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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 10 years of expertise post graduation 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.
Carole Edwards has extensive background in financial administration, accounting and communications. Carole supports the centre with oversight on all financial administration, reporting requirements, and contracts
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.
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.
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.
Cheryl Trudell is Vice President-Upstream Research at Imperial Oil. She is the chair of Imperial’s Institute for Oil Sands Innovation at the University of Alberta, vice chair of the Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) SSC, and a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.
Bill Bain has a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University (Canada), an MBA from the Rotterdam School for Management (Netherlands) and a PhD in Organizational Behavior from Imperial College London (UK). Bill has come to focus on health & safety and how these can best be integrated into a business.
Rick Vermeersch is currently the Business Development Manager for Maxxam Analytics’ Petroleum Division, with a primary focus on the Oil Sands sector. Over a three decade career Mr. Vermeersch has contributed to the evolution of the industry into one of the most important sectors of the Canadian economy.
Jelena Bajic is the Director - Research Operations. She brings a wealth of international experience in research operations, research program development, research policy review and implementation, and organizational change management. She comes most recently from King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST), where she led the Researcher and Postdoctoral Support Program. In addition to multiple roles over a decade with KAUST's Research Oversight & Planning, she was an environmental-services advisor to a UK energy-sector consultancy. Jelena received her PhD in Molecular & Cell Biology from the University of Cape Town.