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18 Apr

Rita Orji

Dr. Rita Orji is Computer Science Prof. at Dalhousie University. Her research is in the area of Human-Computer Interaction with a strong focus on designing applications for promoting health and wellness. She has published over 90 peer-reviewed papers. Her work has won several prestigious awards and funding, including Canadian Government Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grant, Banting Fellowship, Vanier Scholarship, the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Government of Turkey awards. Recently, she was recognized as one of the Top 150 Canadian Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), Canada Top 100 Black Women to Watch, Top 60 African Women in STEM, and also won a Digital Leadership Award as a Women Leader in Digital Economy.  She was also named among the top 50 Young Most Influential Best Brains in Enugu State, Nigeria, in 2017 and she won the ISRII Rising Star Award and Dalhousie Research Excellence Award in 2019. Dr. Orji has been interviewed and featured in major media, including Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), StarPhoenix on account of her work. She gave an invited talk to the Canadian Parliament and also at a United Nations Commission on the State of Women’s Panel. Above all, Dr. Orji is a Champion of diversity and inclusion in STEM through her numerous activities and using herself as a practical example. She founded the Education for Women and the Less Privileged foundation. She is passionate about inspiring the next generation of female tech. leaders; promoting research excellence; and equity, diversity, and inclusion in STEM.
18 Apr

Denise Pothier

Denise Pothier has a background in chemical engineering and more than twenty-five years of industry experience. She is currently the Vice President of Practice Services and the first-ever Vice President of Indigenous Relations at Stantec. She sits on the board of directors of Techsploration and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB); she serves on Engineers Canada’s Equitable Participation committee and is the current chair for the Indigenous Peoples articipation in engineering committee; and she serves on Engineers Nova Scotia’s Council and is the past-chair for the Women in Engineering committee. She is a recipient of 2016 the Canadian Progress Club Halifax Women of Excellence Award for Management and the Professions; was named as one of the 2018 Canada’s Inspiring Fifty women in STEM; and named one of 2018 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winners.

DENISE POTHIER (social media)
INSTAGRAM: @denisepothier (
Twitter: @denise_pothier

18 Apr

April Howe

April joined the Public Service Commission as Executive Director of People and Culture in late 2017. Prior to joining the PSC, she was a Partner with Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette for 15 years leading their Career and Leadership Solutions practice. April has an Executive MBA degree from Saint Mary’s University, Sobey School of Business and is a certified coach. Currently, April serves as a Director on boards of the Halifax Partnership, the IWK Foundation, the United Way Halifax Region, the Black Business Initiative, and the North End Community Health Center. A descendant of Africville, she was a founding board member and served as Chair of the Africville Heritage Trust.
18 Apr

Anya Waite

Dr. Waite was appointed Associate Vice-President Research (Ocean) of Dalhousie University and Scientific Director of Ocean Frontier Institute commencing Sept. 1, 2018. Previously, she served as Section Head of Polar Biological Oceanography at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven and as Professor of Oceanography in the Department of Biology at the University of Bremen.

After completing a BSc in biology in 1985 Dalhousie, she obtained her PhD in 1992 in biological oceanography at the University of British Columbia. She then held postdoctoral positions at WHOI (USA) and the Victoria University (New Zealand).

In 1997 Dr. Waite took a professorship at University of Western Australia in Perth, and was there for 17 years as a biological oceanographer. She was a research group leader in the Oceans Institute as well as teaching students in the Environmental Engineering program. Dr. Waite’s early work included participation in the first Southern Ocean iron fertilization experiment, SOIREE. After this, Dr. Waite’s work in the East Indian Ocean explored the dynamics of mesoscale eddies, the nitrogen cycle in oligotrophic systems and the biology of the spiny lobster larvae in Australian waters. Her current interests include nitrogen fluxes in polar oceans and particle dynamics in mesoscale eddies, and she is on the Project Board for the 2019-20 Arctic ice-drift program MOSAiC.

Dr. Waite was Board Member of the American Association for Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) from 2011 to 2014, and she currently serves on the Editorial Board of Limnology and Oceanography and as Proxy Editor-in-Chief. She is international advisor to the Board of Directors of the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre ACE CRC in Hobart, Australia, a member of the Norwegian Research Council Advisory Board, and a member of the Programme Advisory Group for the NERC Changing Arctic Ocean Research Programme. She is co-chair of the SCOR Working Group on biological observation systems, “P-OBS.” She has been on the Steering Committee of the Southern Ocean Observation System (SOOS) since 2017 and on the SOOS Executive Committee since 2018.

18 Apr

Mae Seto

Mae was born in Vancouver, B.C. She did her undergraduate degree in the Electrical Engineering option of Engineering Physics and her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering – both at the University of British Columbia. She tenured her NSERC Industrial Post-Doctoral Fellowship at ISE Research Ltd., one of the top designers and manufacturers of marine robots in the world. She continued to work for 3 years at ISE after her post-doctoral fellowship was complete.

Mae joined DRDC as a Defence Scientist in 2000. Her areas of expertise are in autonomy and control of robots (above, on, and under water), marine robots, underwater navigation and communication, underwater acoustics and towed body systems. In 2013 she was at MIT as a Research Scientist collaborating with the Marine Robotics Group in underwater robotic localization and mapping.

To perform in-water validation of her research, Dr. Seto was Chief or Principal Scientist on many scientific trials all over the world including one to the Canadian Arctic and most recently, Unmanned Warrior 2016 in Scotland. She has written many papers, book chapters, and articles in these areas as well as a Springer Verlag book for which she is editor and a contributor, Marine Robot Autonomy.

In 2017, Mae joined Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Engineering as an Associate Professor and Director of the Intelligent Systems Laboratory. She was also recently appointed the Irving Shipbuilding Research Chair in Marine Engineering and Autonomous Systems. Dr. Seto collaborates with academic and industrial partners in Canada, France, U.S. and U.K. Her areas of research include fundamental development and applications of marine autonomous robots to scientific, military and commercial purposes – the focus of today’s presentation. Dr. Seto is also a consultant to the Dept. of National Defence on marine autonomous robots and a member of NATO Working Groups in robotic control systems. She also contributes to the Observation Module within the Ocean Frontiers Institute.

18 Apr

Sheena Smith

Sheena has spent the past 15 years in production, delivery, sales, and client management. She currently leads the commercial and client services team at Azul Partners with a focus on innovative program design and expanding product offerings and client reach. Sheena spearheaded Azul’s internal Brand Studio agency, growing it to close to $1M revenue in its first two years. She also works as an expert brand consultant in her husband’s firm, Seamonster Consulting. Prior to Azul Partners, Sheena was a print producer and copyeditor at Publicis in the West, working on global campaigns with clients like Hewlett-Packard, T-Mobile, Citi Bank, and Washington State Lottery.

Sheena grew up in Seattle, WA and holds BAs in English Literature and Political Science from the University of Washington and an MA in English Literature from DePaul University. In her spare time, she collects and DJs rare soul 45s from the 1960’s, is a natural wine fanatic, and coaches and serves on the board of directors for Recovery on Water, a nonprofit rowing team for breast cancer survivors.

18 Apr

Stephany Lapierre

Stephany Lapierre is the Founder and CEO of Tealbook. A lifelong entrepreneur, Stephany is one of SCMA’s 100 Influential Women in Canadian Supply Chain and has won many awards for her innovative approach to supplier intelligence. Prior to Tealbook, Stephany built a successful procurement consulting firm focused on helping Fortune 500 companies improve strategic sourcing efficiencies. For more than a decade, Stephany was exposed to the costly and inefficient gap between enterprise buyers and suppliers. In 2014, she launched Tealbook to disrupt the business-to-business directory model by building the largest, most robust and trusted B2B network. Her innovative vision is for Tealbook to enable all companies to connect and find one another with more trust in order to drive their business forward.
18 Apr

François Gagnon

François Gagnon
Chief Executive Officer École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) 

François Gagnon was appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer of ÉTS in June 2019. He holds a Bachelor degree and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, which he earned from Polytechnique Montréal in 1991, before joining École de technologie supérieure that same year. 

His career at ÉTS has encompassed the positions of Director of the Department of Electrical Engineering, original Director of the Communications and Microelectronic Integration Laboratory (LACIME) and holder of the Chaire de recherche industrielle Ultra Électronique (SCT) en télécommunications sans fil (Ultra Electronics TCS Industrial Research Chair in Wireless Communication) and the NSERC-Ultra Electronics Chair on Wireless Emergency and Tactical Communication. Professor Gagnon has founded the Resilient Machine Learning Institute (ReMI) and serves as its first director since January 2019 and holder of the Dr. Richard J. Marceau Chair on Wireless IP Technology for Developing Countries. 

François Gagnon was one of the two first ÉTS professors to be awarded a research chair. After devoting more than two decades of his life to teaching and research, he now puts his considerable knowledge of ÉTS to good use for the benefit of the entire community. He is committed to the objective of enhancing the school’s reputation and further augmenting its stature.

18 Apr

Amyl Ghanem

Amyl Ghanem, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. Amyl received a B.Sc. in Engineering from University of New Brunswick and a Ph.D. from Cornell University, both in Chemical Engineering. She worked in the oil industry as a Process Design Engineer for several years before pursuing life in academia. Her research interests are in the areas of biomaterials and drug delivery. In addition to her research activities, Amyl has particular interest in engineering pedagogy and development of outreach activities.
18 Apr

Heather Bowlby

  Dr. Bowlby is a Research Scientist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and currently leads the Canadian Atlantic Shark Research Laboratory. In this position, she provides scientific and logistical
direction for a dynamic research program, tasked with supporting national and international fisheries management and species-at-risk processes for Atlantic Canadian sharks. Throughout her career as a marine biologist, she has focused on understanding how and why fish populations become or remain at-risk, as well as finding practical solutions to help promote population recovery. She holds an Undergraduate degree from the University of Victoria, a master’s from Dalhousie and a Ph.D. from Memorial University. When not in, on or around the water, she can typically be found with her two sons in her woodshop or garden.