Executive Team

Ph.D. – Science and Technology Studies (Economics and Mathematics Stream), University of Edinburgh

M.Sc. – Science and Technology Studies (Economics and Mathematics Stream), University of Edinburgh

M.Sc. – Political Science and Public Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science

B.J. – Political Science and Journalism, Carleton University

Josipa Petrunic is the Executive Director & CEO of CUTRIC. She is leading the formulation of several national transportation technology trials related to zero-emissions transportation and “smart vehicles” innovation, including the Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration & Integration Trial, the Pan-Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Cell Demonstration & Integration Trial, and the National Smart Vehicle Demonstration Project. Dr. Petrunic has built up CUTRIC’s consortium to include more than 100 private and public sector companies and organizations across Canada. Previously, she served as the lead researcher in electric vehicle policy studies at McMaster University, and as a senior research fellow in the history and philosophy of mathematics at University College London (UCL) in the United Kingdom in Science and Technology Studies. Dr. Petrunic continues to lecture in Globalization Studies at McMaster University. She currently sits on the Board of the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Foundation and InnovÉÉ, an electrical vehicle R&D funding body in Quebec. In 2018, she was named as one of Canada’s a Top 40 Under 40 by Bloomberg News.

Commercialization Team

Parvathy Pillai

Project Manager: ZEB Simulation & Commercialization

Project Management Professional (PMP)

M.Sc. – Global Health

Hon. B.Sc. – Life Sciences

Hon. B.Sc. – Chemistry

Parvathy Pillai is the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Program Lead at CUTRIC, based in the Toronto office. In this role, Parvathy manages diverse aspects of CUTRIC’s Pan-Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Demonstration & Integration Trial project and supports the revival of Canada’s hydrogen prominence in the public transportation sector.  Parvathy also supports the organizational project management of CUTRIC.

Parvathy is a certified project management professional (PMP) ® and holds the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) ® designation from PMI.

Prior to CUTRIC, Parvathy has worked in project management, environmental consulting, quality control, research, teaching and knowledge translation at various organizations. Parvathy earned her Master of Science from McMaster University, following her undergraduate studies in Chemistry and Life Sciences. 

Aditya Ramesh

Project Manager: Electric Bus & Coach Bus

M.B.A. – Gies College of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

M.Eng. – Mechanical Engineering (Automotive) – The University of Nottingham

Aditya (Adi) Ramesh is the Project Manager: Electric Bus and Coach Bus with Cutric, based in the Toronto office. In this role, Adi manages CUTRIC’s commercialization projects, showcasing the technology of our members, and demonstrating the means to move people faster, smarter and greener.

Prior to CUTRIC, Adi spent many years working as a design engineer in the Automotive sector and has a keen interest interest and love for all things transportation. Adi received his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where He trained as a project manager and worked on sustainable marketplace projects. Adi received his Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nottingham and spent a number of years living in Europe and SouthEast Asia, where he developed a fascination for public transport systems and how they could drive the future of sustainable mobility.

Dr. Abhishek Raj

National Electric Bus Project Lead & Researcher

Ph.D. – Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo

M.Sc. – Mechanical Engineering, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology

B.Tech. – Mechanical Engineering, VIT University

Abhishek is the National Project Lead for CUTRIC’s Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration and Integration Trial and is based out of CUTRIC’s Toronto office. He is responsible for the project-management of the Phase I and II of CUTRIC’s Electric Bus Project, which strives to deploy multi-manufacture-built standardized electric buses and chargers across various jurisdictions in Canada. This involves participating in strategic planning, resource sourcing, operational evaluation and coordination among internal and external project stakeholders with regards to time bound project delivery within prescribed budgetary limits. He also oversees the program management of the National Academic Advisory Committee associated with the E-Bus project. 

Abhishek has completed his Doctorate of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering  from the University of Waterloo. He had previously worked as a Researcher at the University of Waterloo, Canada and at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE in the field of Sustainable Energy and Clean Combustion. His interests lie in the interdisciplinary domains of Policy, Energy, Engineering and Environment. 

Research Team

Dr. Yutian Zhao

Modeller and Data Science Researcher

Ph.D. – Chemical Engineering, Queen’s University

B.Eng. – Chemical Engineering, Zhejiang University

Yutian Zhao is the Modeling and Data Science Researcher with CUTRIC, based in Kingston. In this role, Yutian is responsible for managing tasks for CUTRIC’s research team, developing electric bus powertrain models (e.g. Rout𝝨.i), and performing data analysis. Yutian has 9 years of experience in developing mathematical models for a wide range of systems, including buses, duty cycles and polymerization. He has implemented Monte Carlo methods, method of moments, energy balances, and machine learning models in Python, MATLAB and Visual Basic. 

Prior to CUTRIC, Yutian worked two years as a postdoctoral researcher at Queen’s University where he also received his Ph.D. from the department of Chemical Engineering. Yutian obtained his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Zhejiang University (China). 

Yutian (Ryan) Zhao is a Projects Development Officer at CUTRIC, based in Kingston, Ontario. He is the project lead for Rail Innovation Focus Group Consultation Sessions. He is also responsible for developing projects from Kingston and north-eastward to Ottawa. In addition, Dr. Zhao assists with CUTRIC’s research initiatives, including mathematical modeling and simulation for transit buses. His prior research background focused on mathematical modelling of producing branching polymers. Recently, he extended his field to data science and machine learning. His interest in green energy and care for the environment provides him with the passion to work on the emerging technologies involved in the uptake of electric trains, cars and buses.

Shervin Bakhtiari

GIS Analyst & Outreach Officer

B.A. – Urban Planning, Concordia University

AdvDip – Architecture, BoxHill Institute

Shervin Bakhtiari is the GIS Analyst and Outreach Officer with CUTRIC in eastern Canada based in Montreal. As a member of the modelling team, he is responsible for geospatial data analysis to assess the potentials of bus network electrification. He also examines the development of RoutΣ.i ™ modelling tool for potential opportunities regarding the automatization and optimization of the modelling process. 

His greatest interest lies in transportation planning and network analyses with the aim to bring sustainability and GHG emission reduction to public transportation. Shervin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning from Concordia University and an Advanced Diploma in Architecture from Box Hill Institute.

Ph.D. Transportation Planning & Modelling , McMaster University

Master Degree – Urban Planning, University at Buffalo, United States

Elnaz Abotalebi is the Research Scientist with CUTRIC, based in Toronto Office. In this role, she examines automated and connected smart vehicle performance for first mile-last mile to promote transit ridership across Canada. She also explores the total cost of ownership models for electric and hydrogen fuel cell buses, and develops prediction models for CUTRIC’s transit agency clients. Her general expertise lies in the areas of sustainable and active transportation, emerging technologies, data analysis, discrete choice modelling, survey design, travel demand forecasting, and policy recommendation for transportation and transit projects.

Prior to CUTRIC, Elnaz was a researcher at McMaster University with a focus on understanding the preferences and suitability of households for electric vehicle adoption using statistical modelling, and came up with decision-making results to accelerate the adoption rate of electric vehicles in Canada. Elnaz received her PhD degree in Transportation Planning & Modelling from McMaster University and her Master degree in Urban Planning with specialization in GIS and Spatial Modelling from University at Buffalo, United States.

Ph.D – Physics, Electromagnetism and Measurement Theory

M.Sc. – Electrochemistry, Impedance Spectroscopy

Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG).

Roberto Batista Sardenberg previously worked with electrical measurement techniques in order to retrieve microscopic information on electrochemical cells and nano-structured samples. His research interests include the electrical characterization, modelling and simulation of electrical devices, sensors, and electrochemical cells. He contributed with the development of the measurement theory of Impedances by investigating constrains imposed on measured data by physical principles such as causality relations.

Ph.D. (Candidate) – Civil Engineering, University of Manitoba

M.Eng. – Transportation Engineering, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, India

B.Tech. – Civil Engineering, Government College of Engineering, India

Sushreeta Mishra is the part-time researcher with CUTRIC, based in University of Manitoba, Winnipeg. In this role, Sushreeta is responsible for the development of a holistic transit schedule optimization tool for integration of E-Bus into an existing system. 

She has worked as a research associate in a GCRF funded project to analyse the operational experiences and willingness in implementation of E- buses in few Indian cities. She has also presented her ideas to optimize public transportation  in low demand areas of  North America in notable platforms like TRB Annual Meetings and CUTA Young Leaders Summit.

Prior to CUTRIC, Sushreeta started her Ph.D. in Transportation planning from Fall 2018 in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Manitoba. Sushreeta received her Master degree in Transportation Engineering from BITS Pilani, India. 

Dr. Charles Li

Vehicle Modelling & Research Engineer

Professional Engineer

Ph.D. – Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, China

M.Sc. – Computational Physics, Xi’an Jiaotong University, China

B.S. – Computational Mathematics, Xi’an Jiaotong University, China

With industry experience of over 18 years, Charles Li is the principal engineering analyst at marpoleSim. His area of expertise is computer modelling for engineering problems such as heat transfer, fluid dynamics and mechanical structural integrity and failure. From 1998 to 2017, he worked as a CFD scientist & engineering analyst at Westport Fuel System Inc. in Canada. From 1995 to 1998, he was research associate and research assistant in University of Wisconsin-Madison and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. And, from 1993 to 1996, he taught as associate professor in Xi’an Jiaotong University. Charles has a PhD degree in engineering and a B.S degree in mathematics from Xi’an Jiaotong University, China.

Operations and Membership Team

M.Sc.SM. – Sustainability Management, University of Toronto Mississauga

B.Sc. – Earth and Environmental Sciences, McMaster University

Kristina Mlakar is the National Operations Manager with CUTRIC, based in the Toronto office. In this role, Kristina manages CUTRIC’s national operations to morph the fast-growing team into an efficient and optimized small- to mid-sized enterprise (SME). Kristina also manages CUTRIC’s growing Membership base of over 115 leading organizations working in low carbon smart mobility in Canada and internationally. 

Kristina was named as one of Corporate Knight’s Top 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leaders for her work with CUTRIC’s National Smart Vehicle Demonstration and Integration Trial. This project represents the first time globally that multiple electric automated shuttle manufacturers have agreed to a standardized and interoperable deployment on a first-mile/last-mile route.

Prior to CUTRIC, Kristina received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences from McMaster University and her Master of Science Degree in Sustainability Management from the University of Toronto.

B.B.O. – Bachelor in Business Operation, DeVry Institute of Technology

Lana Sanderson is the Managing Coordinator with CUTRIC, based in the Lethbridge, Alberta office. In this role, Lana Sanderson is responsible for the coordination of projects, proposals, events, contracts, third party subcontractors, purchasing and assisting with daily operations. She received her Bachelor of Business Operations from DeVry University and received a certificate Global Village for Future Leaders of Business and Industry Interns from Lehigh University. Prior to CUTRIC, Lana Sanderson worked in various positions in construction operations. She continued her career in consulting work on various projects in real estate, planning, engineering, water resources and environment.

Adriana Shu-Yin

Membership Success Officer & Contracts Administrator

B.Sc. – Environmental Science and Health, University of Toronto

Adriana Shu-Yin is the Membership Success Officer & Contracts Administrator at CUTRIC in Eastern Canada, based in Toronto, Ontario. She will be assisting with the organization’s governance and outreach efforts. Ms. Shu-Yin is passionate about smart and sustainable solutions to enhance greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Her education and prior work experience has focused on the acceleration towards a low-carbon economy using clean technology and policies that promote economic, social, and environmental benefits. Previously, she completed climate change and sustainability projects with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability as well as the University of Toronto Sustainability Office.

Carla Guillaume

Executive Assistant and Quebec Liaison Officer

MPA (Candidate) – Public Administration, École Nationale d’administration publique du Québec (ENAP)

DESS – International Relations, University of Montréal

BA – Political Science, Concordia University

Carla Guillaume is the executive assistant and Quebec liaison officer with CUTRIC, based in the Montréal office. In this role, Carla is responsible for creating and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders. In addition, she assists in the daily planning and coordination of administrative procedures and activities in the Montreal office. 

Carla has completed an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Concordia University and a graduate diploma in International Relations from the University of Montréal. She is currently pursuing a master of public administration at the École Nationale d’administration publique du Québec (ENAP). Carla received an Emerging Talent Award from the Bar of Montréal and continues to be dedicated to social issues like representation and gender equality. 

Geneviève Gittins is the Communications and Marketing Officer at CUTRIC. She organizes CUTRIC Lobby Days and designs the supporting visual materials to communicate our messages to governments. Previously, Geneviève led the marketing department at Enterprise CarShare and Communauto. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University and is fluent in French and English and conversational in Spanish.

B.Com. – Accounting and Finance, McMaster University

Michael Keran provides accounting and financial support to CUTRIC.