Instructor Bios

Chemical Laboratory Technology

Andrew Jones

Ian MacKay

Environmental Technology

Andrew Jones

Ian MacKay

Colin Pattison

Petroleum Engineering Technology

Ali Derizadeh

Brendon Lumgair

Electrical Engineering Technology

Tim Gumpinger

Shashi Persaud

Meet...

I have been with SAIT for the past 14 years and currently teach chemistry courses in the Chemical Laboratory Technology and Environmental Technology diploma programs.

Life before SAIT:

After achieving my BSc in Honours Chemistry at McGill, and a Masters in chemistry/biophysics at UBC, I spent four intense years as an officer on sail training ships off Canada's west coast and in the South Pacific.

From there I transitioned into formal education by qualifying as a high school teacher through the University of Victoria. I enjoyed teaching in high schools, but decided to change paths so that I could focus more on chemistry. After a short time instructing in British Columbia's college system, I found the career I was looking for at SAIT instructing for what was then called the CHT program.

Spare Time:

I have four children between the ages of 10 and 18 so when I'm not working, or ferrying kids to and from church; I enjoy music, reading and outdoor activities like boating, skiing and hiking.

Best thing about teaching at SAIT:

The best thing about teaching at SAIT is instructing the same cohort of students over the course of their entire four-semester program. Chemistry is a subject that students don't really get it until late in the program, often not until their final semester. Eventually when things click, students find themselves excited to learn even more. Seeing this progression first hand is rewarding for me.

Student quotes on instructor:

"Andrew is a very dynamic instructor who always manages to make each class a new experience. Interesting stories and analogies, along with crazy antics, await the students every time they step into his classroom."

"Andrew constantly challenged us with his contagious enthusiasm for everything he was teaching. He is a compassionate and truly inspiring instructor."


 

Meet...

Since 2009, I have taught the Petroleum Engineering Technology (PT) program specializing in both Reservoir and Project Management courses.

Life before SAIT:

Originally from Iran, I came to Canada in 2002 with a background in Chemical Engineering. In 2004, I completed my master's degree in Engineering in Petroleum Reservoir Engineering at the University of Calgary. After completing my PhD specializing in Produce Water Recycling for Heavy Oil Recovery Operations in 2009, I became a SAIT instructor.

Favourite moments in class:

Class time is always fun for me, and I believe the best part of teaching is being able to have an impact on new students and see the results of my teachings reflected in the students' success.

Spare Time:

In my spare time, I travel with family and friends, take road trips to BC, watch movies and sports, read books, and play soccer.

Best thing about teaching at SAIT:

"Teaching is a very rewarding career where you can see students progress from having minimal knowledge, to being completely competent and "ready to work." The hands-on experience of SAIT is very valuable, so our PET graduates have a very good idea of what's going on in industry."

Students Weigh in:

"Ali is an inspiring instructor who has a true passion for teaching.  He embraces his lectures and makes you want to come back for more!  One of the best instructors I have had at SAIT."

"Ali is an excellent instructor due to his high esteem for professionalism, and his positive attitude towards the students.  He is always willing to assist us in the many questions we have.  A true "Boss," he encourages us to solve problems on our own, but always steers us in the right direction.  Ali: Great Instructor, Great Guy."


 

Meet...

I have been at SAIT for 13 years, starting in technical support for the Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) program. For the last eight years, I've been an EET instructor specializing in Electrical Machines, Power Systems, and Industrial Networking and Communications.

I am proud to say that I was nominated for the SAIT Student Association's Instructor Award in 2007 and 2010.

Life before SAIT:

I received an Electrical Engineering Technology diploma from The Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology, and worked for various electrical field service companies including the City of Saskatoon Electrical Services Department.

Favourite moments in class:

As a hands-on instructor, I really enjoy using demonstrations or technological examples to help reinforce theory. I like seeing the students' responses as they reach that moment of understanding. It's a true pleasure to see my students succeed.

Spare Time:

 With a young family, I spend most of my spare time taking my daughters to and from competitive figure skating events. My family loves to ski in the winter and camp in the summer. I also enjoy golfing, reading, tinkering around with new technologies.

Best thing about teaching at SAIT:

"As an instructor at SAIT, I get to be involved with students succeeding in both their studies and at the forefront of their careers. SAIT also gives me the opportunity to be a lifelong learner as well as a teacher, and I have been able to get my PLC certificate, a Provincial Instructor Diploma from Vancouver Community College, and I'm working towards my Masters in Learning and Technology."

Students Weigh in:

"He is always very enthusiastic and very professional in his class. He can make the learning enjoyable. Whenever you need help, he will be always there for you. He is not only an excellent teacher, but also a very nice friend. If I have opportunities to go back school again, I will absolutely register for his class."


 

Meet...

I've been teaching the Chemical Laboratory Technology program since I first arrived at SAIT Polytechnic 13 years ago.  I also teach in the Environmental Technology program and have done so for 8 years.

I have been nominated for the SAIT Student Association Instructor Award three times since I've been here: in 2007, 2008, and again this year (2011).

Life before SAIT:

I grew up and went to school on Vancouver Island. During my graduate work, I synthesized organometallic transition metal complexes and then irradiated them with high powered "laser" beams.  Just like Dr. Evil in Austin Powers.

I obtained both my BSc and PhD from the University of Victoria in 1998, the same year my daughter Sarah was born.  I have been married to my wife Liz for 16 years.

Favourite moments in class:

Conducting fun organic demonstrations in class. I love involving the students by connecting the magic of chemistry with difficult theoretical concepts, and I enjoy when the students get excited about the material.  I always wanted to be a magician.

Spare time:

  • Bike riding: I ride to work.
  • Camping: my wife and I discovered last year that we actually enjoy sleeping in a tent.
  • My dogs: Max and Maggie, a lot of trouble but worth it.

Best thing about teaching at SAIT:

First and foremost, I enjoy working with the students.  As an organization, SAIT has treated me well and has given me the resources I need to be successful in the classroom.  It brings me much satisfaction to know that what we teach here is so readily applied in the real world, and that I play a part in getting students started in their careers. I am fortunate to work with an extraordinary group of people.

Students weigh in:

"Ian is an excellent instructor, he is very knowledgeable and always willing to help. He is known to say 'Water is Mother Nature's solvent', or 'No one can do it like Mother Nature'."

"Ian is a great instructor who always makes it fun to come to class, from chemistry magic shows to interesting stories from his background in organic chemistry."

"Ian makes it fun to go to class. He brings a very easy going yet disciplined kind of professionalism to the classroom. Definitely one of the highlights in the Environmental Technology program."


 

Meet...

Colin teaches Environmental Technology program at MacPhail School of Energy with topics including: Ecology, Impact Assessment, Risk Assessment, Site Reclamation, Sustainable Design, Environmental Field School, and Environmental Analysis for Sustainability. He has won numerous awards including the National Institute for Staff and Organization Development Award, the Ralph T. Scurfield Award of Excellence, and the SAITSA Instructor Excellence Award. 

Life before SAIT: 

B. Comm., M.Sc., PhD candidate

  • Member of Canadian Land Reclamation Association, International Ecological Society
  • Currently I am heavily involved in a research project to assess the impact of linear forest clearings on meso-carnivores and their prey in Alberta. This project is designed to involve Environmental Technology students in collecting data on the movement of wildlife in various locations in Alberta's foothills.

Favourite moments in class:

My favourite moments over the past few years have been in the field. The Environmental Technology program has a field school component where students spend an entire week learning to use equipment and techniques to collect environmental data. Students learn much and have fun doing it. It is great to see students working in their chosen field and having such a terrific time.

Spare Time:

In addition to working at SAIT Polytechnic, I have a young family and most of my free time, outside of teaching and my research, is spent with them. As a family, we have been involved in a project to develop a sustainable home. We've put our knowledge into practice in designing and building a completely "off-the-grid" summer home. It has all the comforts of a conventional home including running water, shower and lighting but it was designed to have low energy requirements and is currently powered with two micro-solar systems.

Best thing about teaching at SAIT:

The best thing about teaching at SAIT is the students and faculty. In the Environmental Technology program we are very fortunate to attract students that are intrinsically motivated to work in the environmental discipline. I find it very rewarding to work with such impressive and talented students and faculty.

Students weigh in

"I found that Colin's industry experience, technical knowledge and outdoor expertise helped him to connect and interest us (his students) in new topics. He led class discussions by exploring both sides of the environmental issues at hand, and through careful questioning allowed each individual to form their opinion and get the most from their education. Colin is invested in the success of his students, and I hold him in the highest esteem".

"There are many great things that I can say about Colin as an instructor.  He is patient, understanding, dedicated, willing to help always, he wants to see his students succeed, he challenges his students, he gives his students ALL of the tools needed to succeed, he is easily approachable, fair, considerate, consistent in his marking, consistent in his teaching so you know how to prepare for exams, he is a great person....The list goes on.  I have used more knowledge from his classes in my job than any of the other courses in the EVT program.  He is a great teacher!"

"I've completed more than 8 years of post-secondary education in various fields of study and Colin is the instructor who stands head and shoulders above the rest.  Even though he was a new instructor at the time, he worked incredibly hard to formalize the curriculum in many of our courses and used a variety of teaching methods (including games!) to make tedious subjects such as Environmental Law interesting.  The dedication he showed inspired me to work as hard for him as he so obviously worked for his students, and when I did well on assignments, he seemed as pleased with my success as I was, which further motivated me to excel.  Colin is a gifted instructor who exemplifies the quality of education SAIT Polytechnic strives to provide."


Meet...

Shashi has been at SAIT since 2001 and teaches in the Electrical Engineering Technology program. His primary interests include power system operation, substation design, transmission and distribution planning, conventional and renewable energy generation, electricity markets and electric machines. He has earned teaching excellence awards from SAIT and the SAIT Students' Association as well as from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development.

Life before SAIT:

Prior to joining SAIT, Shashi was a researcher with the Power Systems Group at Queen's University - Belfast. Previously, he was the Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Technology at the University of Guyana. He also served on the national Board of Industrial Training in Guyana, and was actively engaged in private engineering practice as a contractor and consultant.

Favourite moments in class:

"I really enjoy the final capstone project presentations, when it becomes very clear how much students have changed over the two years, and how much more confident they are in their new-found abilities," says Shashi.

Spare time:

 In addition to vocational pursuits, Shashi enjoys travelling and experiencing other cultures. He is also an avid runner and tries to maintain an active lifestyle. In his earlier years, he participated in volleyball, cricket, soccer and scrabble.

Best thing about teaching at SAIT:

"It is the responsibility for transforming students into competent members of the Canadian workforce," says Shashi.

Students weigh in:

"Shashi Persaud is a great teacher because he has an incredible understanding of the curriculum. This is important, but the quality that I appreciate most about him is his ability to relay the information he knows to us, the students. He is an extremely hard worker and will always stay late or give us the time of day to make sure that we understand the material."

"Dr. Shashi Persaud is an instructor with a vast amount of knowledge. He blends real-life situations into classroom theoretical, preparing his students for the work force. There is no Power System question too great for Shashi, or too small. Not only is he passionate about the program, he's passionate about its future. Since we're the future of the industry, he has a great reason to invest in the "stock".


Meet...

Brendon Lumgair

Brendon has been with SAIT since July 2012 and teaches courses on how to drill oil & gas wells in the Petroleum Engineering Technology program.

Life before SAIT: 

"After graduating from the University of Calgary in 2002 with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Philosophy, I spent several years working for oilfield service companies in Grande Prairie and Calgary. My experience includes Wireline Well Logging for Schlumberger, Drill bit Design for Halliburton, and Completions Engineering for Husky"

Favourite moments in class: 

"I really enjoy the opportunity to see my students apply their knowledge in the labs and on the drilling simulator. It is this hands-on experience that completes the adult learning cycle, ensuring that our students fully understand and retain the course material. I also enjoy teaching the students to write a drilling plan, where they learn exactly what is expected of them in industry."

Spare Time:

"I have a young son, so spending time with my family is really important to me. We spend a lot of time at the playgrounds or swimming, and we love to get away to Invermere or Sylvan Lake and water-ski as much as possible. Another favourite activity is to head up to the Hot Springs at Radium."

Best thing about teaching at SAIT: 

"The small class sizes really help me to get to know the students and be on a first name basis with them. This means that they are comfortable coming to me with questions about the industry or seeking career advice. I really like that our students are motivated to learn and get started in industry."

Students Weigh in: 

"As good as it gets! Brendon is an extremely organized instructor and will ensure your time at SAIT is well worth it. From drill bits to mud weight, drilling with Brendon is an absolute trip!"

"Brendon is an instructor who brings a wealth of industry knowledge and a variety of experience into the classroom. He cares for his students and is very passionate about improving the program to be sure what we learn in our lectures and labs reflects the most current advancements in the industry. As students we are the future and I think he feels that investing time in us will only improve the oil and gas industry."