Scientific Advisory Committee



The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) is comprised of representatives from each of the consortium member organizations, and co-chaired by representatives from University of Toronto and Western University.

When collaborative research proposals are submitted to SOSCIP, the SAC is responsible for reviewing, evaluating and approving proposals, as well as determining and approving the allocation of SOSCIP resources. After research projects are approved, the SAC regularly checks in and reviews projects progress.

SAC members are listed below.

Michael Bauer, Western University, SHARCNET
Professor, Department of Computer Science

Co-Chair, SOSCIP Scientific Advisory Committee
SOSCIP Technology Lead, Cloud and Agile High Performance Computing Platforms

Dr. Michael Bauer was Chair of the Computer Science Department at Western Ontario from 1991-1996 and from 2002-2007. From 1996-2001 he was the Associate Vice-President Information Technology at Western University. He served on NSERC’s (National Science and Engineering Research Council) Computer Science grant review committee from 2005-2008 and was chair of the committee in 2008-2009. He was Principal Investigator for the CFI project that initially funded the creation of SHARCNET ( – a multi-university high performance computing grid. He is currently the Associate Director for SHARCNET. Professor Bauer’s primary specializations are in the fields of Distributed Systems, High Performance Computing and Applications of Parallel Computation. He is internationally recognized for his work on the use of policies in the management of distributed systems and applications and in autonomic systems. Dr. Bauer’s research in high performance computing includes the development of novel algorithms for the efficient uses of high performance computing grids, such as SHARCNET, and the development of novel parallel algorithms that can be used to analyze multiple, large multi-modal data sets. He has published over 220 refereed articles, has served on the organizing and program committee of numerous conferences and has refereed for a variety of international journals. He is a member of the IEEE and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and has served on various committees of both organizations. He has supervised over 70 graduate students.


Richard Peltier, University of Toronto
Professor, Department of Physics

Co-Chair, SOSCIP Scientific Advisory Committee

Dr. Richard Peltier, Ph.D., D.Sc., is director of the Centre for Global Change Science, principal investigator of the Polar Climate Stability Network, and the Scientific Director of Canada’s largest supercomputer centre, SciNet. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the American Geophysical Union. His research interests include: atmospheric and oceanic waves and turbulence, geophysical fluid dynamics, physics of the planetary interior, and planetary climate. He has recently won the Herzberg Gold Medal, Canada’s top Science and Engineering prize, as well as the Bower award.


Carlisle Adams, University of Ottawa
Professor, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Prior to Dr. Carlisle Adams’ academic appointment in 2003, he worked for 13 years in industry (Nortel, Entrust) in the design and standardization of a variety of cryptographic and security technologies for the Internet. His research and technical contributions include the CAST family of symmetric encryption algorithms, secure protocols for authentication and management in Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) environments, and a comprehensive architecture and policy language for access control in electronic networks. Dr. Adams is co-author of Understanding PKI: Concepts, Standards, and Deployment Considerations, Second Edition (Addison-Wesley, 2003). He is a Senior Member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR), and is licensed as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.).


Ebrahim Bagheri, Ryerson University
Canada Research Chair in Software and Semantic Computing

Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering

Ebrahim Bagheri is a Canada Research Chair in Software and Semantic Computing, Associate Professor and the Director for the Laboratory for Systems, Software and Semantics (LS3) at Ryerson University. He has expertise in the Semantic Web, Social Media/Network Analytics, and Software Engineering. He is a Senior Member of IEEE and an IBM CAS Fellow. He has been a PI or co-PI on research projects worth over $8M in the past 5 years. More information can be found at his website.


Elnaz Delpisheh, Seneca College
Professor, School of Information and Communications Technology

Elnaz Delpisheh is a professor in the School of Information and Communications Technology at Seneca College. She obtained her Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from York University in October 2015. She worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at York University for one year. Her research is on text analytics, natural language processing, machine learning, and topic modeling. She developed a content-based news recommender system as part of her internship at The Globe and Mail.


Mark Daley, Western University
Associate Professor, Departments of Computer Science, Biology, and Statistics and Actuarial Science

Associate Vice-President, (Research)

Mark Daley is an associate professor in the computer science, biology and statistics & actuarial science departments at Western University, a PI at the Brain and Mind Institute and a University of Toronto Science Leadership Fellow. He also holds an appointment as an adjunct professor in the computer science department at the University of Saskatchewan.


Frank Dehne, Carleton University
Chancellor’s Professor of Computer Science

Dr. Dehne’s research program focuses on improving the performance of big data analytics systems through efficient parallel computing methods for multi-core processors, GPUs, processor clusters and clouds. His team specializes in high performance computing systems for business intelligence and computational biochemistry. Their work enables data scientists to perform complex data analysis operations on very large data sets. Dr. Dehne received a MCS (Dipl. Inform.) from RWTH Aachen University, Germany and a PhD from the University of Würzburg, Germany. He is serving or has served on the Editorial Boards of IEEE Transaction on Computers, Information Processing Letters, Journal of Bioinformatics Research and Applications, and Int. Journal of Data Warehousing and Mining. Dr. Dehne is a member and former vice-chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Parallel Processing, and member of the ACM Symposium on Parallel Algorithms & Architectures Steering Committee. Since 2010, Dr. Dehne is a Fellow of the IBM Centre for Advanced Studies Canada (Business Intelligence and Business Analytics section).


Vic DiCiccio, University of Waterloo
Research Professor, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science

Professor DiCiccio helped found the Institute for Computer Research (ICR), which has more than 150 faculty members from eight academic departments in four faculties at the University of Waterloo, as well as fifteen federated research groups. ICR fosters research in computer topics and specializes in industry collaboration. He is the Director for Research Partnerships of the GRAND NCE, a federal network of researchers at 20 universities collaborating with companies and user groups in the areas of graphics, animation, games, new media and social networks. He serves on GRAND’s Board of Directors. Previously, Vic DiCiccio was the director of advanced technology at SOMA Networks, and the vice-president of research for Communications and Information Technology Ontario (CITO, now OCE). He has been an applicant for Canarie grants and is a director of Rhetoritech Inc., a start up that commercializes persuasive language technology, arising from a multi-university research project, in the health domain.


Hendrick de Haan, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Science

Dr. de Haan is an expert in computational nanobiophysics. The cNAB.LAB at UOIT explores systems at the intersection of physics, biology, and nanotechnology via a wide range of computer simulation approaches. Dr. de Haan completed his graduate studies at the University of Guelph.


Ziad Kobti, University of Windsor
Director, School of Computing Science

Dr. Kobti is an associate professor and Director of the School of Computer Science at the University of Windsor. He received his PhD from Wayne State University, Michigan (2004), specializing in modeling hierarchical human social networks and cultural evolution. He received his BSc Honors with a double major in Biological and Computer Sciences (1996) and an MSc in Computer Science (1999) from the University of Windsor. He is an active researcher and lecturer at the University of Windsor and a researcher at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Wayne State University. Industrial work experience includes programmer/analyst positions on large scale corporate software systems and independent IT consultant. Recent projects include decision support systems and intelligent agent modeling in healthcare automotive safety funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), Auto21 Network Centres for Excellence (NCE) as well as pioneering computational models for artificial societies through NSERC. Profiled projects include a national award winning critical-time client/server and distributed database software solution for the emergency freight trucking industry, government funded civil and environmental engineering software, technical educator and corporate trainer in community college and industry.


Richard McDonald, IBM Canada Limited
IBM Corp DE & IBM Canada Technical Executive / Senior Certified IT Architect

Richard McDonald was named an IBM Distinguished Engineer in April, 2003. He is also an Open Group Distinguished IT Architect. He is currently the IBM technical advocate to telecom clients in the Toronto area. He is also technical lead for the “Component Infrastructure Roadmap” (CIR) technique and asset. CIR is a program that enables our senior architects to easily provide strategic IT transformation guidance to our clients worldwide.

Prior to CIR, Richard was a lead architect in the Canadian pre-sales technical community providing architectural and delivery leadership to major e-business infrastructure projects. Most of his experience has been with financial and public sector projects. He has led the architecture and design of the infrastructure of some of the largest transactional websites in Canada with a primary focus on high availability and scalability. He has experience developing and teaching architecture methodologies and tools.

Upon joining IBM in 1981 from the University of Toronto, Richard spent fourteen years in the IBM Canada software development laboratory leading the successful development of IBM software products. He co-holds two patents in distributed object technology.

Richard and Leslie, his bride since 1980, live with Leslie’s three cats in Toronto. Outside of work, he enjoys motorcycling and playing drums in a jazz band.


Farhana Zulkernine, Queen’s University
Assistant Professor, School of Computing

Farhana Zulkernine is an Assistant Professor and the Coordinator of the Cognitive Science program at the School of Computing at Queen’s University. She holds a Ph.D. degree from the School of Computing at Queen’s University and is a member of Professional Engineers of Ontario. She has more than 15 years of international work experience in three continents in software design, analysis and research. As a researcher she has worked with CA Technologies, IBM Canada,SAP Germany and Fondazione Bruno Kessler in Italy. Her research interests include service and cloud computing, big data analytics and management, and cognitive computing. She has ongoing research collaborations with Centre for Advanced Computing (previously known as HPCVL) and Compute Canada, Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Services Network (CPCSSN) and the School of Medicine


Isabel Meirelles, OCAD University
Professor, Faculty of Design

Isabel Meirelles is a professor in the Faculty of Design at OCAD University, and a design researcher in the Visual Analytics Lab. In addition to collaborating with scientists and humanists in the development of visualization systems, Isabel’s research focuses on the theoretical and experimental examination of the fundamentals underlying how information is structured, represented and communicated in different media. Meirelles is the author of “Design for Information: An introduction to the histories, theories, and best practices behind effective information visualizations” (Rockport Publishers, 2013).


Sushanta Mitra, York University
Associate Vice-President Research

Sushanta Mitra is the Associate Vice-President Research and Kaneff Professor in Micro & Nanotechnology for Social Innovation at the York University. His research interests are in the fundamental understanding of fluid transport in micro and nano-scale confinements with applications in energy, environmental monitoring, and bio-systems. For his contributions in engineering and sciences, he has been elected as the Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering (CSME), the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC), the Canadian Academy for Engineering (CAE), the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is also a Fellow of the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) and the recipient of 2015 Engineering Excellence Medal from the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers.


Ue-Li Pen, University of Toronto
Professor and Associate Director, Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics

Ue-Li Pen is a professor at the University of Toronto’s Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA). Born and raised in Germany, Professor Pen attended high school in Guelph, Ontario, and then completed a year at the University of Waterloo before transferring to the National Taiwan University where he received a B.Sc. in Mathematics in 1989. He completed his M.Sc. in Electrophysics at the National Chiao-Tung University, Taiwan in 1991, and his Ph.D. in Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University in 1995. In his final year at Princeton, he was awarded the prestigious Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellowship. Before joining CITA, he was a Harvard University Junior Fellow (1995-98). Professor Pen’s primary research interest involves the cosmic distribution of ordinary and dark matter.


Ranil Sonnadara, McMaster University
Special Advisor & Executive Director, Research and High Performance Computing
Director, Education Science & Associate Professor, Department of Surgery

In his role as Executive Director, Research and High Performance Computing, Dr. Sonnadara oversees all computing support and infrastructure for the research communities at McMaster. He also acts as McMaster’s primary advanced computing contact with external agencies such as Compute Canada, and sits on the Board of Directors of SHARCNET and Compute Ontario.

Dr. Sonnadara’s lab studies how people learn complex skills. Much of the lab’s recent work focuses on surgical trainees, but his team also study athletes and musicians to try to untangle the neural mechanisms which underpin learning new skills. Dr. Sonnadara is particularly interested in how learning and practice help to shape sensory and motor systems, and how performance can be evaluated in complex, high-stakes environments.


Oleg Stukalov, Wilfrid Laurier University
University-Industry Liaison Officer

Dr. Oleg Stukalov received a PhD in Applied Physics from the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, working on a multidisciplinary project in the area of organic and polymer electronics which involved organic chemists, physicists, and electronics engineers. He was awarded a prestigious NATO Science Fellowship in 2003 and joined Professor John Dutcher’s lab in the Department of Physics at the University of Guelph. During his five years at Guelph, Oleg’s scientific interests shifted to biophysics and microbiology. In addition to a successful academic career with more than 20 peer reviewed publications, Oleg has been involved in the founding, managing, and operating of three small start-ups. A multidisciplinary research project funded by an NCE resulted in the creation of Mirexus Biotechnologies Inc. in 2008, a client of MaRS Cleantech Practice. Oleg served as CEO and later as COO at Mirexus before joining Laurier. Oleg further improved his entrepreneurial skills through the completion of the Entrepreneurship course at MaRS Centre, a project management course at Queen’s, and a strategic business planning course at the Xerox Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at McMaster University.


Graham Taylor, University of Guelph
Assistant Professor, School of Engineering

Dr. Taylor leads the Machine Learning Research Group at the University of Guelph. His interests include statistical machine learning and biologically-inspired computer vision, with an emphasis on deep learning and time series analysis. Dr. Taylor received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Toronto in 2009, working with Geoffrey Hinton and Sam Roweis. He spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, and joined the School of Engineering at the University of Guelph as an Assistant Professor in 2012.


Sean Wagner, IBM Canada Limited
Research Scientist, IBM Canada Research and Development Centre

Acting SAC Member

Dr. Sean Wagner is an electrical and computer engineer specializing in computer hardware, microelectronics, optoelectronics, and optics. In his role with IBM Canada Limited, Dr. Wagner provides technical expertise and organizational support to SOSCIP project leaders. Dr. Wagner completed his undergraduate engineering degree at the University of Waterloo, and his graduate and postdoctoral studies at the University of Toronto. He has been with IBM Canada Limited since 2013.