Polytechnics Canada Annual Conference 2017



Welcome to the 2017 Polytechnics Canada Annual Conference

Welcome to Edmonton, welcome to NAIT and thank you for joining us at this year's Polytechnics Canada Annual Conference!

Our conference is focused on the nation's priorities in its 150th year - building, innovation and skills. This year's theme reflects each of these important areas "Building Canada through Innovation and Skills."

Across the country, polytechnic institutes are training the next generation of workers who will build Canada in all its dimensions. In doing so, they will grow our productivity and prosperity. We gather here today to consider how best to support these outcomes.

As co-hosts of this conference, we want to thank you for being here, giving your time and energy to thinking about ways to strengthen and deepen our common cause. We encourage you to engage with our great line-up of speakers. Our thanks to all those who contributed - our sponsors, our organizing teams, and above all, you, our esteemed guests.


Dr. Glenn Feltham
President and CEO, NAIT
Chair of Polytechnics Canada


Nobina Robinson
Chief Executive Officer
Polytechnics Canada Canada


Dr. Glenn Feltham

President and CEO of NAIT

Dr. Glenn Feltham was appointed President and CEO of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in 2011. As NAIT's sixth president he has led the institute toward its vision of becoming one of the world's leading polytechnics, with a focus on relevance and responsiveness. Under Dr. Feltham's leadership, NAIT plays an essential role in strengthening Alberta's and Canada's economies through hands-on, technology-based education and applied research in partnership with industry.

Beyond his role as President and CEO of NAIT, Dr. Feltham is playing a leading role in advancing the post-secondary system in Canada and Alberta. He is currently Chair of Polytechnics Canada. He is also Chair of the Council of Post-secondary Presidents of Alberta (COPPOA). COPPOA works across all of Alberta's post-secondary institutions to continue building the strongest possible system.


Nobina Robinson

Chief Executive Officer, Polytechnics Canada

Nobina Robinson has served as Chief Executive Officer of Polytechnics Canada since May 2009. She held progressive appointments in the federal government and non-profit sectors since 1990. Before joining Polytechnics Canada, Mrs. Robinson was the Ottawa-based Senior Government Relations Advisor for Seneca College, responsible for federal advocacy for one of Canada's largest colleges.

Mrs. Robinson served as a member of the Expert Panel on the Review of Federal Support to Research and Development that completed its work in October 2011.

In her capacity as CEO of Polytechnics Canada, Mrs. Robinson supports a number of other like-minded groups, including the Business Higher Education Roundtable, the Human Resources Committee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the C.D. Howe Institute and is a Champion member of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum.




Honourable Marlin Schmidt

Minister of Advanced Education, Government of Alberta

Marlin Schmidt was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, on May 5, 2015. He represents the constituency of Edmonton-Gold Bar. Since February 2, 2016, Hon. Schmidt has also served as Minister of Advanced Education. Hon. Schmidt sits on three Government committees: the Legislative Review Committee, the Social Policy Committee and the Climate Leadership Policy Committee.

Hon. Schmidt's background prior to serving in the Legislature was in site remediation and hydrogeology. From 2008 to 2015 he worked for Alberta Environment as a soil and groundwater contamination specialist.

Hon. Schmidt has a master of science degree in applied environmental geosciences (Eberhard Karls Universität in Tübingen, Germany) and a bachelor of science degree (Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario).


Jamie Merisotis

President & CEO, Lumina Foundat

Jamie Merisotis is a globally recognized leader in philanthropy, higher education, and public policy. Since 2008, he has served as president and CEO of Lumina Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the U.S. and a driving force for increasing Americans' success in higher education. He previously served as co-founder and president of the nonpartisan, Washington, DC-based Institute for Higher Education Policy, and as executive director of a bipartisan national commission on college affordability appointed by the President and Congressional leaders. Merisotis is the author of the highly-regarded 2015 book America Needs Talent, published by RosettaBooks.

He is frequently sought after as a media commentator and contributor. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, National Journal, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Washington Monthly, Huffington Post, Politico, Roll Call and other publications.

His work includes extensive global experience as an adviser and consultant in southern Africa, the former Soviet Union, Europe and other parts of the world. A respected analyst and innovator, Merisotis is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

He is the recipient of numerous awards and holds honorary degrees from several colleges and universities. Merisotis commits his time and energies as trustee for a diverse array of organizations around the world, including his alma mater Bates College in Maine, the Council on Foundations in Washington, DC, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, Anatolia College in Greece, and the London-based European Access Network. He lives with his wife Colleen O'Brien and their children Benjamin and Elizabeth in Indianapolis.


Iain Stewart

President of the National Research Council

Iain Stewart was appointed President of the National Research Council (NRC) effective August 24, 2016 just after the organization celebrated its 100th birthday. Prior to that, Mr. Stewart served as Associate Secretary of the Treasury Board of Canada from July 2015 to August 2016, and Assistant Secretary of the International Affairs, Security and Justice Sector at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) from June 2014 to July 2015.

In addition, he has held a number of different leadership functions at Industry Canada, including Assistant Deputy Minister of the Strategic Policy Sector, Secretary to the "Jenkins Panel" on Federal Support to Research and Development, Associate Assistant Deputy Minister and Director General of the Science and Innovation Sector, and Director of Consumer Industries in the Industry Sector. Since joining the public service, Mr. Stewart has also worked at the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Transport Canada and TBS, where he became Director of Infrastructure Policy after working as an analyst for Fisheries and Oceans.

Outside of the public service, Mr. Stewart served as Assistant Vice-President, Research, at Dalhousie University.

Born, raised and educated in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Mr. Stewart holds a Master of Public Administration, a graduate diploma in Marine Policy, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Dalhousie University.


Martha Hall Findlay

President and CEO, Canada West Foundation

Martha Hall Findlay joined the Canada West Foundation as President and CEO on September 1, 2016.

Martha is a thought leader whose insight on issues such as pipelines, international trade, foreign investment and foreign affairs, energy and the environment, and supply management have framed the debate for decision-makers and everyday Canadians. Her career has been diverse, spanning law, technology, politics and public policy.

Previously, Martha was the Chief Legal Officer of EnStream, a Rogers/Bell/TELUS mobile payments joint venture. As a lawyer, senior business executive and successful entrepreneur, Martha has more than 25 years of domestic and international experience with major multinationals as well as startups, primarily in telecommunications and technology.

As an Executive Fellow at the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy, Martha focused on Canadian economic, social and environmental prosperity in a global context. She was a member of Parliament from 2008 to 2011, and served as a member of the House of Commons Standing Committees for Finance; Transport; Government Operations and International Trade.

Martha has served as a board director and executive for several policy, environmental, community and cultural organizations, including the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs; the Canadian Centre for Responsibility to Protect (CCR2P) at University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs; the Georgian Bay Association and Alberta's CKUA not-for-profit radio network. She is currently Vice-Chair of the Board of Alpine Canada; a member of the Advisory Council for the University of Ottawa's Positive Energy project; and is a member of the Advisory Council for the New York Global Leaders Dialogue.


Kevin King

Vice President, North America and Government Sales, CAE Healthcare

Kevin King is Vice President, North America and Government Sales and has been with CAE Healthcare for five years. He oversees sales and business development activities for all of North America including domestic sales as well as government and military sales.

Mr. King is a passionate health care executive with an extensive history in medical simulation. After obtaining a Macy Fellowship to attend the inaugural Institute for Medical Simulation at the Centre for Medical Simulation (a collaborative project between the Center for Medical Simulation and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology) in Boston in 2004, he returned to his native Toronto and began his career in medical simulation.

Prior to joining CAE Healthcare, Mr. King worked as a paramedic leader in a critical care environment where he honed his patient care skills using medical simulation. As the Chief of Ambulance Services in Muskoka, Canada he successfully directed a paramedic team of fifty where he was recognized for his dedicated service. He founded the Alliance for Simulation Specialists and Educators in Toronto and led a team of educators to create the only nationally accredited critical care paramedic program utilizing high fidelity medical simulation. Additionally, he has been published numerous times for his outstanding research. Mr. King earned his executive MBA from Athabasca University, and continues to drive innovation through leadership.


Barrie McKenna

Columnist and Correspondent, The Globe and Mail Ottawa Bureau

Barrie McKenna is a columnist and correspondent in The Globe and Mail's Ottawa bureau. He writes about the intersection of public policy and the economy, including monetary policy, innovation, taxation, trade, regulation and Canada-U.S. relations.

From 1997 until 2010, he covered Washington from The Globe's bureau in the U.S. capital. During his U.S. posting, he traveled widely, filing stories from more than 30 states. Mr. McKenna has also been a frequent visitor to Japan and South Korea on reporting assignments. A native Montrealer, he has degrees from McGill University (history) and Carleton University (journalism). He is a five-time finalist for Canada's National Newspaper Awards, and a 2016 winner of a Society of American Business Editors and Writers' Best in Business Canada award.



Preparing Students for the Future of Work: Developing Skills to Support Workplace Innovation

Our graduates will need to work with knowledge that doesn't yet exist, using practices that don't yet exist, in jobs and careers that don't yet exist. This requires us to prepare students to be career-nimble, future-ready and innovation-enabled in the workplace. For example, while we prepare students for the job changes they will soon face from Industry 4.0 developments, we also want to equip them for continuing change in their work tasks.

Canada's polytechnics are ideally positioned to develop graduates who can engage effectively with innovation - as adaptors, catalysts and inventors. In this workshop we'll share initial efforts to develop these capabilities, within Canada and beyond. Then we'll explore how we can collaboratively engage our institutions to accelerate Skills Development for Innovation in Canada's future workplaces, within the context of Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan.


Jake Hirsch-Allen

Lynda.com Lead for Higher Education, LinkedIn Canada

Jake Hirsch-Allen is currently the Lynda.com Lead for Higher Education at LinkedIn Canada. He teaches at McMaster University, is on the advisory board of the Hot Docs cinema and founded Lighthouse Labs, Canada's foremost software development bootcamp. A former intellectual property and international criminal lawyer, Jake was also Chair of Technology Committee of the Global Education Platform.


Dr. Thomas Carey

Executive-in-Residence for Teaching and Learning Innovation

Dr. Thomas Carey works with higher education leaders on institutional strategy for globally exemplary teaching and learning. He is currently Executive-in-Residence at the British Columbia Association of Institutes and Universities, Research Professor at San Diego State University, and Visiting Scholar at the University of Queensland's Institute for Teaching & Learning Innovation.

Tom formerly served in Canada as Associate Vice-President for Learning Resources & Innovation at the University of Waterloo and Senior Research Director for the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, and in the U.S. in senior leadership roles with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the California State University Office of the Chancellor, the California Community Colleges Success Network and the MERLOT Open Educational Resources Network (as Chief Learning Officer).


Building Canada

Through dedicated applied research capabilities, polytechnic institutions are key to not only addressing industry's challenges, but also helping to build and grow innovation across Canada. Comprised of member institutions' industrial partners this panel will explore the impact their polytechnic collaborations have had on their business and the role of polytechnics' applied research in catalyzing innovation, productivity and, ultimately, competitiveness of Canadian companies.


Chris Dambrowitz

Associate Vice President, Research and Innovation, NAIT

Chris Dambrowitz joined NAIT in January 2014 as Associate Vice-President Research and Innovation. He leads the development of applied research and innovation initiatives, areas which have seen significant growth since 2007, when the Government of Alberta gave colleges and polytechnics the mandate to engage in applied research. He was previously Director of Strategic Initiatives with the Biorefining Conversion Network (BCN) based at the University of Alberta, an organization that supports research in biorefining and biomass conversion technologies.

Prior to his roles with BCN, and with the Alberta Research and Innovation Authority Secretariat, Chris served as Director of Alberta Ingenuity's Accelerators Program and was the founding Program Director of the Alberta Prion Research Institute. He also brings project management and technology development experience from his time in the bioanalytical and biotechnology industries, including positions with MDS Sciex (Concord ON), Blue Heron Biotechnology (Bothell WA), Visible Genetics (Toronto ON) and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (Chalk River ON).

Chris also serves on the Industrial Research Institute Voice of the Member Committee, NSERC Prairies Regional Advisory Board and the ASTech Foundation Board of Directors.

Chris has a PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Alberta.


Subhi Alsayed

Vice President, Sustainable Development at Mattamy Homes

Subhi is a sustainable buildings expert and a driver of innovation and technology adoption in the real-estate industry. Throughout his career, Subhi has focused on building strong business cases for change, and finding innovative ways of introducing and 'de-risking' new methods and technologies.

Subhi is Mattamy's Vice President of Sustainable Development, working with the leadership team to develop and implement strategies for Mattamy's sustainable communities.

Prior to Mattamy, Subhi was the head of innovation at Tridel, Ontario's largest high-rise developer, and the Director of Projects at TowerLabs, a Tridel and MaRS Discovery District initiative to explore the viability of various clean technologies in real world multi-residential buildings.

Subhi also co-founded netZED, net zero energy dwelling, the first branded net zero energy concept in high-rise living.

Subhi is a MBA grad from Ivey Business School, a Professional Engineer, LEED Accredited Professional, and a Certified Energy manager.


James Freeman

Chief Technology Officer and President, New Ventures of Zedi Inc.

James is Chief Technology Officer and President, New Ventures of Zedi Inc, a privately-held Calgary-based services company that has been providing technology solutions to enable the Digital Oilfield for the last 15 years. Zedi's full-service integrated suite of solutions empowers Oil & Gas producers in Western Canada, and United States and 24 other countries to improve production operations.

In his role as CTO, James oversees technical development for the company's Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform, which collects sensor and controller data from field assets and adds value to that data via cloud-based analytics and visualization tools. Presently, this platform supports 1.35 million sensors, and consumes over 47 million readings per day. As President, New Ventures, James also oversees Zedi's efforts to expand application of its IIoT platform to attractive growth verticals outside of the Oil & Gas sector, including Clean Tech, Agriculture, and Retail Food Services.

James is also on the Board of the TransRail Innovation Group, a Calgary-based startup bringing a novel tank level monitoring solution to the transportation of hydrocarbons by rail, and served for 5 years on the Board of TR Tech.

Prior to joining Zedi in 2007, James spent a total of 17 years in the telecommunications and electric utility industries in both Canada and Europe. He has held roles in a variety of positions, including systems-level advanced technology research, IT, finance, project management, marketing, product development and strategic planning. He owns his own private consulting firm, Valentis International. A native Albertan, he has BSc and MSc degrees in Electrical Engineering and an MBA, all from the University of Alberta.

He is active as a coach and leader in the youth sporting community, and he makes his home with his wife and twin daughters in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


Gary Bunio

General Manager, Strategic Technology Development, Suncor

Gary Bunio is a professional engineer with over 30 years of experience in the upstream petroleum industry in Canada and internationally. He obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada (1980) and then a Masters of Quality Management from Loyola University, New Orleans, U.S.A. (1998).

Mr. Bunio has held senior technical and management roles in oil sands research and development, operations, and project management at Imperial Oil, PanCanadian (EnCana), Paramount (MGM Energy) and Barrick. He has been involved in many innovations in the production of extra heavy oil including gravity drainage and infill wells as a follow-up thermal process, solvent injection, partial upgrading, and CO2 sequestration for enhanced gas recovery.

Mr. Bunio is currently Suncor's General Manager, Strategic Technology Development. He is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta and Manitoba, the NWT Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists, the Society of Petroleum Engineers and CHOA. He is an enthusiastic evangelist of oil sands development and related emerging technologies.



Please note - this agenda is a draft and is subject to change, please check back for updates.

Location: Sutton Place Hotel, Angus Shaw Room (10235 -101 Street, Edmonton)
5:30 pm - 9:30 pm Informal Reception
7:15 am First shuttle departs for NAIT from the Sutton Place Hotel
7:30 am Two shuttles depart for NAIT from the Sutton Place Hotel
Location: NAIT - South Lobby (O1X4)
7:45 am Registration
Location: NAIT - North Lobby (O1X3)
7:30 am Breakfast
8:40 am Welcome and opening remarks by Nobina Robinson, CEO of Polytechnics Canada and Dr. Glenn Feltham, President of NAIT and Chair, Polytechnics Canada.

Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt to bring greetings
9:00 am Keynote Speech by Jamie Merisotis, President & CEO, Lumina Foundation
10:00 am Break

Book Signing by Jamie Merisotis
10:30 am Iain Stewart, President of the National Research Council
11:00 am Break
11:15 am Panel: Building Canada

Location: NAIT - North Lobby (O1X3)

Moderated by: Chris Dambrowitz

Panelists: Subhi Alsayed, James Freeman & Gary Bunio
Panel: Preparing Students for the Future of Work: Developing Skills to Support Workplace Innovation

Location: NAIT - Nexen Theatre (Y240)

Panelists: Jake Hirsch-Allen & Dr. Thomas Carey
Location: NAIT - Centre for Applied Technology (CAT)
12 noon Luncheon - NAITSA Student Lounge (CAT200)

Speaker: Martha Hall Findlay, President and CEO, Canada West Foundation
1:30 pm Break
1:45 pm Tours of the Centre for Applied Technology simulation laboratories, including Canada's only ambulance simulator.
2:45 pm Refreshments and snacks
- outside the Dow Theatre (CAT191)

Speaker: Kevin King, Vice President North American & Government Sales, CAE Healthcare.
- Dow Theatre (CAT191)
3:30 pm Break

First shuttle departs from NAIT to the Sutton Place Hotel
3:45 pm Two shuttles depart from NAIT to the Sutton Place Hotel
5:00 pm First shuttle departs from the Sutton Place Hotel to NAIT
5:15 pm Two shuttles depart from the Sutton Place Hotel to NAIT
Location: NAIT
5:30 pm Reception - Fresh Express
6:30 pm Dinner - Ernest's

Speaker: Barrie McKenna, Columnist and Correspondent, The Globe and Mail, Ottawa Bureau
8:30 pm First shuttle departs from NAIT to the Sutton Place Hotel
8:45 pm Second shuttle departs from NAIT to the Sutton Place Hotel
9:00 pm Last shuttle depart from NAIT to the Sutton Place Hotel
7:15 am Shuttle to depart the hotel for NAIT
Location: NAIT
7:30 am Registration
Working Breakfast* - Dow Theatre (CAT191)
8:00 am Welcome and remarks by Nobina Robinson, CEO, Polytechnics Canada and Dr. Glenn Feltham, President of NAIT and Chair, Polytechnics Canada.
9:00 am Working Groups* - Centre for Applied Technology
10:30 am Break (coffee and snacks to be delivered to each working group)
12 noon Lunch - Centre for Applied Technology

*Please note - Working Group members will be contacted directly with more details.