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

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 serves as the Project Manager for the Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration and Integration Trial, based out of Toronto. Aditya has many years of experience working as a design engineer in the automotive sector, and has a deep passion for all things transportation. He trained as a project manager and worked on sustainable market place projects during his MBA. Aditya spent a number of years living in Europe and South East Asia where he developed a fascination for public transport systems and how they could drive the future of sustainable mobility.

Parvathy Pillai

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Program Lead

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

M.Sc. – Global Health

Hon. B.Sc. – Life Sciences

Hon. B.Sc. – Chemistry

Parvathy Pillai leads the Pan-Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Demonstration & Integration Trial Phase I at CUTRIC. She is a trained researcher and has a strong background in project management, stakeholder engagement, and knowledge translation.

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 Raj is the National Electric Bus Project Lead & Researcher with CUTRIC, based in Waterloo, Ontario. He is responsible for providing research assistance to several CUTRIC projects (including the National Smart Vehicle Demonstration and the Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration & Integration Trial – Phase II). Dr. Raj is responsible for project development in Waterloo and south-western Ontario (including London, Windsor, and Sarnia). His prior research experience extends from the microscopic level, where he explored the catalytic potential of metallic species in flames, to macroscopic system level modelling based analysis of fuel cell performance and flooding under drive cycles. His key skills include system level modelling, design and on-ground implementation of both conventional as well as alternate sustainable energy technologies. He also has attained significant organizational leadership and project management experience.

Charles Reboul

Smart Vehicle & Rail Project Lead and Stakeholder Relations Officer

Research Team

Ph.D. – Electrical and Computer Engineering (Electric vehicle and Machine Learning), University of Windsor

B.Tech. – Instrumentation and Control Engineering, Haldia Institute of Technology

Eshaan Ghosh is the Research Projects Manager of CUTRIC. He is responsible for managing, leading and supporting a team of researchers for various projects in modelling of performance of e-buses, fuel cell buses and smart vehicles on transit. He is also responsible for developing data science and big data analytics capacity in preparation for the Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration & Integration Trial: Phase I. He has a strong background in research, stakeholder engagement and project management in the field of electrification. His previous research work includes modelling, testing and prototyping of electric vehicle powertrain. His work in using artificial intelligence for detecting faults in electric motors for vehicles has led him to win several awards. His past experience includes working on multiple projects with several automotive OEMs and Tier 1 and Tier 2 OEM suppliers in advancement of electrification of vehicles.

Dr. Yutian Zhao

Modeller and Data Science Researcher

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

B.Eng. – Chemical Engineering, Zhejiang University

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 modelling team, he is responsible for geospatial data analysis to assess the potentials of bus networks electrification. He also examines the development of TRiPSIM © 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 – 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 a part-time researcher at CUTRIC. She is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Civil Engineering at University of Manitoba. She is responsible for the development of a holistic transit schedule optimization tool for integration of E-Bus into an existing system. She has a specialization in transportation engineering and her primary research interest is in the development and application of quantitative models for optimization of transit operation. She has also worked as a research associate in a collaboration project of BITS Pilani, India and Cardiff University, UK funded by GCRF to analyse the operational experiences and willingness in implementation of E- buses in few Indian cities. She has also presented her ideas for optimization of public transportation in low demand routes of North America in notable platforms like Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting held in Washington D.C.

Dr. Charles Li

Battery Electric Bus Modelling & Research Engineer

P.Eng. – 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.

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.

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 Senior Coordinator with CUTRIC. She leads managing the logistical coordination of major CUTRIC events, major Forums, where registrations, catering, on site logistics, online fee payments, e-blast coordination, and travel coordination. Lana also obtains sponsorships, support process development, proposal coordination and supporting the executive director directly on miscellaneous tasks. At CUTRIC, she has had the pleasure of coordinating Biennial Technology Innovation Forum located in Montreal in June 2018. Previously, Ms. Sanderson has over ten years of experience in project and proposal coordination with a background in consulting, government, industry, real estate, resources, and international projects. Lana also serves as support development, refinement, and amelioration of CUTRIC’s full staff on-boarding process including content development.

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

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.