ABOUT CUTRIC

Our Successful Team of
Professionals

The work we do at the Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation
Consortium (CUTRIC) is made possible by our many industry-leading consultants,
public relations officers, coordinators, project managers and executive team.

Executives
Josipa
Petrunic

President & CEO, CUTRIC

About Josipa

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…

Education

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

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Michele
Davies

Fractional Chief Operating Officer

About Michele
Michele Davies has built her career on the front lines of corporate Canada adopting emerging technologies. From the earliest days of web-enabled applications, enterprise resource planning systems and internet-driven business models, she has helped executive teams to plan and deliver strategic initiatives. As a business generalist, her projects cross lines of business, leverage her political acuity and structure complexity.

The foundation of her career focused on developing the processes, people, and systems to support strategic goals. Over the last 15 years her operations expertise expanded to include finding, developing and managing significant domestic and international partnerships. Most recently, she led and managed government and industry partnerships that supported the development of large strategic initiatives including leading a proposal to support the $400M ENCQOR proposal submission that brought pre-commercial 5G R&D infrastructure to small and medium companies in Ontario and Quebec. An earlier IBM transit smartcard proposal valued at $200M harnessed IBM’s global knowledge base, local and international partners, and technology credentials to create a competitive market position.

Known for her strategic and grounded approach, Ms. Davies received an MBA from Ivey Business School and B. Math from the University of Waterloo and received her management consulting and project management training at IBM’s global training facilities.
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Marianne
Neuper

Fractional Chief Financial Officer

About Marianne
Marianne has 15+ years of expertise in directing the financial and accounting activities for private and publicly traded companies in a range of industries and company structures. With experience in both small ($5M) to large ($500M+) companies, she helps CEOs and owners generate more cash and time to run their companies.

Marianne focuses on building trust with CEOs and owners. She partners with them to convert their strategic visions into productive and growth building initiatives. Marianne rapidly assesses a situation and identifies quick wins and long-term opportunities to maximize the value of their company, while mitigating risk. She rolls up her sleeves and collaboratively customizes a sustainable plan to improve the company’s financial health.

Her experience includes working with owners and executives across all business lines to help them to see the bigger financial picture including all elements that support a positive cash flow. She speaks your language about your operations and translates numbers into something that supports you in reaching your operational goals. Marianne is a firm believer in solving challenging areas through group buy-in to achieve better profitability.

Marianne holds a Finance and Accounting Bachelor’s degree from the University of Applied Sciences in Austria and is a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Canadian Certified Management Accountant (CMA).

Marianne is based in Toronto, Canada.
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Marie-Claude
Perreault

Human Resources Legal Advisor

About Marie-Claude
Marie-Claude has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 1990, and a member of l’Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés as a certified industrial relations counsellor (CRIA) since 2002. She was a partner at a major Montreal law firm for 23 years, during which time she worked for employers operating out of Quebec for Canadian, American, and European companies. In addition, from 2013 to 2016, she held the position of Vice President Human Resources, Occupational Health and Safety and Legal Affairs for a public company (TSX Toronto) with operations in Canada and the United States. Marie-Claude was responsible for the integration of working conditions for all companies acquired by the head office (approximately 20 acquisitions over a 3-year span) across different jurisdictions.

Her management experience, combined with her years of experience as a managerial attorney in labour and employment law as well as in occupational health and safety law, has bestowed her with a global understanding and vision that allows her to adopt strategies that encompass all aspects of the business.
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Nadia
Nincevic

Fractional Director: Membership, Marketing and Communications

About Nadia
Nadia is recognized for creating revenue generating and cost saving opportunities for Canadian advanced manufacturers and non-profits. For the past 15+ years, she has served as a convener across industry, government, and academia leading exciting projects around Canadian Innovation and the low carbon economy.

During her time with Canada’s national Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA) and Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, she successfully implemented structured sales strategies to improve membership and foreign direct investment goals, respectively. In addition, she has worked extensively with global automotive suppliers and manufacturers, where she led Industry 4.0 implementations, planned and executed corporate Environmental Social Governance (ESG) strategies, and secured government funding for over $150M in global business expansions

At CUTRIC, Nadia holds an advisory role in supporting the planning and execution for strategic initiatives around Membership, Marketing and Communications

Nadia is currently based in Mississauga, Ontario.
Bachelor of Science, University of Guelph

ZEB Consulting Services

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Parvathy
Pillai

Program Manager: ZEB Consulting Services and Business Development

About Parvathy
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.
M.Sc. – Global Health, McMaster University

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

Hon. B.Sc. – Chemistry, McMaster University
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Roberto
Sardenberg

Senior Lead – Data Science and Knowledge Management

About Roberto
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 – 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
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Junli
Hu

Zero-Emission Bus (ZEB) Simulation GIS Technician

About Junli
Junli Hu is the Zero-Emission Bus (ZEB) Simulation GIS Technician responsible for working on ZEB performance modelling and geospatial data analysis. This work assists cities and transit agencies across Canada and the US to plan their fleet electrification. Mr. Hu also performs literature reviews to aid CUTRIC’s modelling projects to enhance the functionality of the RoutΣ.i 2.0 modelling tool.

Junli received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences Co-op with a specialization in Geographic Information System (GIS) from McMaster University and he is currently pursuing the GIS Professional (GISP®) designation.

Prior to CUTRIC, Junli worked as a GIS Technician for Ontario Land Trust Alliance. He created the maps and geoprocessed spatial data through ArcGIS to support various land conservation projects. During Junli’s co-op, Junli utilized his GIS knowledge and geospatial techniques to support electric mobility data analysis for McMaster Institute for Transportation & Logistics and to assist the implementation of Source Protection Plans for the Regional Municipality of Halton.

Junli Hu is currently based in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada.
Hon. B.Sc. – Earth and Environmental Sciences Co-op, McMaster University
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Titash
Choudhury

Social Scientist: Low Carbon Smart Mobility

About Titash
Titash Choudhury, the Social Scientist – Low Carbon Smart Mobility is responsible for CUTRIC’s social science research. As part of the ZEB Consulting Services™ team, she also undertakes research for CUTRIC’s members and clients to understand the social impact of transit electrification in Canada.

Ms. Choudhury has worked in various sectors like Energy, Environment, Wildlife, Mental Health and Education. Prior to CUTRIC, she worked as a researcher with the Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association to solve the existing issues faced by urban Indigenous people in Canada.

Ms. Choudhury has a Masters in Anthropology from the University of Alberta, and a Masters in Ecology and Sustainable Development from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India.

Titash Choudhury is currently based in Edmonton, Alberta.
M.A – Anthropology (University of Alberta)

M.A – Ecology Environment, and Sustainable Development, Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Hon. B.Sc – Microbiology, West Bengal State University
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Jim
Brosseau

Project Management Office Consulting Lead

About Jim
Jim Brosseau, the Project Management Office (PMO) consulting lead at CUTRIC, supports the organization in developing and deploying a consistent approach to managing projects across all divisions at CUTRIC.

Prior to CUTRIC, Jim has provided project management training and PMO support to a wide range of organizations worldwide, is on the board of the BC Organizational Development Network, and has published books on teamwork for technical teams and developing personal resilience. He is a Project Management Professional (PMP®), and has an Hon. B.Sc. in Physics from Ottawa University.

Jim Brosseau is currently based in Burnaby, BC, Canada.
Hon. B.Sc. in Physics from Ottawa University
Project Management Professional (PMP®),
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Mahnoor
Ayyaz

Zero-Emission Bus Simulation GIS Technician

About Mahnoor
Mahnoor Ayyaz, the Zero-Emission Bus Simulation GIS Technician at CUTRIC, is responsible for GIS data analysis and zero emission fleet implementation and rollout planning. This work assists cities as well as transit agencies across Canada and the US to plan their fleet electrification. Ms. Ayyaz is also working to enhance the functionality of the RoutΣ.i 2.0 modelling tool.

Prior to CUTRIC, Ms. Ayyaz worked in the Transportation industry where she was responsible for creating streamlined workflow and cost-saving analysis for the collection of road-data. She also worked in Utilities where she made efficient processes and GIS related solutions.

Ms. Ayyaz received her Bachelor of Environmental Studies Degree in Geography and Environmental Management with a Specialization in Geomatics from the University of Waterloo. She also has her Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification received from QCDMS Consultants.

Ms. Ayyaz is currently based in Milton, Ontario.
BES, Geography and Environmental Management, Geomatics Specialization, University of Waterloo
Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification, QCDMS
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Ryan
Welfle

Zero-Emission Bus Transportation Planner and Developer

About Ryan
Ryan Welfle, the Zero-Emission Bus Transportation Planner and Developer at CUTRIC, works with the GIS expert advisor and Senior Data Scientist to identify the manual aspects of the currently used GIS methodology that can be automated efficiently and effectively. Mr. Welfle designs and develops automated GIS toolsets to perform route-based, block-based and vehicle-based modelling, to generate outputs such as – route profiles integrating non-revenue and revenue distances, feasibility outcomes, charger cluster analyses, and on-demand options.

Prior to CUTRIC, Ryan Welfle worked as a GIS Technician designing fibre optics circuits. He also volunteered as a coordinator for various community garden/seed-saving initiatives. He received his Bachelor in Environmental Studies, as well as a Certificate in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing from York University

Ryan Welfle is currently based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Bachelor in Environmental Studies, York University
Certificate in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing, York University
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Jessica
Hanson

Project Manager: Zero Emission Bus (ZEB) Initiatives

About Jessica
Jessica has extensive experience launching and managing complex bidding cycles, collaborating with civil society actors, liaising with municipal governments and conceptualizing and developing in-person and online events.

Jessica started her career in the publications department of the Centre for International Governance Innovation, before taking on a number of project development and program management roles at FIM-Forum for Democratic Global Governance and the World Design Organization, including leading five cycles of the World Design Capital initiative.

Ms. Hanson completed a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at McGill University, a Masters of Arts in International Relations at the University of Sussex and obtained the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in 2015.

Jessica is currently based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Project Management Professional (PMP)
MA in International Relations
BA in Political Science
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Tanyaradzwa
Muswera

Zero-Emission Bus Simulation GIS Technician

About Tanyaradzwa
Tanyaradzwa Muswera, the Zero-Emission Bus Simulation GIS Technician at CUTRIC is responsible for providing innovative GIS solutions in spatial analysis, including work on ZEB performance modelling which encompasses, among other processes, route, block and vehicle modelling. Ms. Muswera also works with the ZEB Consulting Services team to enhance the functionality of the RoutΣ.i Modelling Tool.

Prior to CUTRIC, Tanyaradzwa worked as a GIS Analyst in natural resource management, providing geospatial analysis support, designing and developing GIS models and tools as well as producing high quality cartographic products. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from University of Zimbabwe and a joint Master of Science Degree in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation for Environmental Modelling and Management from University of Twente (ITC), the Netherlands and Lund University, Sweden.

Tanyaradzwa Muswera is currently based in Calgary, Alberta.
M.Sc. – Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation for Environmental Modelling and Management, University of Twente (ITC), the Netherlands and Lund University, Sweden

Hon. B.A. – Geography, University of Zimbabwe
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Mohammad
Kharouf

Zero Emission Bus (ZEB) Simulation Modeller

About Mohammad
Mohammad Kharouf, the Zero Emission Bus (ZEB) Simulation Modeller at CUTRIC, conducts techno-economic feasibility studies using the RoutΣ.i modelling tool in order to help transit agencies make informed decisions towards decarbonizing public transit bus routes. Mr. Kharouf also works with the ZEB consulting team to enhance the functionality of the RoutΣ.i modelling tool. Prior to CUTRIC, Mohammad worked for 10 years as an electrical engineer leading the electrical design and construction of massive, electrified railway projects. He received a Masters of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of British Columbia where he developed a novel optimization model for the decarbonization of the transit bus system considering emissions reduction targets and distributed energy resources. Mohammad is currently based in Kelowna, British Columbia.
M.A.Sc. – Electrical Engineering, University of British Columbia

B.Sc. – Electrical Engineering, University of Jordan

 

Membership Success

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Marie-Ève
Assunçao-Denis

Membership Success Officer

About Marie-Ève
As a Membership Success Officer at CUTRIC, Marie-Ève Assunçao-Denis supports CUTRIC’s national membership outreach efforts through various mediums including email, meetings, presentations and other communications mechanisms. She acts as a liaison and support officer for current and potential members and partners, while also developing and implementing membership recruitment and retention strategies, focus group methodologies, interviews and surveys.

Prior to CUTRIC, Ms. Assunçao-Denis worked as a transportation planner and project manager at several international organizations including ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) and UN-Habitat. She has contributed to public policies, active and public transportation projects as well as urban and community development proposals. Before moving back to Canada in 2019, she worked a few years in international and community development, which led her to live in seven countries over four continents. She also studied bicycle planning, architecture and graphic design, and she is a published researcher in the field of active transportation. She is fluent in French, English and Spanish, and also speaks Portuguese.

Marie-Ève Assunçao-Denis is currently based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
M.U.P. – Urban Planning, McGill University

Planning the Cycling City Summer School, University of Amsterdam’s Urban Cycling Institute

AA Mexico City Visiting School, Architectural Association School of Architecture

B.A. – International Development Studies and Political Science, McGill University

Certificate in International Cooperation, University of Montreal

A.C.S. – Community Development and Intercultural Relations, Marie-Victorin College

Operations & Communications

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Jess
Smith

Governance & Funding Proposal Coordinator

About Jess
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.
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Caren
Moss

Operations Coordinator

About Caren
Caren Moss, the Operations Coordinator at CUTRIC, optimizes the production process by identifying and solving problems at all levels of the business and is responsible for creating an organized and collaborative working environment.

Ms Moss also supports the positive branding and reputational growth of CUTRIC nationally. Prior to CUTRIC, Caren worked in operations and volunteer management and has extensive experience with NGOs and grassroots organizations in the art industry in South Africa.

Caren Moss is currently based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
PGDip. Marketing Management, University of South Africa
Hons. BA Art History, University of South Africa
BA. Art History, Rhodes University
Certificate in Creative Writing, Rhodes University
Certificate in Public Relations, University of South Africa
Managing for Results, Gordon Institute for Business Science
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Leah
Geller

Contract Editor

About Leah
Leah Geller is a senior writer and editor with more than 20 years of experience communicating complex information in an engaging and meaningful way.

With a B.Sc. from McGill, Leah specializes in translating technical and scientific information into content for a general audience. She has written on behalf of cabinet ministers, senior executives and Canada’s Chief Science Advisor, and has been published in university and trade magazines.

Leah Geller is currently based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

 

Marketing

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Melissa
Heynes

National Administrative Coordinator & Marketing Lead

About Melissa
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.
Diploma in Public Management at the University of South Africa

Certificate in Public Relations at the University of South Africa

Certified Digital Marketing Professional (CDMP) from the Digital Marketing Institute

Commercialization

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Conrad
Kassier

Zero-Emission Bus (ZEB) Commercialization Team Lead

About Conrad
Conrad Kassier, the Zero-Emission Bus (ZEB) Commercialization Team Lead at CUTRIC, leads a diverse portfolio of zero-emission bus projects, including demonstration and integration trials with CUTRIC’s members and partners across the country. Conrad also leads programs with power providers and covers strategic alignment with stakeholders across Canada.

Prior to CUTRIC, Conrad coordinated communications for net zero pathways in Canada. Before that, he worked in project management for Low Carbon Transport on policy and demonstration efforts, Cleantech Innovation for start-ups, and Industrial Energy Efficiency systems solutions with specialized international organizations. He is an Accredited Change Management Specialist (ACM Specialist) and is working towards his PMP. Conrad received his Bachelor of Arts in International Studies including his Honours Degree in Political Science from Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He obtained his joint Master of Arts Degree in Global Studies from the University of Wrocław in Poland and the University of Vienna in Austria.

Conrad is currently based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Accredited Change Manager (ACM Specialist), CMI Canada

Project Management Professional (Candidate), PMI

M.A. – Global Studies (Energy Governance), University of Wrocław & University of Vienna

B.A. Honours – Political Science, Stellenbosch University

B.A. – International Studies, Stellenbosch University
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Maria
Pinto

Project Manager: Rail Innovation and Smart Mobility

About Maria
Maria Pinto, the Project Manager, Rail Innovation at CUTRIC, manages CUTRIC’s Smart Rail Innovation initiative.

Prior to CUTRIC, Maria led integrated physical security projects with the introduction of new technology in transportation facilities with the Government of Canada. She participated in the development of the Confederation Line, the Ottawa Light Rail Transit project and the Hwy 417 Expansion project. She holds the Next Generation Transportation certificate from the Simon Fraser University and has a Master of Science in Logistics Management with Transportation System concentration from the Universidad Nacional de la Fuerza Armada Nacional in Venezuela.

Maria Pinto is currently based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Certificate – Next Generation Cities and Transportation, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia

M.Sc. – Logistics Management (Transportations Systems Concentration), Universidad de la Fuerza Armada Nacional, Venezuela

B. Sc. – Architecture, Universidad de los Andes, Venezuela

Advanced Technician – Design of Civil Engineering Construction, IUT Antonio José de Sucre, Venezuela

Government Relations

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Dominique
Fascinato

Government Relations Lead

About Dominique
Dominique Fascinato, the Government Relations Lead, is supporting CUTRIC's national, provincial and municipal government and public relations efforts through strategic development, project leadership and stakeholder management. Prior to CUTRIC, Dominique worked in the Ontario Public Service for half a decade. In her most recent role, Dominique held the position of Senior Economist for the Ontario Ministry of Finance where she supported the delivery of the 2021 and 2022 provincial budgets. Dominique also has several years of experience delivering provincial policies and projects that focus on sustainable transportation. Dominique is bilingual in English and French and holds a Master in Public Policy from the University of Toronto. Dominique Fascinato is currently based in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada.
M.P.P.- Public Policy

Hon B.A. - Political Science and International Studies