Murdoch McKinnon | PhD Student, University of Waterloo
Youth Environmental Action Panel (Saturday Morning)
Murdoch is a PhD student in Geography at the University of Waterloo. His research involves studying a new method to turn oil well pads back into peatland wetlands just outside of Slave Lake, Alberta. Accordingly, he spends much of his time knee-deep in peat, swatting mosquitoes, and pouring water out of his boots—all in the name of science.
He is also a member of the new Youth Advisory Council at Ducks Unlimited Canada, where he works as part of a team of young people from across the country to help improve wetland conservation programming for youth. When not out studying a wetland or in the lab, Murdoch can usually be found exploring the Canadian Rockies on foot or on skis.
Lisa Pollio | Program Manager, Careers in Energy (Energy Safety Canada)
Innovation Gallery (Saturday morning)
Lisa joined Energy Safety Canada (ESC) as a Program Manager in 2013, after six years of working in the oil sands region of Fort McMurray. Lisa learned valuable field experience as a Health, Safety and Environment Advisor and then transitioned to a Disability Management role. This hands-on knowledge allowed her to obtain the Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) designation.
Being part of the Training and Industry Development and Support teams at ESC has enabled Lisa to bring her expertise of our sector to the Careers in Energy group. An adventurer at heart, Lisa loves spending her free time in the mountains or travelling to different parts of the world with her family.
Dr. Paolo Mussone | Ovintiv Applied Research Chair in Energy, Northern Alberta Institute of Science and Technology
Round Tables (Friday afternoon)
Dr. Paolo Mussone holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science and has 20 years of experience in industrial innovation, technology commercialization, and research in the fields of applied chemistry and environmental science.
As the Ovintiv Applied Research Chair in Energy at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Paolo leads multidisciplinary and multistakeholder projects spanning laboratory and field activities focusing on technology development and validation with emphasis on environmental applications relevant to the circular economy. Paolo also leads training and mentorship initiatives to support Indigenous communities in establishing environmental monitoring programs with special focus on freshwater and soil quality.
Paolo earned a PhD in Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science from the University of Manchester in the UK, an MSc in Process Control Engineering, and a BSc in Chemical Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Milan. Prior to joining NAIT, he was a process development engineer in the hydrogen, syngas, and methanol industrial catalysis team at Haldor Topsoe A/S in Lyngby, Denmark (2002-2003).
His academic career includes a postdoctoral fellowship in the Oil Sands Engineering Research group (2007–2009), Research Associate in the Biorefining Conversions and Fermentation Laboratory in the Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences (2010–2014), and Process Engineering Lead in the Department of Chemical Engineering (2015), at the University of Alberta.
Kim Sturgess | CEO, WaterSMART Solutions
Water Futures Panel (Friday 10:30-11:30)
Kim Sturgess is the founder and CEO of WaterSMART Solutions Ltd., a services organization committed to improving water management through better technologies and practices. She has led the development of collaborative watershed management models and systems over the last 15 years and has supported water management planning in industry and government.
In addition to serving on the boards of her own companies, she has served on the boards of the Alberta Chamber of Resources, Council of Canadian Academies, Alberta Water Council, Canadian Academy of Engineering, National Research Council, and the Alberta Economic Development Authority.
She has a degree in Engineering Physics from Queen’s University, an MBA from Western University, an Honorary Doctor of Science from Queen’s University and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Calgary. She is a Member of the Order of Canada.
Autumn EagleSpeaker | Outreach Coordinator, Keepers of the Water
Round Tables (Friday afternoon)
Autumn is Blackfoot from Kainai First Nation in Southern Alberta and African American. As Indigenous Outreach Coordinator at Keepers of the Water, a grassroots Indigenous and ally supported organization rooted in decolonizing Indigenous water governance, Autumn assists in amplifying Indigenous community voices impacted by proposed and existing coal and fossil fuel extraction projects. Through educational sessions and community dialogues Autumn is sharing how these projects impact water, land, affect people, animals and species at risk.
Autumn believes firmly in the protection of the environment and Indigenous rights. She has worked in the area of Indigenous consultation, non-profit management and cultural event curation. Autumn’s educational background is Indigenous governance and political science.