THE TEAM - Senior Associates

Ahmad Radmanesh, Ph.D., P.Eng.   
Research & Academic Liaison
Ahmad is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary and a former Director of ITS Canada.  His main research areas are autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles and supporting infrastructure. 

Most of his professional career has been in industry and municipal government.  He helped develop the City of Calgary’s ITS Strategic Plan and was the key person for creating the City of Calgary’s Traffic Management Centre and implementing many ITS projects for the City.  He has also worked as a consultant for public and private transportation agencies in Canada and the U.S.

Ahmad has a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Leeds (UK) as well as a Master’s and a Ph.D. in Control Systems Engineering from the University of Sheffield (UK).

Homayoun Najjaran, Ph.D., P.Eng. Research & Academic Liaison Homayoun is an Associate Professor at the Okanagan School of Engineering, at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He is a senior research and development advisor and is an academic liaison officer to promote collaboration between CAVCOE and Canadian universities.

From 2003 to 2006, he worked as a Research Officer at the National Research Council (NRC) Canada where his research focused on the development of robotic systems and sensor technologies.  

In 2006, he joined UBC and founded the Advanced Control and Intelligent Systems (ACIS) Laboratory.  His research focuses on automation and control systems in a variety of applications ranging from unmanned systems and autonomous robots to micro-electromechanical systems.

Dr. Najjaran received his Ph.D. from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, the University of Toronto in 2002. He is a Professional Engineer licensed by Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC). He is a Professional Engineer licensed by Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC).   
Nicolas Saunier, Ph.D., ing.  Nicolas is an Assistant Professor, in the Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering Departement (CGM) at Polytechnique Montréal.

Dr. Saunier is a member of the Interuniversity Research Centre on Enterprise Networks, Logistics and Transportation (CIRRELT), of the Québec network for research in road safety and of Prof. Catherine Morency's research Chair on the evaluation and implementation of sustainability in transportation (MOBILITÉ Chair). He is co-head of the ITS lab of CIRRELT. 

Dr. Saunier is a member of the following TRB committees:
  • Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Computing Applications Committee (ABJ70)
  • Safety Data, Analysis, and Evaluation Committee (ANB20)
  • Pedestrian Committee (ANF10).
Denis Gingras, Dr. Eng.

Dr. Gingras received his electrical engineering degree from Université Laval, Quebéc in 1980.  He received his Doctor of Engineering Degree in 1989. 

He was awarded a Japan Science and Technology Agency fellowship and worked as a guest researcher at the Communication Research Laboratory in Tokyo.  He was Guest Professor at INRIA laboratory in Sophia-Antipolis, France.  Dr Gingras is professor at the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at Sherbrooke.  He has also been an invited professor and guest researcher in various Mexican, US and French universities.

 Dr Gingras is also founder and head of the Canadian research program “Intelligent systems and sensors” in the Federal AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE).  He was the Group Leader of the Intelligent Vehicles Group in the ATLANTIC International Network (Canada-US-Europe).  He is currently a  member of the APMA Connected Vehicle Working Group and the ITS Canada Autonomous Vehicle Task Force.  

Dr Gingras has published 2 books and has authored and co-authored more than 100 publications.

Jairo Viafara, M.Sc. AICP Jairo is a Research Associate at the Transport Institute, and a sessional lecturer at the Supply Chain Department at the Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba. 

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and a Master’s degree in City Planning from the University of Manitoba. 

He is currently a Board member of Villa Rosa, and has worked in the past for several community organizations in Winnipeg including Greenpeace, The Coalition to Save the Elms, Afro-Caribbean Association of Manitoba, and the Colombian Association of Manitoba.

Susan Spencer, BA (Hon), MA Susan joins the CAVCOE team from her company, Susan Spencer & Associates Inc., an independent transportation consultancy practice.  

Susan’s focus is in the area of policy issues arising in the fast-paced world of emerging technologies, particularly in the fields of Automated and Connected Vehicles, intelligent transportation systems, and freight planning & operations.  

Through her professional experience, including 31 years in Canada’s Public Service, Susan is recognized as a thought leader in Canada on these issues and appears regularly as an expert panelist at ITS World Congresses, the Transportation Research Board and other Transportation Conferences.  

She has written many analytical reports, strategy & policy documents and has contributed articles to a number of international publications.  

Susan has a B.A.(Honours) from Queen’s University, Kingston and an M.A. in Public Administration from Carleton University, Ottawa.

Arny Wise, B.Comm., M.Sc. (Pl.), MCIP, RPP (ret). Arny is an urban planner who has focused on urban development, communications and transportation networks for over 40 years.

He was a senior property development industry executive responsible for the planning and development of over 100 major building projects in Greater Toronto.  As a 3-term Director of the Toronto Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO), Arny was awarded a Civic Award of Merit for service to the city.

He founded PodCar Vehicle Systems Inc. in 2009, an autonomous vehicle research firm, and industry partner at the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Automotive Research project, “Green Intelligent Transportation Systems”.

He has published numerous journal articles on urban planning, transportation, finance and legal matters, including “Developing an Intelligent Electric Highway”, Ekistics Magazine, 2009 and "The Impact of Electronic Communications on Metropolitan Form.

Arny received a B. Comm. (Finance) and an M. Sc. (Planning) from the University of Toronto and was a student and protégé of communications expert Marshall McLuhan.  He was a research fellow in urban futures at the Doxiadis Athens Centre of Ekistics (Human Settlements) and a Ph.D. scholar in Urban Geography at the University of Hong Kong.

He is a retired Registered Professional Planner (RPP) and Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners (MCIP).  He is also a Chartered Mediator and an Adjudicator of municipal disputes in British Columbia. 

Geetansh Kakkar, M.Sc.

Geetansh received his Bachelor of Technology degree from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, one of the premier technical institutes in the world, in 2011. Following that, he received his Master of Science degree from The University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver in 2013 where he specialized in application development for the transportation industry.

At CAVCOE, Geetansh promotes development of Automated Vehicles (AVs) in Canada and worldwide. He is also involved with generating business opportunities for companies related to AVs as well as assisting in the software aspects of those opportunities. Geetansh has a perfect blend of industrial and academic experience, by virtue of which, he is also promoting collaboration between CAVCOE and Canadian Universities.

Geetansh’s expertize is in the software side of transportation world. He has developed applications for promotion of green transportation and eco-friendly driving (among others) and has worked on a number of industrial projects where he helped develop ITS products. Geetansh is also an active member of ITS Canada
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