Andrea Sedgwick, P.Eng., Ledcor Applied Research Chair in Oil Sands Sustainability
Andrea Sedgwick is leading applied research at NAIT's Centre for Oil Sands Sustainability. She has a Masters in Engineering Management and more than 20 years of industry experience in all aspects of upstream surface oil sands development, including mining, extraction, tailings and water management. Prior to coming to NAIT, she was the research and development mining program manager at Total E&P Canada, where she directed research nationally and internationally. As a key member of the innovation team, she was responsible for the company's only research and development program outside of France.
Jean-Francois Bouffard, BSc, MBA
Jean-Francois (JF) Bouffard is the Business Development Director at NAIT’s Centre for Oil Sands Sustainability. With the help of his team, industry and funding partners and other research institutes, JF works to accelerate technology growth for industry success.
In addition to his project management skills, JF has a decade of experience in advanced technical sales business development. He has led large sales teams specializing in the environmental measurement, energy and water sectors.
JF is passionate about science and technology. In 2002 he graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science (Animal Biology specialization) and earned an MBA in Technology Commercialization in 2012.
Dr. Heather Kaminsky, P.Eng.
Heather Kaminsky has a Ph.D. and B.Sc. Co-op in materials engineering and has over 7 years of expertise in advanced ore characterization, fundamentals of tailings, water treatment and the impact of clay minerals on oil extraction and tailings. Heather was the chair of the Clay Focus Group for both the Canadian Oil Sands Network for Research and Development (CONRAD) and Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA). She is passionate about finding a solution to tailings issues in the oil sands industry.
James Laszlo, EIT
James Laszlo is a Research and Development Engineer with a B.Sc. in Chemistry and a B.Sc. in Engineering (Chemical). He has over 10 years of applied research expertise and currently leads COSS’ experimentation program, with a focus on bench-top/field technology scale-up validation and process development.
James has worked in both post-secondary education and in the private sector for companies including Maxxam Analytics, Suncor Energy and Schlumberger Canada. His specialties include catalysis synthesis, analytical chemistry of waters, oils, soils and applied process engineering.
Franco Dottor has an extensive background in the management and administration of research and grant-funded programs. He is a graduate of NAIT’s Administrative Management program.
Dr. Yunhui Li
Dr. Yunhui Li is a research scientist who received her PhD in chemistry in 2008 and has worked at the National Research Council of Canada. In 2011, she pursued postdoctoral work on tailings management at the University of Alberta. She joined the centre in 2013 and has worked on screening, evaluation and validation of chemical for oil sands fluid tailings consolidation.
Dr. Hamed Mahdavi, P.Eng.
Dr. Hamed Mahdavi (P.Eng.) is a technology development engineer in water treatment and management for the oil sands industry. He received his PhD with a research project focusing on the treatment and reclamation of oil sands process-affected water. He joined the centre in October, 2013 bringing 8 years of applied research experience and 5 years of work experience in engineering design and technology development. His research includes the development of standard procedures for storing and processing naphthenic acids (NAs) and removal of NAs using industrial resins.
Dr. Bei Zhao, P.Eng.
Dr. Bei Zhao received her PhD in chemical engineering in 2008. Before joining the centre in October 2012, she held a postdoctoral fellowship at CanmetENERGY-Devon, Natural Resources Canada’s clean energy research and technology development organization. Her work at the centre involves bitumen recovery, tailings management, and technology and measurements including napthenic acids analysis and bitumen extraction additives.
Dr. Xinsong Lin
Dr. Xinsong Lin has a PhD is physical chemistry and more than 10 years’ experience in laboratory instrumentation, and in inorganic functional materials through powder and single crystal XRD. He is in charge of the instrumentation at the centre, and has helped install and maintain the unique and highly specialized equipment. He also oversees the centre staff in writing standard operating procedures and training for specialized equipment. His research involves the qualitative and quantitative analysis of oil sands clays with potential applications.
Harsh Selani, EIT
Harsh Selani is a research assistant, has a Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering and is a graduate from NAIT’s Chemical Technology program with more than 3 years of experience in laboratory work. He specializes in oil and gas, crude oil and bitumen processing, tailings management and SAGD. At the Centre he has been involved in polymer research for mature fine tailings and clay-methylene blue research, testing mixing and analytical procedures in understanding for crude oil transportation, and bitumen extraction procedures in understanding process ability of oil sands ores and tailings behaviour.
Yuki Gong, MSc
Yuki Gong is a chemical technologist with a M. Sc. in chemistry and 5 years’ experience in R&D, QC in analytical chemistry lab. She has been involved in bitumen extraction additives research, clay-methylene blue research, naphthenic acids (NAs) analysis research and polymer research for mature fine tailings. She also participates in developing the standard operating procedures for instrument analysis at the Centre.
Taimur Qureshi is a chemical technologist, who graduated from NAIT in 2013. Before joining the centre, he worked at Imperial Oil at the Strathcona Refinery Lab. He has been involved in polymer validation for mature fine tailings and clay-methylene blue research for companies partnered with the centre.
Tasha Ritchie is a chemical technologist who graduated from NAIT’s chemical technology program and has worked at the centre since 2012. She specializes in petroleum characteristic analysis. She is currently working on testing mixing and analytical procedures to ensure an accurate understanding of transporting crude oil.
Student Research Assistants
Management Advisory Board
Gary Bunio is the Chair of the Management Advisory Board. He is the GM, of Oil Sands Strategic Technology Regional Development for Suncor Energy.
Quentin Huillery is a senior vice-president at Ledcor.
Dr. Zhihong (John) Zhou is the Vice President, Clean Energy for Alberta Innovates. John is responsible for Alberta’s strategic directions and technology investments in the areas of energy, renewables and emerging technologies, as well as water and environmental management.
Dr. Chris Dambrowitz is the Associate Vice-President of Research and Innovation at NAIT. He received his PhD in molecular biology and genetics from the University of Alberta.
Andrea Sedgwick is the Ledcor Applied Research Chair in Oil Sands Sustainability at NAIT's Centre for Oil Sands Sustainability.
Dr. Olle Lagerquist is the Associate Dean Research of NAIT's School of Applied Sciences and Technology. Olle brings a background in developing multidisciplinary applied research projects, team development, management, business process, proposal creation, stakeholder engagement and strategic leadership.