Jamie McInnis, M.ED, PMP — Interim Director, Applied Research Coordinator, Grants
Jamie McInnis is the Senior Research Grants coordinator working with researchers, faculty, their teams, industry and government to move technology along technology readiness levels toward commercialization. She is a successful grant writer; securing and then managing over $47.5M in scientific funding. She is focused on the writing of large and small-scale grant proposals and managing them to ensure the outcomes are achieved on time and within budget.
Jamie believes that working in applied research requires flexibility, initiative and strong adaptability to take on the many roles that are required for a research project or program to be successful. There are not just work breakdown structures (WBS) and Gantt Charts to be prepared; there are students to engage in applied research, there are close-knit ties within and across academic institutions that need to be honoured, industry and government relationships that need to be fostered, budgets to balance and controlled, and risk to manage. Jamie and the grants team work collaboratively to bring success to applied research activities.
Jamie has been a certified Project Manager since 2014, holds a Master’s degree in Policy from the University of Calgary and has several certifications in technical and business writing.
Melanie Ross, BArchSc — Scientific Lead, Green Building Technologies
Melanie Ross (BArchSc) joined SAIT’s Green Building Technologies (GBT) team in 2019 as Research Manager and Business Administration Manager. She is responsible for overseeing research activities within the 850-square-metre GBT Lab and Demonstration Centre, which opened on SAIT campus in June 2017, becoming the first net-zero commercial building in Calgary.
The building received combined infrastructure funding support from federal, provincial and private sources and sets a new standard for net-zero energy and net-zero water design and construction. It serves as a “living laboratory” and includes specialized workshops, testing bays and product development workshops to assist industry in bringing new building products to market. The GBT Lab and Demonstration Centre complements the existing GBT solar labs and a rainwater harvesting lab on SAIT’s main campus near downtown Calgary.
Ross brings more than 10 years of experience with recognized architecture, planning and engineering firms to her role as GBT team lead within Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS). She has a solid background in projects ranging from LEED, WELL and other third-party certifications to energy management and existing building performance, including sustainability planning and policy development.
Vita Martez, PhD — NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in In-Situ Steam Generation and Clean Technologies
Dr. Vita Martez is a recognized leader in chemical technology and environmental engineering and brings over 20 years of solution-oriented expertise and award-winning applied-research experience to this NSERC Industrial Research Chair Program. This Chair program is focused on conducting a two-fold multi-disciplinary applied research in: (a) Steam Generation using once-through-steam-generators (OTSGs) for problem-solving steam-tube fouling challenges in-situ energy-production, and, (b) Clean Technologies for accelerating prototype development and demonstration to deliver energy and environmental solutions.
Vita is also the Scientific Lead for the Centre for Energy Research and Clean Unconventional Technology Solutions (CERCUTS) where the scope of the applied research areas span: (1) Steam Generation Research Solutions, (2) Water Research and Innovation and (3) Clean Technologies and Innovation. This scope supports ARIS’s multi-disciplinary research mandate of addressing Climate Resiliency by contributing to the integrated energy, environment and infrastructure solutions with digitalization at its core.
At CERCUTS she leads and delivers a range of industrial applied research programs and projects through participation in multi-disciplinary collaboration with stakeholders from academia, business start-ups, small to medium-sized enterprises, large enterprises, multi-national companies and others. She has a demonstrated track record of successfully spear-heading clean technologies associated with energy (combined heat and power, and hydrogen), industrial water and waste-water treatment, mobile desalination packaged pilots for clean drinking water to disaster-stricken, remote communities, and clean-tech solutions for methane emission reduction using fuel cells and battery-based energy storage systems. She has trained numerous student cohorts, engaged interns, developed HQPs and empowered and supported early career researchers to become Principal Investigators to lead their research areas successfully. Prior to leading CERCUTS she established the Environmental Technologies research group in 2008 which has made significant industry-relevant research contributions. Vita also served as a sessional instructor at SAIT’s MacPhail School of Energy for 10 years and as a subject matter expert, she has contributed to new curriculum development, authored publications and provides consultation and independent technology reviews.
Vita holds five patents – all of which are assigned to industry — where voluntary royalties to SAIT are directed towards students and education. She is passionate about engaging and empowering the current and future generations of youth in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) program through experiential hands-on research and knowledge dissemination activities by volunteering at local and national science events. She and her team have been involved in local and international industrial research collaborations, and have won numerous regional, national and international awards. Highly engaged in her community, Vita has contributed to eco-initiatives in St. Kitts, Mexico and Chile through a joint initiative with the Alberta Association of Colleges and Technical Institutes and Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture. In addition, Vita serves on the boards of various advisories and not-for-profit organizations.
Ken Whitehead, PhD — Scientific Lead, Centre for Innovation and Research in Unmanned Systems (CIRUS)
Dr. Ken Whitehead is a UAV mapping and applications specialist and research manager at SAIT, in the department of Applied Research and Innovation Services. Formerly as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Calgary, Ken studied the potential uses of UAVs for environmental monitoring. While completing his PhD, Ken worked with the pioneering UAV survey company, Accuas, where he was responsible for coordinating research into UAV data processing and developing UAV applications.
Ken also worked with researchers from a number of universities on a variety of industry-academic joint projects and has authored a number of peer-reviewed journal articles on UAV applications, the current state of the UAV industry in Canada and the application of accuracy standards for UAV surveys.
Prior to moving to Canada in 1999, Ken worked in both the UK and South Africa and held a variety of different positions in both the public and private sectors. Over the course of his career, he has worked as a land surveyor, a photogrammetrist, remote sensing and GIS specialist, remote sensing instructor and independent mapping consultant.
During his PhD, Ken carried out research in the Canadian Arctic and pioneered the use of UAVs for glaciological surveys. His current activity within the research community is focused on developing methods for the fusion of ground-based data with UAV imagery.
Hamid Rajani, PhD, chair, Centre for Innovation and Research in Advanced Manufacturing and Materials (CIRAMM)
As CIRAMM’s chair, Dr. Rajani leads a multidisciplinary team of talented researchers who work at CIRAMM’s state-of-the-art facilities to foster innovation. Dr. Rajani has dedicated his career in both academia and industry to research and development in the fields of advanced manufacturing and materials science. Hamid is an expert in utilizing numerical and experimental tools to study manufacturing processes and the impact of process parameters on materials properties. To date, Dr. Rajani has published more than 40 peer-reviewed articles in prominent journals and has been granted more than 20 patents. Furthermore, the quality of his work has been recognized through several national and international prestigious research awards including the American Welding Society’s Glenn J. Gibson research award, Rio Tinto's research award, UBC's graduate dean's thesis award, and NSERC's postdoctoral fellowship. When not in his office, Hamid can usually be found playing sports, learning something new, volunteering, or travelling.