Lauren MercierLauren holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Calgary and a BSc. in Chemistry from the University of Waterloo. She completed postdoctoral work at the Universities of Laval, Ulm (Germany), and Alberta. She is a recipient of the JSPS/NSERC Summer Studentship Award, held at the University of Nagoya in Nagoya, Japan and the Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship held at the University of Ulm in Ulm, Germany. Exposure to applied research gave Lauren the drive to pursue a career in Business Development, which started with her role as the Network Strategic Lead at the Biorefining Conversions Network, a research network based at the University of Alberta that focused on commercialization of bioconversion technologies. She then continued down this career path, taking on a BD Specialist position with Mitacs and WCIO based at TEC Edmonton/University of Alberta. Lauren works to connect industry and academia and build collaborative research projects that drive innovation in Canada. In her spare time, Lauren plays the cello in a community orchestra and hangs out with her puppy.
Puneet MannanPuneet has joined Innovate Calgary as the WCIO Senior Business Development Manager. He holds an MBA degree from the University of Calgary and a Chemical Engineering degree from Panjab University, and is a certified Project Management Professional. He brings to the WCIO team skills related with technology commercialization, project management and techno-economic evaluation of technologies in energy, carbon capture and utilization and chemical processing industries. Some of his unique engagements involving multiple stakeholders in the innovation system include investigating waste heat recovery from post-SAGD reservoirs, natural gas decarborisation technologies, and technical and economic feasibility of geothermal technology and energy storage in Alberta. In his current role with Innovate Calgary he works closely with the Universities of Calgary and Lethbridge, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Lethbridge College, WCIO and other Alberta based innovation partners for accelerating cross-border industry-academic collaborations.
Susanna WongSusanna Wong is an engineering professional with research and innovation, product development, and project management experience in the energy and chemical industries. She has graduated with a MSc. in Chemical Engineering and a Certificate in Business Administration at Texas A&M University, College Station; and a BSc. in Chemical Engineering at University of California, San Diego.
Her industrial experiences include engineering research and petrochemical formulation in the oil & gas industry in Canada and the United States; collaboration with academic institutes and industries for micro-emulsion technology development for the energy sector, engineering processes optimization in the pharmaceutical manufacturing business in the United States, program management in electronics manufacturing plants in China, and data management for drug discovery in pharmaceutical industry in San Diego.
Susanna has started taking the business development role and joined Western Canadian Innovation Offices (WCIO) as a BD Specialist at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).
Amin AzizniaAmin Aziznia is Professional Engineer (Ph.D., P.Eng.) with +9 years of research, development, and administrative experience in academia, industry and government sectors. Interested in R&D and the commercialization of emerging technologies. Amin is currently a business development specialist at Mitacs Inc. and the Western Canadian Innovation Offices (WCIO), assisting businesses in the development of numerous collaborative research projects which, as of December 2016, are in excess of $1.7M.
Brent WennekesWennekes is a skilled communicator, project and business manager, and researcher with a career background in technology, research, innovation, and commercialization. His past experiences include performing as vice-president of Innovate Manitoba and director with the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Association of Internet Providers, as well as founding/operating a small business while attaining his post-secondary education. Since 2010, Wennekes has played a significant role in raising the profile of Red River College’s research and innovation capabilities while helping strategically grow those capabilities with additional resources, and managing programs and projects where industry, students, and faculty come together to solve problems and innovate.
Wennekes supports several committees and not-for-profit organizations, including the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce’s Innovation Council, North Forge’s Startup Weekend planning committee, Electric Mobility Canada’s membership and communications committee, and Tech-Access Canada; he is also a mentor with the Canadian social mentor network. His professional work has led Wennekes to develop an extensive network within, and understanding of, Manitoba’s startup and innovation communities, as well as Canada’s research and innovation ecosystems.
Forough KhademForough holds a PhD in Immunology (University of Manitoba) and a Master and Bachelor degree in plant science (Tarbiat Modares University and University of Tehran, respectively). She has a strong diverse professional and scientific track record and has received many prestigious research scholarships and travel awards. She has pronounced international insight and experience in business development, communication, collaborative partnership and team building, leadership, and marketing as she has studied, worked and volunteered in private and non-profit organizations/companies and educational/academic institutes in Iran, New Zealand and Canada. She has been involved in Manitoba's vibrant innovative research, technology and startup community in the past seven years. Forough is the Business Development Specialist at "Mitacs" and "Western Canadian Innovation Offices (WCIO) - University of Manitoba Technology Transfer Office (TTO)". In this role, she hopes to assist translate/commercialize bench side research to applicable products via bridging academia to industry and promoting collaborative research.
Terry PeckhamTerry Peckham has his PhD in Computer Science and has been working at Saskatchewan Polytechnic for the past 12 years. He has been involved in various roles with his most recent work developing and coordinating the Digital Integration Research Group at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. Terry is currently working for the University of Saskatchewan, University of Regina and Saskatchewan Polytechnic in conjunction with the WCIO as a Research and Innovation Specialist.