2018 Speakers List
Peter has decades of experience working in the environmental movement and in senior management of private companies with demonstrable results. He has been a senior executive in government, industry associations, and businesses that have benefited from his extensive knowledge and experience in the energy sector. In addition to this, Peter is very passionate about supporting the development of new organizations and the next generation of environmental leaders in the public and private sectors. Currently, Peter is the Chair of the Ontario Climate Consortium and Adjunct Professor in York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies. He provides service to various for profit and non profit boards and was recently appointed to the new Energy Efficiency Alberta board.
Dr. James Cotton
Dr. James Cotton is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at McMaster University and Associate Director of the McMaster Institute for Energy Studies (MIES). He is a leading researcher in energy harvesting and in the emerging fields of thermal energy recovery, storage and electrohydrodynamics. His research focuses on developing, modeling and experimentally validating technologies to advance efficient thermal management solutions and integrated community energy and harvesting systems. Dr. Cotton’s research and industry experience involves nearly all aspects of the energy network, ranging from improving the power conversion of automotive power trains, waste heat recovery from commercial and industrial processes, and enhancing energy efficiency in buildings. He has authored/co-authored over 80 peer reviewed journal and conference papers, has 3 granted patents, one filed and 4 in-process invention disclosures. During the past six years he has trained over 35 graduate students and researchers. He is the Principal of a consulting company ThERM Solutions and is in the process of forming a spin-off company, HARvEST Systems, directly related to Energy Harvesting. Dr. Cotton has liaised with a wide variety of communities and commercial partners to establish community energy plans, to identify the problems facing industry, and to develop technology road maps to address these challenges. He is a member of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the award-winning Burlington Community Energy Plan and has advised Burlington Hydro and other Ontario power producers on emerging technologies and utilization strategies. Dr. Cotton co-leads the Thermal Management Research Laboratory (TMRL) at McMaster and is presently working on establishing an Energy Research Cooperative with 17 partners focusing on Integrated Energy and Harvesting Systems as a Pathway to Low Carbon Communities.
Aryan worked in the Big Data/Data Analytics/Middleware/Storage sector for the last 18+ years for corporations like Toronto Stock Exchange, Canadian Depository for Securities, TSX Venture Exchange, TSX Trust, Economical Insurance, Extendicare, Direct Energy and E-health Ontario and Lehman Brothers. He is the Founder of Blockchain Mind, a Toronto based hardware/software blockchain firm. He is an expert in developing Cryptocurrency Exchanges, Smart Contracts and Token Offerings.
As VP of Conservation with Canada’s largest municipally-owned electricity distributor, Raegan is accountable for leading the planning and implementation of Alectra's $400-million conservation program portfolio, for meeting government-set conservation targets, as well as for being a thought leader and advocate for next generation conservation programs and policy. Prior to joining Alectra, Raegan worked at the Ontario Power Authority, where she held a variety of conservation-related roles including: program management, results reporting and providing strategic planning and policy support to the government. Prior to joining the OPA, Raegan was Senior Consultant with IndEco Strategic Consulting, where she worked on a wide range of energy-related projects for private sector, public sector and non-profit clients. Raegan currently serves as a Board Member of the Association of Energy Services Professionals, and was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees for Ontario’s Affordability Fund Trust. She has a BSc in Environmental Science from the University of Guelph and a MSc in Environmental Change & Management from the University of Oxford, England.
As VP, Regulatory Affairs, Indy has over 17 years of experience in the electricity sector in varied positions including strategy, rates, regulatory affairs, government relations, privacy, compliance, strategic business development, energy-related application projects, asset management, corporate planning, and finance. Indy now leads the Regulatory Affairs department for the newly formed Alectra Utilities. Indy is a primary strategist behind developing policy positions for emerging issues from the Ontario Energy Board, Ministry of Energy, and IESO. Indy led the submission of a Merger, Amalgamation, Acquisition and Divestiture (MAADS) Application for Alectra’s merger, the largest electricity utility consolidation in Ontario’s history. She also led the development of evidence for application filings and defense, and provided evidence as an expert witness during proceedings. Indy has previously held senior roles at Horizon Utilities, Carbon Capital Management, EPCOR and Direct Energy. As a recognized industry leader, Indy is Chair of the Canadian Electricity Association’s Regulatory Innovation Task Group and is Co-Chair of the Ontario Energy Association’s Regulatory Committee, and Vice Chair of the Electricity Distributors Association’s Regulatory Council. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Strategy from McMaster University.
As President of Karen Farbridge and Associates, Dr. Karen Farbridge has over twenty-five years of experience leading community innovation. She has a diverse background working in complex multi-stakeholder environments to bring about change. KFA specializes in supporting communities in the energy transition offering consulting government relations, community engagement and collaborative leadership development. Her experience includes seventeen years in municipal politics, eleven as the mayor of Guelph, a city which gained a reputation for sustainability under her leadership. Karen is a thoughtful change agent who effectively challenges status quo thinking to encourage new conversations and inspire innovation. She is well connected in the municipal and community energy sector in Canada.
Raheel is the Engineering Section Manager for the Monitoring and Diagnostic Centre, under Engineering Strategies at Ontario Power Generation. Before taking this position, Raheel held several positions as Acting Section Manager at Darlington Nuclear Generating Station at Ontario Power Generation. He was also the first Associate Host peer for WANO in 2016. Earlier, as a System Engineer, Raheel advocated for proactive maintenance on Darlington station’s electrical systems. Raheel has also held numerous High Impact Team lead positions to resolve critical troubleshooting challenges at Darlington Nuclear generating station. Currently, Raheel is the lead for implementing the Fleet-wide monitoring initiative at Ontario Power Generation (Nuclear and Renewable generation). Raheel holds a degree of Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Electrical Engineering from University of Ontario and Institute of Technology (UOIT). After joining the industry, Raheel was motivated to pursue further education in Nuclear Engineering. Which is why he enrolled in an accelerated Masters in Nuclear Engineering program at UOIT, and will be graduating in June 2018. Raheel’s motivation led him to join NAYGN Durham Chapter in 2015 and since then Raheel has led numerous events for public outreaches and professional development. Last year, he moved on to NAYGN Canada, Executive lead on Professional development and is currently spear-heading their High-school outreach program.
Karissa Palinka is a recently-graduated chemical engineer currently employed at Ontario Power Generation’s Pickering Nuclear Generating Station as an Environmental Qualification (EQ) specialist. While she has always been interested in the energy sector, she was originally anticipating employment in the oil & gas industry upon graduation. Upon attending an energy conference at her undergraduate university where she learned of the disruptive innovation advances in the sustainable energy field, and the environmental benefits Ontario has seen since eliminating carbon energy, Karissa changed her career aspirations. Since educating herself in the field of nuclear energy, Karissa has become an advocate for the role of nuclear in Canada’s energy portfolio through membership in North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN) Durham Chapter, the Society of Energy Professionals’ Young Professionals Network, and via social media platforms including Twitter and LinkedIn. She hopes that participation in the McMaster Energy Conference can similarly inspire undergraduate students to pursue sustainable energy careers.
Alim Baytekin graduated from Carleton University Faculty of Engineering, and is employed at Ontario Power Generation as a Resident Engineer at Darlington Nuclear Generation Station (DNGS), dedicated to the Refurbishment Project. I am a qualified design engineer and the single point of engineering contact for 10 new buildings in DNGS campus for refurbishment. I have been with the NAYGN Durham Chapter since 2014. After the first year of training and active involvement as a member at large, I carried the torch as the President of the NAYGN Durham chapter from 2015 to 2017. At the Durham chapter, I help the team successfully execute many events; including, but not limited to, professional development sessions, lunch and learns, visits to nuclear facilities, regulatory hearings, hands on workshops, and monthly meetings.
Bernie is Senior Manager Corporate Sustainability and Strategic Initiatives with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). In this current role, Bernie is responsible for developing and leading a variety of sector based sustainable community programs. This includes partnership with the private sector to develop and deliver sector based energy efficiency programs including Greening Health Care, Mayors’ Megawatt Challenge and the Sustainable Schools initiative. In addition Bernie is responsible for managing the TRCA’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting program. Bernie has more than 28 years of experience working in the field of environmental science. His experience includes environmental assessment and development of biological treatment in the mining industry, resource management with the federal and provincial governments, and watershed management with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. In 2000 Bernie worked with senior management at the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority on the development of The Living City vision and program for sustainability at a city region scale. Bernie received an Honours B.Sc. in Zoology and a M.Sc. from the University of Manitoba in 1987.
Dr. Fahimeh Kazempour
Dr. Fahimeh Kazempour received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical Engineering, Control Systems, at the Isfahan University of Technology, in 2008 and 2010. She then joined the University of Toronto, in 2011, to pursue her PhD degree in Electrical Engineering, Energy Systems. During her doctoral research, she focused on modelling, analysis, and design of hierarchical control structures for virtual power plants. She is currently Technical Lead, Advanced Planning, at Alectra Utilities. In her role, she leads the design, deployment, and analysis of end-to-end solutions around emerging technologies in Smart Grids.
Shuvo Chowdhury serves as the Manager of Microgrid Technologies at Alectra Energy Solutions Inc. His particular focus is in utility grid, commercial/industrial and residential scale microgrids that incorporate battery energy storage technologies and their accompanying Energy Management Systems. Shuvo has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Mechatronics from the University of Toronto. Prior to joining the Alectra Energy Solutions team, he was employed by Quanta Technology. In his capacity as senior engineer at Quanta, he worked on R&D and pilot projects for a number of North American Utilities such as SDG&E, Xcel Energy and National Grid.
Paul N. Acchione
Paul is a Senior management consultant with over 44 years of engineering and management experience in the nuclear and fossil power generation industry. He is recognized for expertise in building high performance project and support teams, motivating staff to achieve world class performance, introducing new technology and methods that dramatically improved team productivity and plant cost and performance. Paul was made a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE) in 2014. He has held several high-level positions at Ontario Hydro and Ontario Power Generation.
Umair joined SNC-Lavalin's Nuclear team in 2016 as a Marketing, Strategy & External Relations Support. In this role, Umair was primarily involved with the company's marketing and business development strategies. Umair is currently the Marketing, Strategy and External Relations Coordinator for SNC-Lavalin’s Civil Nuclear business unit. Umair joined SNC-Lavalin after graduating from University of Victoria's Master of Global Business (MGB) program. The MGB program involved extensive travelling, learning and exposure through exchange semesters in France and South Korea. He previously completed a Master's in Management Studies and a Bachelor's of Commerce from University of Mumbai, India.
Lynn joined the City of Burlington in 2001 and is currently the project lead to coordinate the implementation of Burlington’s first Community Energy Plan, working in partnership with Burlington Hydro and a number of community stakeholders. The plan has a number of goals and objectives to ensure Burlington is energy efficient, has a secure and sustainable supply of energy, and is reducing its carbon footprint. Over the years, she has worked with city staff, council and community groups to develop and implement several sustainability policies, programs and strategies, such as an anti-idling by-law and awareness campaign, a corporate energy policy, a waste reduction strategy, a green fleet transition strategy, a corporate sustainable building policy, and a green procurement policy. She is also staff advisor to the Burlington Sustainable Development Committee, a volunteer citizen committee which advises city council and engages the community on sustainable development related issues. Prior to joining the City, Lynn worked with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for nine years. She is a graduate of Ryerson’s School of Urban and Regional Planning.
My work is focused on developing practical policy solutions to climate change through collaborative efforts. I am particularly interested in strategies to develop all renewable energy sources to their full potential and in finding new ways to communicate effectively about solutions to climate change and energy problems. During my work outside of academia I have observed first hand the growing need for professionals with better training to address environmental problems. That is why I decided to join FES and become part of an outstanding group of people which are in the unique position to collaborate in the education of the next generations of problem-solvers and innovators. Currently as Co-Chair of the Sustainable Energy Initiative of the Faculty of Environmental Studies, I am working on efforts to advance the Global Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy in key cities in Canada and internationally. More specifically, we are developing with the best national and international partners the new International Renewable Energy Academy (IREA) which will provide unique opportunities based on experiential learning. IREA will be held June 19-23 2017 at York University and Oxford County (Oxford County is Ontario's first community aiming to achieve 100% renewable energy and zero waste).
Dr. Samir Chidiac
Dr. Samir Edmond Chidiac is a Professor of Civil Engineering at McMaster University and Fellow in the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering. Professor Chidiac received his Ph.D. from McMaster in 1988, worked at the University of British Columbia and National Research Council Canada before returning to McMaster in 1999. He has over 100 refereed technical publications in the areas of applied mechanics, material modelling and energy. His current research is on sustainability with a focus on developing predictive tools for improving and controlling the quality and durability of concrete, energy efficiencies of building facilities, use of post consumer waste in
civil engineering construction, and developing new material and systems. He is the recipient of 2014 MCR Price for best paper in the journal Magazine of Concrete Research. He is the Co-founder of the $10M McMaster Center for Effective Design of Structures. He has been a Guest Editor to the Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering and the Journal of Cement and Concrete Composite; has chaired conferences and workshops; and sits on many international technical committees such as ACI, CSA, CIB, and IEA.