2019 Innovation Nation Conference – Keynote Speakers

Ms. Isabelle Tremblay
Director, Astronauts, Life Science and Medicine
Canadian Space Agency






ross lockwood

Ross Lockwood, PhD

Ross Lockwood is a scientist with a passion for learning, experimentation, and scientific outreach. He graduated with a PhD in Condensed Matter Physics from the University of Alberta, and has served as systems and communications engineer on the NASA-funded HI-SEAS Mars Simulation, a spacesuit tester for the Project PoSSUM microgravity simulation, and as a guinea pig for a multitude scientific studies on how space travel affects the human mind and body. Ross recently finished work on a Massive Open Online Course called Black Holes 101, which is available for free on Coursera.org.




Christopher S. Langley, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Senior Engineer, Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Robotics and Automation

Chris Langley is a Senior Engineer in the Guidance, Navigation, and Control department at MacDonald, Dettwiler, and Associates (MDA) in Brampton, Ontario. He has 14 years of experience working on research and development of autonomous systems. Dr. Langley co-lead the guidance and navigation design for the Mars Exploration Science Rover (MESR) and the “Hercules” Lunar Exploration Light Rover (LELR), planetary rover prototypes which were delivered to the Canadian Space Agency in 2012. He was the technical lead for the System of Autonomous Planning and Intelligent ExecutioN Technologies (SAPIENT) R&D program, which developed a proof-of-concept architecture for autonomous robotic operations in deep space, where communication latency and availability prevent the traditional methods of ground control used for Canadarm2 and Dextre from being applied. Currently he is engaged in systems engineering for the next generation of Canadian space manipulators, called Deep Space eXploration Robotics (DSXR), envisioned to reside on an international lunar orbiting platform.

Dr. Langley holds a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, and is a Professional Engineer.

The Most Interesting Arm in Space
How do you maintain a space station with no one on-board – especially when you can only communicate with it once a week? This talk will describe how technologies originally conceived for Mars rovers, naval warfare, and video games are being tagged for use by the next generation of Canadian space robotic manipulator.

Dr. Michael Plaza
The Frost Study
“Less is more with cryoablation of breast cancers,” said Dr. Michael Plaza, breast radiologist and FROST trial investigator at the Diagnostic Center for Women in Miami. “This study is an important step that may lead to a new era in which we treat early stage breast cancer with minimally invasive cryoablation, rather than lumpectomy or mastectomy. We hope that cryoablation will prove to be as effective as surgery, but without the need for general anesthesia and prolonged recovery time.”

To find out more about the FROST clinical study, visit clinicaltrials.gov. To find a physician who specializes in this procedure, contact Sanarus Technologies at 800-909-3060 or send an email to: support@sanarus.com.

Dr. Natalia K. Nikolova
Canada Research Chair in High-frequency Electromagnetics
Dipl. Eng. (Technical University of Varna, Varna, Bulgaria)
Ph.D. (University of Electro-Communications, Tokyo, Japan)

Fellow of the IEEE, Fellow of the CAE
P.Eng. (ON)

Natalia K. Nikolova received the Dipl. Eng. (Radioelectronics) degree from the Technical University of Varna, Bulgaria, in 1989, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Electro-Communications, Tokyo, Japan, in 1997. She is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at McMaster University. Her research team works on problems in inverse scattering, radar imaging, as well as aspects of the computer-aided analysis and design of antennas and high-frequency electronic components. Prof. Nikolova is a Canada Research Chair in High-frequency Electromagnetics. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.


Dr. Sri Krishnan
Associate Dean, Research and External Partnerships
Ryerson University

Prof. Sri Krishnan joined Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada in 1999, and currently he is an Associate Dean (Research and External Partnerships) in the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science. Sri Krishnan is also the Co-director of the Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Science and Technology (iBEST), a joint research and innovation institute between Ryerson University and St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto. From 2007-2017 he was a Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Signal Analysis. His research expertise are in areas of wearable design, biomedical signal processing, and machine learning. Sri Krishnan is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and a recipient of many awards including the Outstanding Canadian Biomedical Engineer Award, Achievement in Innovation Award from Innovate Calgary, Sarwan Sahota Distinguished Scholar Award from Ryerson University, Young Engineer Achievement Award from Engineers Canada, and eight best research paper awards. He is a registered professional engineer in the province of Ontario.


Mini Thomas
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department,
Mohawk College

Mini Thomas is the Coordinator and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Mohawk College, and Researcher of the mHealth & eHealth Development and Innovation Centre (MEDIC), which specializes in the implementation of innovative digital health solutions to improve patient quality of life and care. Her current researches are mainly focussed on data monitoring and analysis for detection and prediction of seizures. The data analysis are applied to generalized tonic clonic seizures for epilepsy patients. She has presented her work in conference, and results are being published in IEEE paper. Her research is being supported by Mohawk College’s IDeaWORKS Catalyst Fund and Medic Lab.

Mini is a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.), and is doing her PhD in software engineering at McMaster University. She received her Master’s degree with distinction in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.

Mini believes in taking initiatives to “Be the change and Make the Difference”

For more information, visit: qa.linkedin.com/in/thomasmini

Emma Mogus

Emma Mogus is a 20-year-old student, inventor, and philanthropist. At the age of 13, she and her sister Julia cofounded Books With No Bounds which has distributed over 250 000 books and 100 000 school supplies to Indigenous children in remote northern locations in Canada, as well as Ghana, Uganda, India, the Philippines, Pakistan, and more worldwide. Her humanitarian efforts made her a Queen’s diamond jubilee recipient when she was only 15, amongst other distinguished honors.

Through her passion to help those in need, she was inspired by a friend with ALS to design and invent a tongue controlled computer mouse for those with ALS, MS, or other physical and communicative limitations. Her invention is called TiC, short for Tongue Interface Communication. At the age of 17 she competed at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, where she placed 3rd worldwide in Biomedical Engineering. She was a recipient of the Ontario Science Centre’s 2016 Weston Youth Innovation Award and last September appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where she showcased her invention to the world.

Jennifer Buchli
NASA International Space Station, Acting Deputy Chief Scientist
“Exploring New Frontiers: Science on the International Space Station”

Jennifer is the focal lead for life sciences and leads international life science collaborations for the ISS Program Science Office. Her background is biotechnology. She has served as both Principal Investigator and Payload Developer for ISS flight investigations. Her previous NASA experience includes life support and emergency instructor and flight control in the Flight Operations Directorate. Prior to joining NASA, Jennifer worked in stem cell transplantation research.