano is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Calgary and a driving force behind 4Front Robotics. For the past 15 years, his lab at U of C has researched the design and control of unmanned vehicle systems for complex environments. In 2012 Dr. Ramirez-Serrano founded 4Front Robotics, a Canadian UVS company developing fully autonomous highly maneuverable unmanned systems for confined environments applied to civilian commercial use such as mining, oil and gas, search and rescue and urban policing. Environments might include collapsed buildings, urban canyons and beneath tree cover.

    Dr. Ramirez-Serrano has a strong technical background supported by a Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering, two Masters degrees and a Doctoral degree.

    The work of Dr. Ramirez-Serrano is important because it provides tools to solve problems the current technologies cannot, reduce the cost of performing tasks in complex environments and reduce the time to accomplish the job.

Remi Schmaltz

  • Remi Schmaltz
  • Organization: CEO and Co-Founder, Decisive Farming
  • ASTech Awards: Decisive Farming, Winner, 2014 Agriculture
  • Area of Expertise: Agriculture
  • Presentation Topics:

    Precision Agriculture
    Big Data on the Farm
    Starting a High Growth Business in Alberta

  • Geographic Areas:

    Throughout Alberta

  • Location: Irricana, AB
  • Short Bio:

    A dynamic ag-business leader with a true entrepreneurial passion. He has a love of agriculture, technology, sales and marketing. When it comes to knowing the agriculture industry and its history he has a proven track record of success. In 2006, Remi and his brother took over the family ag-retail (Dynagra) and starting incubating the next technologies in farming. Those services grew to the point that in 2011; they bought the division from the family and launched Decisive Farming. Then in 2012 they sold the family business (DynAgra) to a fortune 500 company, CHS Inc.

    The Schmaltz family has been involved in ag business for over 100 years and 4 generations; always leading agriculture to the next level of efficiency and profitability. It all started with the Schmaltz’s farming in the late 1800’s in the Beiseker area (Alberta). The farm soon evolved into selling short line farm equipment and then Remi’s great grandfather expanded into a Ford and Massey Harrison farm equipment dealership called Beiseker Motors. Remi’s grandfather Felix joined Beiseker Motors and soon found the next innovation on the farm; fertilizer. That side business grew quickly and Felix soon opened Beiseker Agri Services, an ag-retail business. In the 70’s, Remi’s father Bruce took over the business and expanded it to 4 locations. Today, we  are leading the charge once again with AgTech.

Michael Sikorsky

  • Michael Sikorsky
  • Organization: Robots and Pencils
  • ASTech Awards: Robots and Pencils Inc., Finalist, 2015 Commercial
  • Area of Expertise: Technology
  • Presentation Topics:

    Myths in the Mobile Enterprise
    The Future is Here: What You Need to Know About the Coming Era of Anticipatory Apps and Talking Robots

  • Geographic Areas:

    Calgary area
    Edmonton area
    Outside Alberta

  • Location: Calgary, AB
  • Short Bio:

    Michael is the CEO and co-founder of Robots and Pencils. With 15 years of experience creating software and a deep understanding of the mobile industry, he is a recognized leader, innovator and strategic thinker in the mobile tech space.

    Michael leads a team of triple-A developers and designers (robots and pencils, respectively) who have been created over 250 apps used by 77 million people worldwide. Founded in 2009 with the vision that mobile will be more transformative than the Internet, the team has built a reputation for creating top-ranking consumer apps, transformative enterprise apps and world-first learning platforms. With a growth rate of 4971 % over five years, Robots and Pencils was named the 34th fastest growing technology company in North America by Deloitte.

Dr. Steven Tannas

  • Dr. Steven Tannas
  • Organization: Tannas Conservation Services Ltd.
  • ASTech Awards: Tannas Conservation Services, Finalist, 2015 Environment
  • Area of Expertise: Environment
  • Presentation Topics:

    Restoration Ecology: Restoring Natural Ecosystems after Industrial Development in Western Canada
    Rangeland Managment: The Art of Science of Integrating Ranching with Ecosystem Management
    Soil Bioengineering: Bank Stabilization of Prairie Water Courses

  • Geographic Areas:

    Throughout Alberta
    Outside Alberta

  • Location: Cremona, AB
  • Short Bio:

    I have been conducting environmental assessments since the late 1990’s and has specialized in plant identification and managing native plant communities. I have an integrated academic training in vegetation, wetlands, soils, rangeland management, reclamation, mapping, and ecosustem management. With hundreds of thousands of hectares of land surveyed, I have been able to help preserve numerous natural ecosystems across western Canada and pioneer new methods to restore these ecosystems. Innovation is one of the driving forces behind all of my work whether regarding developing new restoration techniques, new assessment methods, or new propagation methods for native plants. In addition to my work as an environmental consultant, I have been able to contribute to training a new generation of environmental scientists through teaching and working with an academic institution. My work has led to new methods of plan community restoration, and new methods of assessing ecosystem health for Parks Canada and two successful businesses.