Meet the Team

Andrea Sedgwick, P.Eng.

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 is the NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Oil Sands Tailings Management . She 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.

Carole Edwards

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 Ph.D. 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 and  QC in analytical chemistry.  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

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

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, General Manager, Oil Sands Strategic Technology Regional Development, Suncor Energy. Gary is the Chair of the Management Advisory Board. 
  • Quentin Huillery, Senior Vice-President, Ledcor
  • Dr. Zhihong (John) Zhou, Vice President, Clean Energy ,Alberta Innovates. 
  • Dr. Chris Dambrowitz, Associate Vice-President, Service Development and Delivery, NAIT. 
  • Andrea Sedgwick, Ledcor Applied Research Chair in Oil Sands Sustainability, NAIT Centre for Oil Sands Sustainability
  • Cheryl Trudell , Vice President-Upstream Research, Imperial Oil;   Chair Imperial’s Institute for Oil Sands Innovation at the University of Alberta; Vice Chair Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) SSC;  member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta
  • Bill Bain, Member at Large 
  • Rick Vermeersch, Business Development Manager, Maxxam Analytics’ Petroleum Division
  • Jelena Bajic, Director, Research Operations, NAIT