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

Josipa Petrunic is the President and 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 Women’s Transportation Seminar – Toronto (WTS Toronto).  In 2018, she was named as one of Canada’s a Top 40 Under 40 by Bloomberg News and Canada’s Top Clean 50. In 2019, she was named Aspioneer Top 10 Influential Women Leaders.

Research Team

Parvathy Pillai

Project Manager: ZEB Simulation & Commercialization

Project Management Professional (PMP®)

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 works as the Project Manager: ZEB Simulation & Commercialization at CUTRIC, based in the Toronto office. In this role, Parvathy manages a diverse portfolio of zero-emission bus simulation projects and research studies that CUTRIC leads in Canada and the U.S. 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.

BA – Urban Planning, Concordia University

AdvDip – Architecture, BoxHill Institute

Shervin Bakhtiari is the Team Lead: ZEB Simulation & Research 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, Australia.

PhD – 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 PhD from the department of Chemical Engineering. Yutian obtained his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Zhejiang University (China). 

PhD – 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.

Commercialization Team

MBA – 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

PhD – 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. 

PhD – Transportation Planning & Modelling , McMaster University

MUP – 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.

Mahmood Nesheli (Toronto office) is the Smart Vehicle Researcher at CUTRIC. He is responsible for the research on automated and connected smart vehicles for first kilometre-last kilometre solution to promote transit ridership across Canada. He provides technical support for the National Smart Vehicle project and automated transit technology deployment. Mahmood is a member of Professional Engineers Ontario, and holds a P.Eng certificate. He is also a postdoctoral fellow of transportation engineering at the University of Toronto.

Prior to CUTRIC, Mahmood previously worked as a Senior Public Transport Analyst at Auckland Transport.

Mahmood received his PhD in Transportation Engineering from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Auckland, New Zealand focusing on Public Transit systems.

Operations and Membership Team

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.

Grace Reilly is the Operations Coordinator to the CEO with CUTRIC, based in the Toronto office. In this role, Grace is responsible for managing and coordinating the schedule of the CEO as well as CUTRIC’s governance. Grace also assists with government lobbying commitments and CUTRIC’s contracts administration.

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 received her Master of Arts Degree in Spanish and German from the University of Glasgow, and is currently enrolled in the Paralegal Program at George Brown College.

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. 

Jason Lesage is the British Columbia Liaison Officer with CUTRIC in Vancouver. In this role, he is responsible for stakeholder relations with companies, business associations, academic institutions, research organizations and government in B.C. as well as in the prairie provinces.

Prior to CUTRIC, Jason worked in marketing and communications in the corporate, governmental and non-profit sectors including LifeSciences BC, Mitacs, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, the Queen’s Park Healthcare Foundation, the B.C. Legislature and the Mayor’s Office at Vancouver City Hall. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Victoria, a Certificate in Public Relations from Langara College and he will receive a Certificate in Dialogue and Civic Engagement from Simon Fraser University later this year. Jason is also certified by the International Association for Public Participation in Planning, Techniques and Foundations in Public Participation.

B.Com. – Accounting and Finance, McMaster University

Michael Keran provides accounting and financial support to CUTRIC.

Elysa Darling

Senior Consultant, Switchboard Public Relations

LLM – University of Calgary

JD – University of Calgary

BA – Political Science & International Relations, University of British Columbia

Elysa uses her skills — namely, analysis and critical thinking, risk management and problem-solving — to serve CUTRIC’s communications needs. Elysa is a Senior Consultant with Switchboard Public Relations based out of the Calgary office, and works with CUTRIC on all public relations and communications matters. Prior to her work in the communications field, Elysa practiced corporate commercial law for First Nations, and previously worked for an international not for profit.

Media Contact: Elysa Darling


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