2019 Innovation Nation Conference – Keynote Speakers
Director, Astronauts, Life sciences and space medicine, Canadian Space Agency
For more than 20 years, Isabelle Tremblay has devoted her career to space exploration, with the conviction that this audacious quest, intrinsic to humans, has the power to project us into the future, to catalyze innovation and to unite us.
As the Director, Astronauts, Life Sciences and Space Medicine, Isabelle is accountable for Canada’s participation in human spaceflight missions. This includes Canadian astronauts, operational space medicine, as well as Canada’s utilization of the International Space Station (ISS), which is centered on health and life sciences research to identify, characterize and mitigate health risks associated with spaceflight. Currently, her team is also evaluating potential contributions in the area of health and biomedical technologies for deep space exploration, beyond Earth orbit, such as to the Moon and Mars.
Previously, Isabelle worked as a research and development engineer in space robotics and as a senior engineer and technical lead for Canadian contributions to international planetary exploration and astronomy missions, namely NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander, which operated on Mars in 2008, and the James Webb Space Telescope, Hubble’s successor, scheduled for launch in 2021.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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
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.
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department,
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 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.
Liz Warren, Ph.D. is an Associate Program Scientist for the ISS National Laboratory, the organization that enables access to the International Space Station to a broad range of U.S. commercial, academic, and government users. This unique platform takes us beyond the current thresholds of science, engineering, technology, and education to create a more vibrant and thriving future for all citizens of the planet.
Dr. Warren was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and attended the University of California at Davis for both her undergraduate and doctoral degrees in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology. For her doctoral work, she investigated the effects of gravity as a continuum on energy balance in a rodent model. She completed post-doctoral work in cancer biology at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Laboratory of Cell Growth, and in the Neuroscience Laboratory at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. She has performed a variety of roles at NASA, including serving as Deputy Project Scientist for the NASA Bed Rest and Artificial Gravity Projects. Dr. Warren also spent several years as an Operations Lead in Mission Control for the ISS Medical Project. Liz is a passionate science communicator and an advocate for human spaceflight and STEM.
Allan F. Miranda
Head of JLABS, Canada
As Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS in Canada, Allan is responsible for external engagement, innovation sourcing, company onboarding, portfolio management, operational excellence, educational programming and P&L. He catalyzes and supports the translation of science and technology into valuable solutions for patients and consumers across the pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and healthtech sectors.
Allan joined the JLABS team from Janssen Canada, where he has spent the last 12 years in positions of increasing responsibility in business development, marketing and market access. His most recent role was Therapeutic Lead Immunology and Primary Care where he was responsible for market access strategy for a complex product portfolio exceeding $1 billion. Allan started his career at PARTEQ Innovations, the technology transfer arm of Queen’s University at Kingston where he was responsible for technology assessment and new company start-up. He then moved to Paladin Labs, where he successfully completed numerous in-licensing transactions for specialty pharmaceutical products for the Canadian market. Allan subsequently worked in business development for two early stage biotechnology companies in Canada leading their business development and partnering initiatives prior to joining Janssen.
Allan received his Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology from Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario and his MBA from McGill University in Finance and Strategy.
Actress, Singer, Songwriter, Speaker
Kate Todd has been a working artist in the entertainment industry for over 17 years. Her extensive resume and wide range of abilities have landed her roles on award winning TV shows throughout her vibrant career. Never one to be put into a box, Kate has played a vast array of characters and has landed lead roles in several hit TV shows including but not limited to: ‘Radio Free Roscoe,’ ‘Life With Derek’ and ‘My Babysitters A Vampire’. She has worked alongside names such as Ellen Page in the dramatic film ‘The Tracy Fragments’ directed by Bruce McDonald and award winning actor Ving Rhames in ‘Saving God.’ Her voice acting talent has scored her credits on the hit show “Family Guy” and the popular video game franchise “Assassin’s Creed: Unity.” While on set throughout her young teens portraying the singer/songwriter ‘Shady Lane/Lily’ Kate taught herself herself guitar and to write songs. Upon returning to Canada from living and working in Los Angeles, Kate enrolled at York University on a scholarship studying toward her Bachelor of Music degree while continuing to teach and perform with her band both on TV and in concert. Todd has released two albums: ‘Finding My Way’ and ‘Anywhere With You’ under the world’s largest Independent Record Label, eOne Entertainment and most recently released her latest EP ‘One’ recorded at Villa Sound.
Kate’s caliber of songwriting has been recognized by the Canadian Songwriting Competition with multiple nominations and her music gained international attention in 2016 when she won ‘Versatile Entertainer of The Year’ at the Josie Music Awards held at the prestigious Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville TN. Her most recent EP release ‘One’ (Villa Sound) showcases Kate’s introspective side of songwriting and has allowed her to return to her alt country rock roots. Most recently, Kate was honoured to open for the legendary singer/songwriter Ron Sexsmith at the Historic Gayety Theatre in Collingwood, ON.
Throughout her career Kate has served as official spokesperson and keynote speaker at several events and charity fundraisers. She was honoured to represent Proctor & Gamble in launching their ‘Being Girl’ web campaign for young women and has been invited as a keynote speaker at various events such as the Ted Rogers School of Management conference at Ryerson University, Girl talk and has acted as host for the annual SIPO Foundation conference. She has also addressed the graduating media class at Guelph/Humber College at the Emerge TO conference and was invited to be the keynote speaker at the 2014 Geneva Park YMCA Leadership retreat.
In 2018 Kate was presented the International Women’s Achievers Award in recognition of her extensive community service and volunteer work. Since graduating university with a Media, Performance and Design degree and being honoured with an induction into the exclusive Golden Key International Honor Society for grade performance, Kate now resides in Washington, DC with her husband where she focuses her time on KTE, her music and acting coaching business Kate Todd Entertainment.
Artash Nath, 12 years
Arushi Nath, 9 years
We love music, making cool space projects and participating in hackathons (27 so far)! Five years ago, we participated in our first hackathon – the NASA SpaceApps Challenge at the Ontario Science Centre. Our project “Curious Bot” – an autonomous Mars rover made using Arduino won one of the top 5 NASA SpaceApps Award 2014.
It ignited our passion for space, and give us the confidence that science can turn our dreams into reality. We ended up making over 25 space projects: rovers, robots, battle bots, model rockets, and artificial intelligence algorithms, often mixing arts, science, and music. Our projects have won many awards including the NASA SpaceApps 2018, 2017, 2014, the Canadian Space Agency Space Apps 2017, Science Odyssey Grand Prize 2018, Emerald Code Grand Prize 2018, and the Jesse Ketchum Award 2018 by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (Toronto) for our science equipment made from Lunch Box to measure Total Solar Eclipse. But our favorite award was an invitation by the Canadian Space Agency for an exclusive visit to their headquarters in Montreal, to present our Canadian SpaceApps winning project “Yes I Can” (which uses data from RadarSat-2 satellite of Canada to make the Canada150 logo) and to meet the new astronauts.
We are passionate about communicating science and demonstrating our projects. In 2014, we co-founded the HotPopRobot initiative with our family to carry out science outreach to other kids, families, and schools. Our projects have been displayed at Maker Festival Toronto, MakerExpo Kitchener, Maker Festival Delhi, International Space Development Conference (USA), Toronto International Film Festival, Science Rendezvous, NASA Youth Space Apps, Ontario Science Centre, Toronto Reference Library and schools. Our projects have been featured on the cover page of Toronto Metro Newspaper, The Star, TVO Kids, CBC, and Global News.
Artash was a Speaker at the Science March Toronto 2018 while Arushi was a speaker for the International Day for Women and Girls in Science 2018 at the Ontario Science Centre.
We believe that the best way to learn science is by making things and then teaching others how to do it!
Social Media Handles: