2023- DITA CREATE Annual Conference Keynotes

Lisa Cole: Leading with Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Mind

Bio.  Lisa Cole is a passionate, award-winning educator, and system leader in STEM (Science,Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education. She is the Director of Programming at k2i (kindergarten to industry) academy at the Lassonde School of Engineering, an innovative ecosystem of diverse partners, committed to dismantling systemic barriers to opportunity for underrepresented students in STEM. Lisa is an advocate for diversity and inclusion in STEM with experience providing workshops, consulting on the development of resources, managing large scale projects, developing multi-stakeholder partnerships, and facilitating diverse teams. She believes that STEM literacy is important for all. Through her work, she hopes to inspire leaders, educators, students, and communities to become future innovators, critical thinkers,
and problem solvers.

Abstract. Let’s explore leadership together through the lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion. In this session, we will discuss the role of leaders in creating the cultures and conditions for people to contribute and thrive in dynamic teams and the importance of reflective practice that supports personal growth and learning along each of our journeys. As thought leaders, innovators, and creators of change, our privilege, power, and potential for influence requires each of us to consider the role we play in creating an inclusive future for all.

Dan Stevens: Practical Considerations of Imaging Technologies in Fluorescence Microscopy

Bio. Dr. Dan Stevens is an Application Specialist for optical microscopy with Carl Zeiss, the leading supplier of optical microscopes in academic research for over 150 years. Since joining Zeiss in 2006 while completing his doctorate, Dan has worked across Canada and the USA at leading academic institutions, teaching and demonstrating microscopy technologies. A graduate of the Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics at the University of Toronto, Dan came to microscopy as a method of evaluating the impact of transgenic manipulation on mouse models of human disease. As a routine user of widefield, confocal, two-photon, light-sheet and various
superresolution techniques, Dan advises academic groups on the best imaging technology to meet their experimental requirements. On good days this means producing images of things  that have never been seen before.

Abstract. The number of fluorescence microscopy techniques commonly found in an academic imaging facility has exploded in the past two decades. The basic camera and laser scanning confocal have been joined by lightsheet, two-photon and a variety of superresolution technologies. Choosing the best technology in order to extract the desired data from an experimental model is not always a simple task. This talk will introduce a range of fluorescence imaging modalities and discuss the practical considerations of each, including sample preparation, sensitivity, speed and resolution.

Wen-Hong Zhu: A Challenge Problem in Autonomous Robotics: Precision Control of Flexible Systems

Bio. Wen-Hong Zhu received his PhD from Xi’an Jiaotong University in 1991 and published his PhD work in IEEE Trans. on Robotics and Automation in 1992. He was awarded more than four PDFs and worked at four institutions in China, South Korea, Belgium, and Canada, before joining CSA in 2001. He is a book author (Virtual Decomposition Control) and specialized in precision control of complex robotic systems.

Abstract. Autonomous robots are expected to execute tasks autonomously. An autonomous system is generally a feedback control system at task level, from environment awareness as “measurement” to decision making as “control action.” Such a system is often internally supported by a motion control system that directly makes use of commanding and tracking control at the lowest signal level. In this speech, a challenging problem, precision control of flexible systems, is presented as an essence in pursuing successful autonomous operations for space robotic manipulators. Concentrated on two technical elements, namely control bandwidth and system natural frequency, industrial trend, technical difficulties, drawback of current practice as well as possible directions for solution are outlined.

PKevin Matthews:  Environmental Sustainability – The Road Travelled

Bios. Kevin is a management consultant with 30 years’ experience in developing, building and operating bio-energy facilities. Kevin was the founder and President of CCI BioEnergy Inc.(CCI), a privately-owned company based in Toronto. The company is focused on building and operating both large scale municipal anaerobic digestion plants that utilize the BTA® Process as the core technology, and micro-scale anaerobic digestion plants utilizing technology developed by Qube Renewables out of the UK. In 2021 Kevin sold CCI and continues to provide consulting services to the new management. Kevin is also the founder and owner of Sustainable Resource Solutions Ltd. (SRS) through which he delivers his consulting practice. Kevin’s expertise lies in:
• Technology License Negotiations
• Environmental Laws and Regulations
• Corporate and Project Financing
• Corporate Organization and Operations
• Plant Construction and Operations
• Corporate Governance

Abstract. TKevin is a pioneer in the business of Anaerobic Digestion (AD) of food waste. He developed the first commercial scale AD plant in North America. Today such plants are numerous. Kevin will speak about his journey. He will also speak about the environmental sector and provide some perspectives on the exercise of taking ideas and research through to commercialization.

Vio Onut:  Security and Societal Challenges as a Consequence of AI Advancements

Bios. Iosif-Viorel (Vio) Onut is passionate about accelerating curriculum and product innovation through R&D. In the past decade, he has managed more than 150 research projects involving 35 universities, led by over 90 professors for over 360 students and over 330 IBM staff. He specializes in cybersecurity and cybercrime. He finished his Ph.D. in 2008 at the University of New Brunswick, specializing in network security, and has worked in security for the past 20 years. Vio holds multiple positions, he currently is Co-Director at the uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range; Adjunct Professors at the University of Ottawa; and Senior Manager, R&D Strategy at
IBM Advanced Studies Canada.
Abstract. With the exponential advances in AI, the potential reuse of these technologies to enhance cyber-attacks is a reality that security professionals face. We will look in particular at misuses of Deepfake technology that allows altering someone's appearance in a video. It is easy to see how this irresponsible use can augment a social engineering attack making it more credible. Let's take together a journey through a set of malicious uses of AI technology, from relatively low-impact consequences to state actors trying to overpower countries. We welcome participants to think about instances where they use AI technology and how a hacker could take advantage of that.