Make the Future - Ottawa's Tech Podcast

Make the future podcast

Make the Future podcast

Join Jacques Beauvais, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, for season 2 of Make the Future, Ottawa's tech podcast. Throughout this second season, he connects with thought leaders to explore the themes of equity, diversity and inclusion in the technology and engineering sector, as well as the history and future of Canada’s largest technology park, Kanata North. 

Have a listen on Google Play, iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud and YouTube.

We hope you will be inspired by the fantastic leaders from the National Capital region’s thriving technology sector. Please note that all the episodes were recorded prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through collaboration and creativity, we can ensure that the technology community will continue to thrive under the disruptive challenges we are facing together.

We invite you to listen, take note and reflect on the enormous potential lying underneath it all as we make the future.


The episodes are in the language in which they were recorded. The podcast transcripts of the episodes are available in English.

Season 2

As of March 3rd, join the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa, Jacques Beauvais, for the second season of Make the Future, Ottawa's tech podcast, for which he has met several tech sector stakeholders, many of whom are committed to the promotion of engineering professions to girls and young women.

Part 1 – Better Together: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

  • Episodes 1 to 5
  • Release date: From March 3rd 2020

Thusha Agampodi, Engineering Manager at Magnet Forensics, is the co-host of the first five episodes of this season that focus on equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

While listening in, it is very likely that you will feel various emotions: sadness, indignation, surprise and inspiration. By sharing their personal and professional experiences, the speakers open the discussion to sometimes uncomfortable themes, such as social perceptions, prejudices, stereotypes, mentoring, hiring, how to raise children, etc.

We felt the need to exchange on this rich and complex subject that challenges the technological community. Undoubtedly, these lines of reflection tinged with hope, feminism and even humanism mark a turning point.

You will be brought into interesting and thought provoking conversations on equity, diversity and inclusion in the engineering and technology industry.

    Part 2 – Canada’s largest technology park, Kanata North

    • Episodes 6 to 12
    • Release date: Every Tuesday from May 19 to June 30, 2020

    The next seven episodes focus on the world-class technology park located in Kanata North. They explore the history and future of Canada's largest technology park, the benefits of research collaboration between universities and the technology industry, how diversity and inclusion contribute to product development and the impact of innovation on society.

    Veronica Farmer, Director, Partnerships and Commercialization, Kanata North at the University of Ottawa and Jamie Petten, President and Director, Kanata North Business Association and President, uO Kanata Alumni Council, take turns co-hosting.

    Guest speakers

    • Dr. Jacques Beauvais, Host of the Make the Future Podcast, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa
    • Thusha Agampodi, Co-host, Engineering Manager at Magnet Forensics
    • Dr. Parinaz Sobhani, Director of Machine Learning at Georgian Partners
    • Julia Elvidge, Board Member of CYBERNETIQ, Advisor for Invest Ottawa, Activator for SheEO, Former President of Chipworks
    • Leah MacMillan, Chief Marketing Officer at Trend Micro
    • Eli Fathi, CEO of MindBridge Ai
    • Oliver Fisher, Senior Vice President, Engineering, at FreshBooks
    • Susan Richards, Virtual CFO & Managing Partner at numbercrunch inc.
    • Erin Blaskie, Director of Marketing at
    • Karolina Kural, Recruitment Programs Specialist at Kinaxis and Council Member, uO Kanata Alumni Council
    • Jamie Petten, Co-host, President & Executive Director of the Kanata North Business Association and President, uO Kanata Alumni Council
    • Veronica Farmer, Co-host, Director, Partnerships & Commercialization, Kanata North, at the University of Ottawa
    • Jean-Charles Fahmy, President and CEO at CENGN (Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks)
    • Leo Lax, Executive Managing Director at L-Spark
    • Amy MacLeod, Vice President Corporate Affairs & External Communications at Seaspan ULC
    • John Wall, Senior Vice-President, Head, at QNX Software Systems
    • Dr. Ashleigh Kennedy, Founder at Neurovine
    • J. Patrick Ferris, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, at KRP Properties (Wesley Clover International Corporation)
    • Jenna Sudds, Ottawa City Councillor - Kanata North Ward 4 at City of Ottawa
    • John Proctor, CEO of Martello Technologies
    • Dimple Thomas, Systems Verification Engineer & theme driver of Diversity and Inclusion at Ericsson
    • Heather Tyrie, VP, Talent and Culture, at FullScript
    • Guy Lévesque, Associate Vice-President, Research Support & Infrastructure, at the University of Ottawa
    Season 1

    Episode 1

    Heather Abbott

    Heather Abbott is a Class of 1993 alumna, who is the Senior Vice President, Corporate Solutions Technology at NASDAQ in Boston. In her current role, she is responsible for overseeing the application development and delivery for Corporate Solutions products and its web properties, as well as the solutions for Nasdaq Private Market companies.

    Heather has a BSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Ottawa (Suma Cum Laude) and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business - York University.

    Since her graduation, she has distinguished herself repeatedly and in various roles. She held senior IT leadership roles working for a number of leading Canadian and global organizations including GE Capital, Imperial Oil and the federal government's department of transportation in Ottawa.

    Before PayPal became the household name it is today, she was a Senior Director of PayPal (an eBay company) in their Mobile and New Consumer Products Division. She also held various technology positions at eBay within infrastructure, program management and product development with a focus on e-commerce development.

    Prior to joining NASDAQ in 2014, she was Senior Vice President at Schwab Technology and Platform Development, where for six years she was responsible for leading a team of over 400 technologists in Schwab’s core Investor Services business unit.

    Midia Shikh Hassan

    Midia Shikh Hassan is an award winning young two-time alumna that is making an impact globally. In 2018 Midia was one of three Canadians to receive the prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Award for her contribution to refugees’ educational and healthcare needs as well as her involvement in many projects tackling social issues through engineering and entrepreneurial design.

    Midia is involved in various organizations making a global impact including the Refugee Outreach Program, which aims to facilitate Syrian refugees’ social integration through technology and entrepreneurial training. She is a leader for the Global Shapers - Ottawa Hub, a mentor for Blue Sky School. Midia has represented Canada on the world stage many times at the One Young World Conference, Common Wealth Youth Forum, the digital opportunity trust [DOT] Unconference and the UN Major Group in Technology Innovation Summit. She is co-founder of the social venture Dextra, an initiative providing affordable 3D printed prosthetics to refugees living with upper-body amputations.

    She is the Manager of MakerLaunch, which provides University of Ottawa students and recent alumni entrepreneurs with the support necessary to fast track commercialization of technologies and launch new tech startups. She is the coordinator of the Simon Nehme Summer Entrepreneurship School – a one-week intensive program offered by the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Engineering.

    Episode 2

    Mattieu Gamache-Asselin

    Mattieu Gamache-Asselin is a class of 2012 alumnus who is the co-founder and CEO of Alto Pharmacy in San Francisco. Mattieu has accomplished remarkable things in the six years since he has left university. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and worked for Silicon Valley powerhouses such as Adobe, Parse and Facebook.

    He holds a BASc in Computer Science from the University of Ottawa (Summa Cum Laude). As a student, he was involved in several student clubs. He was involved as a member and volunteer of the Women in Engineering of the University of Ottawa, as well as the Mobile Application Development association (MAD) of the University of Ottawa.

    Since his graduation, he demonstrated exemplary entrepreneurship skills by co-founding the firm Scriptdash (now Alto Pharmacy), which he leads as CEO. Alto quickly disrupted the pharmacy industry and three years later he and his team have grown to serve 25 000 patients.

    Alto Pharmacy has kept expanding; from investments of 23 million dollars to its acquisition of the company RoundHealth, an IoT enabled pill-bottle and app that helps patients monitor their medicine intake.

    Olivier Miguel

    Olivier Miguel is a class of 2016 alumnus who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at uOttawa with the Clinical Biomechanics Research Unit. He works part-time at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute 3D printing lab and does Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering research with Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P).

    Over the past 3 years, Olivier has gained significant knowledge and experience in the 3D printing industry; being the lead in a project which 3D prints prosthetic arms for children. The project has succeeded in raising enough funds to purchase a 3D printer that he now operates from his basement.

    Episode 3

    Andre Richards

    Andre Richards is a class of 2011 alumnus and he is the Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of MicroMetrics. Micrometrics is a company focused around customer experience analytics. He holds a BSc. in Computer Science and Information Management Systems from the University of Ottawa.

    Even before his graduation, Andre had been highly interested in entrepreneurship. He was the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Kintelligent Systems while being part of the Start-up Garage 2013 and GrindSpace XL 2013 cohorts. He worked as a Senior Engineer for an Ottawa Start-up from 2011-2013.

    Melody Habbouche

    Melody Habbouche is a Computer Science CO-OP student who is currently working at Klipfolio. She is working on completing her BASc in Computer Science at the University of Ottawa.

    While still a student, she has had the opportunity to work at companies such as IBM, Kinaxis and Klipfolio She was an undergraduate teaching assistant, an engineering mentor and has been a 2018 National Campus Recruitment Excellence Awards Judge.

    She is passionate about art, photography and fascinated by the fast-growing tech industry. She wishes to contribute to the continued improvement of access to technology everywhere and help solve major problems using software. She has been involved in many different initiatives and associations such as the Software Engineering Student Association, uOttaHack and the uOttawa IEEE Student Branch.

    Episode 4

    Sarah and Devansh were two of the twelve students (from the Faculty of Arts and of Engineering), that had the opportunity of bringing to life the prototypes that won the Makerspace Challenge. The challenge was to produce a prototype for interactive works of art, and then to build and install the collaborative art creation in the new uOttawa STEM Complex.

    Devansh Shah

    Devansh is a student currently finishing his Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering. He was one of four who won the 2018 Makerspace Challenge. This gave him the opportunity to work with a team of other students from the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Arts.

    Sarah Hodgson

    Sarah Jasmine Hodgson is an Ottawa-based emerging artist working in new media. She is currently completing her Bachelor of Visual Arts with a focus in photography. Sarah's artistic practice examines relationships between human beings and technology, as well as the ones between technologies to the natural world.

    Episode 5

    Hanan Anis

    Hanan Anis is a professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Ottawa. She holds an NSERC chair in Entrepreneurial Engineering Design and is also the coordinator of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Faculty of Engineering.

    Prior to Joining the University in 2004, Hanan was the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Ceyba, an optical long-haul networking company that employed 250 people at its peak. Hanan also worked at Nortel Networks in different positions conducting pioneering research in various areas of photonics, ranging from device physics to optical networking.
    She holds a B.Sc from Ain-Shams University (1987), a M.A.Sc (1991) and a Ph.D (1996) from University of Toronto both in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

    She has numerous journal and conference publications and patents. Hanan's current research interests include Biophotonics, Innovation and engineering education.

    Her passion is helping students graduate with an entrepreneurial mindset that enables them to play leading roles in existing organizations or to create their own jobs.

    Constance Crompton

    Constance Crompton is a Canada Research Chair in Digital Humanities with research interests in linked data, data modelling, code as a representational medium, queer history, and Victorian popular culture. She co-directs the Lesbian and Gay Liberation in Canada project with Michelle Schwartz (Ryerson University). She is the vice-president (English) of the Canadian Society for Digital Humanities and is an associate director of the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (University of Victoria).

    Her work has appeared in a number of edited collections and the Victorian Review, Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies, Digital Humanities Quarterly, the UBC Law Review, and Digital Studies/Champs Numerique. She is a co-editor, with Richard Lane and Ray Siemens, of Doing Digital Humanities: Practice, Training, Research (Routledge 2016).

    From 2012 to 2017 she was an assistant professor of Digital Humanities and English in the Department of Critical Studies in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at UBC Okanagan, where she directed the Humanities Data Lab. She received her PhD in Communication and Culture from York University in Toronto, Ontario.

    Episode 6

    Shaun Illingworth

    Shaun Illingworth is an experienced Managing Director and new technology/innovation strategist. He has twenty years of experience in the tech and startup environments leading BD, strategy and design activities. He builds win-win relationships that endure. He has a PhD and MA in Experimental Psychology from Northeastern University, a Bachelor in Psychology from Concordia University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ottawa. He is trained in design thinking and is a frequent speaker at Federal and private sector events on topics of innovation, service design and product research.

    Leia Atkinson

    Leia Atkinson is a cultural anthropologist and senior international markets researcher at Shopify. Some of her academic research includes multiple field research trips in Tokyo examining youth problems, work, and identity formation through the lenses of work, subculture and social movements. Her professional research includes taking a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding commerce and entrepreneurship in markets around the world (China, France, Germany, Japan, etc.).

    She has a Bachelor of Anthropology and Sociology and a Master’s in Anthropology from the University of Ottawa.

    Episode 7

    Dominira Saul

    Dominira has been the Director of UX at You.i TV since September 2018. He is a Carleton alumnus with a BA in Psychology and a London Guildhall University alumnus with an MSc in User Interface Design

    Whether designing an interface, an interaction or a cross-platform user experience, the human element is the key to a successful outcome. He has worked in a wide variety of market sectors including telecom, government, finance, health, consumer electronics, eBusiness, eLearning, and network operations. A focus on solid user centred design process and methodology has allowed him to create winning designs across these sectors.

    His specialities are User Experience Strategy, Customer Experience Strategy, UX Research, Information Architecture, Interaction Design, Usability Research, Usability Testing, User Requirements Analysis, Prototyping, Innovation Facilitation and Training.

    Daniel Lanthier

    Daniel Lanthier is a University of Ottawa Class of 2005 alumnus in Computer Engineering. He has been at Youi.TV since 2017 and has recently become an Engineering Lead for the React Native practice. Prior to joining the team at You.i TV, Daniel has worked for several companies in different roles: IBM Canada (Storytelling with Data Development Manager), Macadamian Technologies (Software Developer and Manager), BlackBerry Link (Windows & Mac Developer) and PrairieFyre Software Inc. (Software Development Team Lead).

    Daniel also volunteers as a Tech coach. At TechU.Me he has coached High School students on how to write a full MonoGame + Windows 8 game. He helped them go through technical issues and coached them on prioritizing their tasks and on setting monthly milestones for their projects, and enabled them to present the results of their labour to a panel of industry professionals.

    Episode 8

    • Manit Ginoya, Final year in Electrical Engineering and Technology
    • André Marie Kabeya Mishindu, 1st year software engineer
    • Karim Rizk, 1st year biotechnology
    • Vanessa Zykova, 1st year Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • Lawrence Carretas, 1st year Civil Engineering
    • Chris Hamilton, 1st year Civil Engineering
    • Sarah Hayley, 1st year Civil Engineering
    • Steven Hoang, 1st year Electrical Engineering
    • Oren Ngullie, 1st year Civil Engineering
    • Taylor Stephenson, 1st year Civil Engineering
    • Zen Trozzi, 1st year in Electrical Engineering and Physics
    • Michel (Mitch) Bouchard
      • Michel Bouchard is a 2001 alumni from Mechanical Engineering. He is Secretary/Treasurer for General Bearing Service (GBS) a company founded by his grandfather, Ernest Bouchard, in 1946.

    Episode 9

    • Jean Michel Lemieux, CTO at Shopify and uOttawa alumni with a B.Sc./BSc in Computer Science from 1996
    • Simon Nehme, Entrepreneur and Angel Investor and uOttawa alumni with a B.Sc.A./BASc in Computer Engineering from 1990.
    • Natalie Raffoul, Natalie Raffoul is a managing partner at Brion Raffoul with recognized expertise in the patenting of business methods and software.
    • Ali Kazal, Co-Founder of Wandure.
    • Ismail Benmbarek, Co-Founder of Wandure and uOttawa alumni with a BScA-Génie/BASc-Eng in Chemical Engineering from 2018
    • Robert Boukine, Co-founder of Noibu with a B.Com./BCom in Accounting from 2015.
    • Filip Slatinac, Co-founder and lead of the technical team at Noibu and completing his 4th year in Software Engineering at uOttawa.
    • Kailin Noivo, Co-founder of Noibu with a B.Com./BCom in Finance from 2015
    • Tunch Akkaya, CEO of GameStrat and uOttawa alumni with a MIng/Meng in Engineering management from 2017.

    Episode 10

    Hanan Anis

    NSERC Chair in Entrepreneurial Engineering Design - Faculty Coordinator in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Professor.

    Hanan Anis is a professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Ottawa. She holds an NSERC chair in Entrepreneurial Engineering Design and is the coordinator of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Faculty of Engineering.

    Prior to Joining the University in 2004, Hanan was the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Ceyba, an optical long-haul networking company that employed 250 people at its peak. Hanan also worked at Nortel Networks in different positions conducting pioneering research in various areas of photonics, ranging from device physics to optical networking.

    She holds a B.Sc from Ain-Shams University (1987), a M.A.Sc (1991) and a Ph.D (1996) from University of Toronto both in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

    Chantal Rodier

    Artist in Residence and Professor - STEAM Projects, Faculty of Engineering – Centre for Entrepreneurship and Engineering Design.

    Chantal Rodier teaches in and chairs the Arts Administration program at the University of Ottawa. She holds degrees in arts management, visual arts and computer science.

    Her areas of interest are in advancement of arts & culture in Canada, strategic management and use of technology in cultural organizations. She has cumulated experience in arts management consulting, audience development, fundraising, project management and partnership development at municipal, national and international levels.

    Elisha Pruner

    Software Developer in Machine Learning and Virtual Reality at the Ottawa Hospital.
    University of Ottawa alumna with an M.Sc.A. and B.Sc.A in Mechanical Engineering.

    A research-driven Software Developer with over 8 years of experience designing software for machine learning, virtual reality, and robotic systems. Passion for machine learning and AI to develop intelligent user interfaces and interactive 3D graphics.

    A full-stack developer with experience developing for web, iOS, virtual reality, augmented reality, and autonomous vehicles. Experienced in planning projects from initial requirements through project planning, architecture, design, development, testing, and deployment phases.

    Episode 11

    This will be our final episode of this season. As we approached this year’s convocation, we discussed with several of our recent graduates and future graduates.

    To offer students a look into what awaits them, we met with two of this year’s graduating cohort, one of our 2014 alumna and one of our current students. We got their view on what they expect to come next ,how they’ve fared so far with their professional experiences and what they would like to have known when they started their university journey.

    Sarah De Carufel

    Sarah is a two time uOttawa alumna from the Faculty of Engineering with a MScAppl/MApplSc in Civil Engineering who was part of the GeeGee’s Track and Field and Soccer teams.

    As an R&D Engineering Associate for Giatec Scientific, Sarah De Carufel utilizes her civil-engineering background to assist in the development of innovative products. Her paper based on her thesis, Effect of High-Performance Steel Materials on the Blast Behaviour of Ultra-High Performance Concrete Columns, won the award for Best Paper at the 2016 First International Interactive Symposium on UHPC.

    Jerry Fengwei Zhang

    Jerry is a University of Ottawa student convocating this month (June), finishing his Bachelor in Software Engineering who was recognized as one of Canada's 2019 developer 30 Under 30.

    He is a passionate problem-solver and observer who utilizes design and code to make cutting-edge technology more approachable and accessible. He is determined to keep creating great digital experiences and help more people to work and live better.

    Anita Popescu

    Anita is a recent uOttawa graduate. She completed her degree requirements for her Bachelor in Computer Science with a minor in Life Sciences in December 2018.

    During her time at uOttawa, she completed internships as a Support Analyst at IBM Cognos and as an iOS developer at Shopify. She also completed an 8-month internship at Apple in Cupertino, California, as a UI engineer for Apple Photos, a role to which she has since returned as a full-time engineer. Outside of work and school, Anita loves to travel, volunteer in the community, and read when she has the extra time.

    Humam Abdul Karim Shwaikh

    A mechanical engineering and computing technology student at the University of Ottawa, going into his final year. He is an avid maker, as he started working at the Brunsfield Centre in September 2017, and also became a Project Manager for GNG2101. His goal is to be well rounded in the hope that it will put him ahead of the competition.

    The podcast is produced by the Alumni Relations and Marketing Communications departments of the Faculty of Engineering.

    Any questions or comments about the podcast? Please email Chantal St-Amour, Alumni and Community Engagement Coordinator, at:

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