Executive Team

PhD – 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

BJ – Political Science and Journalism, Carleton University

As the President & CEO of CUTRIC, Dr. Josipa Petrunic is leading the formulation of national transportation and energy systems analyses, including battery electric vehicles (BEV), hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and zero-emissions transit technologies.

As one of Canada’s leading experts in Zero-Emissions Bus (ZEB) innovation deployment projects, Dr. Petrunic has designed, developed and launched the Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration & Integration Trial (Phases I-II), the Pan-Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Cell Demonstration & Integration Trial (Phase I) and the Canadian National Smart Vehicle Demonstration & Integration Trial (Phase I).

In 2014, Dr. Petrunic developed Canada’s first methodological framework for an interdisciplinary physics-, mathematics- and economics-based modelling tool. TRiPSIM™, Canada’s first electric bus modelling tool, helps Canadian public fleets determine how zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) would operate in their communities and the extent to which they would generate operational savings. Now in its third generation and branded as Rout.i™ 2.0, more than two dozen transit agencies in Canada and the United States have relied on it to plan their full-fleet, vehicle- and block-based electrification deployments.

Dr. Petrunic has created Canada’s most interdisciplinary ZEB Consulting Team specializing in all salient variables associated with battery electric bus (BEB) powertrains, hydrogen fuel cell electric bus (FCEB) powertrains, renewable natural gas-powered compressed natural gas (CNG) powertrains, low- and high-powered charging systems, energy storage, smart controls, scheduling optimization, lifecycle cost analyses (LCAs), lifecycle emissions analyses, and facilities design.

Under the leadership of Dr. Petrunic, CUTRIC has expanded from five founding members to more than 130 transit, utility, industry, and academic institutional members across North America with projects valued at over $50 million.

Dr. Petrunic previously 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), United Kingdom. Dr. Petrunic continues to lecture in Globalization Studies at McMaster University.

Dr. Petrunic currently sits on the Board of the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Foundation and Women’s Transportation Seminar – Toronto (WTS Toronto). She is a regular expert contributor to news stories, panels, and editorials focused on ZEB technologies published in the Globe and MailNational PostBNN Bloomberg, CTV, CBC and Toronto Star, among other major news outlets.

In 2018, she was named as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 by Bloomberg News and Canada’s Top Clean 50. In 2019, she was named Aspioneer Top 10 Influential Women Leaders. In 2020, she received an award in WXN’s Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards for her role in the Science and Technology industry.

Dr. Petrunic is currently based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

ZEB Consulting Services Team

Parvathy Pillai

Program Manager: ZEB Consulting Services and Business Development

Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (ASQ CSSBB®)

Project Management Professional (PMP®)

Environmental Professional (EP®)

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®)

M.Sc. – Global Health, McMaster University

Hon. B.Sc. – Life Sciences, McMaster University

Hon. B.Sc. – Chemistry, McMaster University

Parvathy Pillai, the Program Manager of ZEB Consultation Services and Business Development at CUTRIC, manages a diverse portfolio of zero-emission bus implementation planning projects and simulation projects including predictive modelling and empirical analyses. Ms. Pillai also manages CUTRIC-led research studies in Canada and the U.S. and leads organizational project management and quality assurance/quality control measures.

Prior to CUTRIC, Parvathy worked in project management, environmental consulting, quality control, research, teaching and knowledge translation at various organizations. She is a certified six sigma black belt (ASQ CSSBB®) from the American Society for Quality (ASQ), project management professional (PMP®), and a certified Environmental Professional (EP®) from ECO Canada. 

Parvathy Pillai is currently based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

BA – Urban Studies, Concordia University

AdvDip – Building Design (Architectural), BoxHill Institute, Melbourne, Australia

Shervin Bakhtiari is the CUTRIC Team Lead of ZEB Simulation & Research. 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 the RoutΣ.i ™ modelling tool for potential opportunities regarding the automatization and optimization of the modelling process. Mr. Bakhtiari aims to bring sustainability and GHG emission reduction to public transportation through transportation planning and network analyses.

At ITK, Shervin was responsible for collecting and creating geo-databases and identifying development opportunities for Indigenous and northern communities through GIS analysis.

Shervin Bakhtiari is currently based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

PhD – Physics, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil

M.Sc. – Physics, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil

BSc – Physics, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil

Dr. Roberto Sardenberg currently works modelling the performance of ZEB buses and related infrastructure in transit systems through the use and development of the Rout.i™ 2.0 tool. The outcomes of this predictive modelling help transit agencies to assess technologies and make appropriate choices for their deployments. Roberto also works in gathering and analyzing empirical data coming from the operation of zero-emission vehicles, providing valuable key performance indicators to the operators and incorporating real world operation data into the modelling work.

Roberto previously worked with electrical measurement techniques 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 to the development of the measurement theory of Impedances by investigating constraints imposed on measured data by physical principles such as causality relations.

Dr. Roberto Sardenberg is currently based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

PhD – Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, China

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

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

Charles Li is the Vehicle Modelling & Research Engineer. Dr. Li’s area of expertise is computer modelling for engineering problems such as heat transfer, fluid dynamics and mechanical structural integrity and failure. Previous to CUTRIC, Dr. Li was the principal engineering analyst at marpoleSim. He has also worked as a CFD scientist and engineering analyst at Westport Fuel System Inc. Dr. Li has been a research associate and research assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Hong Kong Polytechnic University and an associate professor at Xi’an Jiaotong University.

Anand Pariyarath

Zero-Emissions Bus (ZEB) Simulation Modeller & Data Scientist

PhD – Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Manitoba       

M.S. – Energy, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand.

B.Tech. – Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Calicut, India.

Anand Pariyarath is a Zero Emission Bus (ZEB) simulation modeller and data scientist. He is responsible for fleet modelling, predictive modelling and empirical data analyses which aid the modelling projects that the RoutΣ.i™ team undertakes.

Anand is a recipient of the University of Manitoba Faculty of Graduate studies research completion award and the Asian Institute of Technology Graduate Student Fellowship.

Dr. Anand  Pariyarath is currently based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

BES, Geography and Environmental Management

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification

Zahara received her Bachelor of Environmental Studies Degree in Geography and Environmental Management with a focus in Geomatics from the University of Waterloo and she also recently received her Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification. 

Zahara Hassan is the Zero-Emission Bus Simulation GIS Technician responsible for working on ZEB predictive modelling and geospatial data analysis aiding cities and transit agencies across Canada and the US to plan their fleet electrification. She is also working to enhance the functionality of the RoutΣ.i 2.0 modelling tool.

Prior to CUTRIC, Zahara worked in the geospatial field on road infrastructure assets within the transportation industry. Her professional experiences are primarily related to the use of GIS applications to solve contemporary urban and environmental challenges and the role that smart, sustainable transportation and infrastructure play in the development of vibrant and resilient cities.

Zahara Hassan is currently based in Ontario.

MEng – Mechanical Engineering, Ryerson University

BE – Mechanical Engineering, University of Technology of Madhya Pradesh

Aniket Basu is the Zero Emission Bus (ZEB) Simulation Modeller at CUTRIC. As an integral member of CUTRIC’s research team, he is responsible for tasks related to energy consumption modelling, duty cycle generation, and empirical data analysis to support projects using the RoutΣ.i Modelling Tool.

Previously, Mr. Basu has worked as a research and development engineer. He was responsible for combustion hardware selection, engine calibration and testing, system validation, on-board diagnostics (OBD), and after-sales field support for common rail diesel engines. He has experience in valvetrain modelling, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), engine development for emission compliance, and has published papers and co-authored chapters for scientific publications such as the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and SpringerLink.

Mr. Basu is currently based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Ted Wojcinski works as an Electric Utility Senior Consultant with CUTRIC.

He utilizes his demonstrated expertise in the electricity distribution utility industry for CUTRIC’s ZEB Consulting Services Team to contribute to the needs assessment from an electrical and technical standpoint for energy transition and ZEB implementation.






Janet Eby is a consultant with CUTRIC supporting ZEB implementation projects. 

Richard Newton works as a Scheduling Analyst with CUTRIC.
Mr. Newton has over 38 years of transit planning and scheduling experience, and has worked with Santa Clara Valley Transit, Los Angeles Metro, and the City of Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus.

Dave Partington

Consultant: Transit Fleet Maintenance and Operations

With over 40 years of experience with the TTC and York Region Transit, a proven leader in the
field of transit fleet maintenance and facilities. Extensive hands-on experience in every aspect of

the industry, from maintaining vehicles on the shop floor to developing and managing multi-
million dollar operating and capital budgets.

Proven project management experience including the operational design, configuration and
specification of all program equipment for two Operations and Maintenance facilities (Viva BRT
Operations, Maintenance & Storage Facility and the YRT South West OMSF), including the
commissioning, acceptance, and training requirements for these facilities and related

In addition to facility and operational design, proven expert in data analytics, KPI development,
process and procedure development, facility and equipment review, maintenance practices
review and maintenance needs assessment. Piloted pedestrian and collision avoidance
technologies; developed plans for a piloting all-electric buses; introduced solar-powered
technologies to significantly reduce infrastructure and utility costs. Knowledgeable in alternative
fuel technologies, champion of greening and fuel reduction technologies including innovations
such as electric bus and autonomous technologies.

Membership Success Team

B.A. Art History, Université Laval, Quebec

Magali Frenette is the National Membership Success Officer responsible for supporting members from Quebec and Ontario in addition to supporting CUTRIC’s public and government relations efforts.

Before joining CUTRIC, Ms. Frenette was elected City Councillor in Neuville, Quebec for two terms while running her own business.

Magali Frenette is currently based in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

Government & Public Relations Team

M.A. Spanish/German, University of Glasgow

Grace Reilly, the Government and Public Relations Officer, leads CUTRIC’s national, provincial and municipal government relations efforts through strategic development, outreach and coordination. Ms. Reilly also leads national public relations and marketing efforts to support the achievement of CUTRIC’s national business strategy.

Prior to CUTRIC, Grace worked as an Executive Assistant and Office Manager in Toronto and was previously an ESL Teacher in Austria, Scotland and Spain.

Grace Reilly is currently based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Craig Jangula

British Columbia Government Relations Specialist

Craig Jangula has a talent for understanding and helping to manage complex public policy issues. He brings more than a decade of experience in government and politics to his work at Jangula & Company.  Prior to starting his own firm, Craig co-founded another government relations firm, where he was the account lead for clients in industries including transportation and communications.

Craig’s passion for research, community outreach, and development are combined with expertise in political campaigns and government decision-making. He spent four years in the office of MLA Mary McNeil, during which time she served as Minister of State for the Olympics and Act Now BC, Minister of Citizen Services and Minister of Children and Family Development. Craig also served as assistant to former MLA Lorne Mayencourt for several years. Additionally, Craig has run political campaigns for several provincial and nomination elections. This experience has given him invaluable insight into the inner workings of the provincial government and the best ways to get his clients’ stories in front of the right people.

Craig holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History, and a Masters in European Studies from UBC. He has been a proud member of the Board of Directors for the Stigma-Free Society for the past two years.

Coordination & Operations Team

Melissa Heynes

National Administrative Coordinator & Marketing Lead

Diploma in Public Management at the University of South Africa

Melissa Heynes is the National Administrative Coordinator & Marketing Lead. In this role, Melissa leads CUTRIC’s marketing initiatives and provides administrative support to the CUTRIC team across Canada. Melissa is responsible for accounts payable and receivable, coordinating executive schedules, internal communications, executive support, marketing and advertising strategies and sponsorship sales. 

Prior to CUTRIC, Melissa worked as a Professional Officer of Marketing and Communications at the City of Cape Town (South Africa).

Melissa Heynes is currently based in Okotoks, Alberta, Canada.

Jess Smith, as the Governance & Funding Proposal Coordinator, coordinates CUTRIC’s governance meetings which include the Board of Director, Committee, and Members’ meetings. They also coordinate CUTRIC’s national and provincial funding proposals.

Jess sits on Fierté Canada Pride’s Board of Directors as Vice President of Governance, and does activist work for the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Prior to CUTRIC, they worked as a Legal Coordinator and Digital Producer in Halifax.

Jess Smith is currently based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Commercialization Team

Abhishek Raj

ZEB Project Lead and Research Funding Program Manager

PhD – Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo, Canada

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

B.Tech. – Mechanical Engineering, VIT University, India

Dr. Abhishek Raj is the National Project Lead for the Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration and Integration Trial. He is responsible for the project-management of  the Electric Bus Project (Phase I and II), which strives to deploy multi-manufacture-built standardized electric buses and chargers across various jurisdictions in Canada. Dr. Raj participates 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.

Previous to CUTRIC, Dr. Raj worked as a Researcher at the University of Waterloo and at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in the field of Sustainable Energy and Clean Combustion. His professional interests lie in the interdisciplinary domains of policy, energy, engineering and environment.

Dr. Raj is currently based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Saumya Bhavsar

Project Manager: Pan-Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Electric Bus Demonstration & Integration Trial

M.Sc. – Economics and Business Administration (Energy, Natural Resources and the Environment), Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), Norway

M.Sc. – Sustainability and Social Innovation, HEC Paris, France

B.Tech. – Production Engineering, Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology (SVNIT) Surat, India

Saumya Bhavsar is Project Manager on the Pan-Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Bus Demonstration and Integration Trial. In this role, Saumya manages the launch and implementation of demonstration and early scale deployment projects with a specific focus on hydrogen-based transit applications.

Prior to joining CUTRIC, Saumya has most recently worked as an energy-efficiency programming consultant, policy researcher at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, and a thought leader at a co-founded sustainability education and consulting organization. Prior to postgraduation, Saumya worked for several years as a project planner on Engineering – Procurement – Construction (EPC) projects in the midstream oil and gas industry in Canada and Malaysia.

Saumya Bhavsar is currently based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Jocelyn (Jialei) Pan

National Smart Vehicle Project Manager

M.ES., B.ES., CAPM – University of Waterloo

Jocelyn is the National Smart Vehicle Project Manager with CUTRIC, based in the Toronto office. In this role, she will help the municipalities, transit agencies, and technology providers develop an innovative transit ecosystem for Canadian citizens. Jocelyn is a Certified Associate in Project Management.

Prior to CUTRIC, Jocelyn worked in the Intelligent Transportation System industry, particularly helping technology companies initiate product evaluation projects and overcome regulatory barriers. Jocelyn received both her Master of Environmental Studies Degree in Urban Planning and her Bachelor of Environmental Studies Degree in Geomatics from the University of Waterloo. Jocelyn’s interests are primarily related to Smart City Technologies, Sustainable Development, and Urban Resilience.

Jocelyn is currently based in Ontario.