Marc Nantel is the Vice-President of Research, Innovation & Strategic Initiatives, joining Niagara College in July 2011. Prior to that, Marc had been involved with the college as a Board Member (2006-11) and as the Project Manager/Director from the Ontario Centres of Excellence; as such, he helped introduce the Photonics programs at the Welland Campus. Marc is a Physics graduate from McGill University (BSc 1987, MSc 1990) and from the Institut National pour la Recherche Scientifique – Energie et Matériaux (PhD 1994). Marc spent four postdoc years in France and at the University of Michigan, pursuing ever shorter laser-produced visible and x-ray pulses and their applications; he was an Adjunct Professor of Physics at the University of Toronto from 1998 to 2008. He has published more than 90 papers and given more than 200 academic and industrial presentations. He is a Senior Member of SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics.
Krystle Grimaldi is responsible for the day-to-day operations and internal processes, including administration and project management, of Niagara College’s Research & Innovation Division. Krystle’s experience with the division also includes being the Research Project Manager for the Agriculture & Environment portfolio. Prior to undertaking her role as project manager, Krystle started with the department as Co-ordinator of the Niagara Environmental Corps organizing community events and educational outreach initiatives in elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools. Krystle brings to her role experience working with Niagara organizations through her involvement with Niagara Sustainability Initiative where she assists organizations in improving both their environmental and economic performance through carbon management. Krystle holds an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from Brock University and a post-graduate certificate in Environmental Management and Assessment from Niagara College.
Carolyn Mullin joined Research & Innovation in 2012 after several years in the communications industry, including many as a newspaper reporter and editor, and an award-winning freelance writer for publications across the country. More recently, Carolyn has worked as a communications specialist in the non-profit and government sector, based in the Niagara Region. As part of the Research team, she is responsible for business development operations, and the creation and dissemination of research-based communications, in all relevant forms. Carolyn is a graduate of the Journalism Program at Niagara College, and holds an Honours BA and an MA, both in English, from Brock University.
Lyndon William Ashton is the Centre Manager for the Canadian Food & Wine Institute (CFWI) Innovation Centre. In this role he is responsible for the overall operations, including outreach to key industry and the successful development and implementation of food and beverage technical services. Lyndon joined the Research & Innovation division after a diversified career, beginning in the culinary arts and eventually leading to economic development, management consulting and business planning. Most recently he worked with MDB Insight, one of Canada’s largest specialist economic development consulting firms, specializing in economic, cultural, and workforce development and corporate strategic planning for the public sector. He earned his Culinary Red Seal, and he holds a combined degree in Political Sciences and Labour Studies from Brock University.
As Research Project Manager of the Canadian Food & Wine Institute (CFWI) Innovation Centre, Kristine is responsible for the oversight and development of food and beverage applied research and fee-for-service activities involving industry.
The CFWI Innovation Centre is dedicated to assisting food and beverage industry partners with their research, innovation, and commercialization needs through collaborative applied projects involving NC’s students, expert faculty/staff, and outstanding infrastructure.
Kristine joined the division in 2013, working as the Industry Liaison Officer, with the responsibilities of managing contracts, promotional activities and communications with external partners. She has taught Marketing for Continuing Education and brings to her role more than 15 years’ of project management experience in various sectors, including consumer packaged goods and food innovation, as a consumer services program manager for Nestle Canada.
Kristine holds an undergraduate degree in Communications from Brock University, and is currently enrolled part-time in Niagara College’s Culinary Innovation and Food Technology program. In her spare time, she volunteers on the Board of Directors for Women’s Place of South Niagara.
As the Research Project Manager of the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (WAMIC), Amal Driouich oversees the R&D needs of Niagara’s SMEs (small- and medium-sized businesses), managing a wide range of applied research projects and bringing together faculty, staff, students, and industry partners.
No stranger to project management, Amal has a successful history in leading all phases of diverse technology, engineering, and applied research projects and has developed innovative advanced manufacturing solutions within industries in Ontario and Canada. Most recently, she served as Project Manager for Oakville-based Promation, an automation manufacturing company with nuclear, automotive, and industrial divisions. Prior to that, she was a Research Associate at Quebec’s Laval University in the department of Mechanical Engineering.
Amal holds a BSc in Industrial Engineering from Mohammadia School of Engineers in Morocco, her home country; and an MSc in Mechanical Engineering from Laval University. She is fluent in Arabic, French, and English. In her spare time, she volunteers with the Women in Nuclear Canada, Golden Horseshoe West chapter, and is chair-elect for the Toronto chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
Niagara College’s WAMIC specializes in 3D technologies, engineering design and additive manufacturing, all to help SMEs with innovative prototype development or process improvement.
Kimberley Cathline is the Research Project Manager of the Agriculture & Environmental Technologies Innovation Centre (AETIC). In her role, she oversees projects in the areas of precision agriculture technology, environmental technology, horticultural practices, and greenhouse research.
Kimberley has 15 years’ experience in applied agriculture research – most recently at the Vineland Research & Innovation Centre – managing numerous horticulture research projects, and previously at the University of California, Davis, where she managed viticulture research in lab, field and greenhouse environments. Kimberley holds a BSc (Hon. with Distinction) in Plant Biology from the University of Guelph and an MSc in Biological Sciences, specializing in Plant Sciences, from Brock University.
Rachel Brown is the Research Grants and Contracts Officer for the Research & Innovation division at Niagara College. In this role she oversees all department budgets and financial reporting for the division, tracking all financial operations and reporting requirements related to internal and external funding portfolios. With in-depth knowledge of the comprehensive array of grant agency programs, Rachel collaborates with the research management team in coordinating all submissions, overseeing grant compliance and eligibility and liaises with funders and key stakeholders. She is a graduate of Niagara College’s Business Administration – Operations Management program.
David Vuyk is the Research Laboratory Technologist for the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre, where he is responsible for the operation of the research programs, the coordination of technical services and applied research projects, and the leading-edge technologies in the research manufacturing lab. Prior to his position with Research & Innovation, David spent four years in the horticulture science industry with Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, where he focused on robotics and automation; he also has research experience in product development: from design for commercialization to process design for experiment protocols, as well as beta-testing and troubleshooting of newly developed technologies. As a graduate from the Mechanical Engineering Technology program at Niagara College (2015), David is no stranger to the campus, or the technologies being used in the advanced manufacturing technical access centre.
Dr. Ana Cristina Vega Lugo is the Senior Food Scientist for the Canadian Food & Wine Institution Innovation Centre, part of the Research & Innovation Division at the College. Ana Cristina is responsible for managing the research/student team and resources required for all product and process innovation, food safety, analytical lab and label compliance services, and other technical service and applied research activities. A trained food engineer and scientist with a PhD degree in food science, Ana Cristina has 10 years’ experience in food science and commercialization, including in development, troubleshooting and applicable packaging science and technology. Her most recent position was with Hela Spice Canada as a senior product developer.
As Lab Technologist with the Canadian Food & Wine Institute (CFWI) Innovation Centre at the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus, Kelly Byer is responsible for managing the College’s four research labs – facilities which allow students to explore such areas of food science as microbiology, chemistry, sensory analysis and shelf-life testing.
The labs are equipped with leading-edge technology; all part of the extensive services, from new recipe development to regulatory assistance and nutritional labelling, which are offered to food and beverage industry partners in need of research, innovation and commercialization assistance.
Kelly has spent most of her career either in the field or in a lab coat, in biological control of weeds, first at the University of Guelph and then at Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada in Saskatchewan. In addition to extensive research activities at AAFC, she oversaw all aspects of lab management and found time to write, edit and review numerous scientific publications and research reports. She also brings previous experience in quality and food safety programs; compliance with regulatory programs and standards; and new product development.
She has an Honours Biology degree with a minor in Biochemistry from the University of Guelph and also has HACCP and SQF certifications.
In addition to her role at R&I, Kelly is a part-time professor of NC’s Applied Plant Pathology course in the School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies.
Stephanie Skotidas is the Research Lab Technician with the Canadian Food & Wine Institute (CFWI) Innovation Centre. In addition to assisting the Lab Technologist on a variety of applied research projects and technical services for the CFWI Innovation Centre, Stephanie also works collaboratively with industry partners, faculty, students and graduates in existing and new food and beverage labs.
Stephanie has a background in chemistry, biology, analytical instrumentation, product development and food safety protocols. She brings to her role a decade of experience in her sector, including a position as R&D Food Technologist with Sensient Flavors Canada and as an Assistant Winemaker with Andrew Peller Ltd. She holds a Bachelor in Life Sciences from McMaster University and a diploma in Food and Drug Technology from Durham College.
As Research Services Support Officer, Christine Raymond provides clerical, administrative, and research project-related support for the Research & Innovation division and its three Innovation Centres. She is also responsible for all aspects of support related to human resources activities for part-time staff within the division, including students and research graduates. Christine joined the Research & Innovation team in April 2013 as Human Resources & Events Officer. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario, she pursued a Human Resources Management (Post Graduate) Certificate from Fanshawe College. With a passion for education, Christine continued her academic pursuits and earned a Master of Science in Education from Medaille College, and has worked as an occasional teacher. Her employment portfolio includes extensive experience planning large-scale events and implementing human resources functions within a number of organizations. She is thrilled to work at a progressive post-secondary institution and is eager to participate in the division’s growth.
Elizabeth Best is the Business Development Coordinator of the Research & Innovation Division. She comes to Niagara College with experience in strategic planning, program content and development, financial management, and communications outreach and has run large-scale events and conferences for major players in the Niagara region. In her role at the College, Elizabeth provides support to management in all relations, communications and promotional activities with external partners. She is also responsible for supporting the recruitment of applied research projects across college programs, for the purposes of developing course-based research projects. Elizabeth is a graduate of Niagara College’s Convention and Meeting Management Program and a Certified Meeting Manager. She looks forward to building relationships with Niagara business leaders and creating innovative partnerships within Niagara Research & Innovation for students, faculty and industry partners.
For Tanya Hvilivitzky, joining the Research & Innovation team represents a homecoming of sorts. Tanya is an award-winning graduate of the Niagara College journalism program, which she credits for instilling a love of story-telling and whetting her innate curiosity. It launched a career that has included stints as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, communications director and researcher. In her role as Dissemination & Outreach Officer, Tanya taps into her inquisitive nature to help share the compelling stories about the people, the applied research projects and the diverse collaborations with industry partners.
Janice Rowe joined Research & Innovation in December 2016 as Project Assistant for the Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation (SONAMI). This collaborative network with three other academic institutions assists Southern Ontario manufacturers with their innovation and product development needs through applied research. Janice has worked as a fundraising professional in the non-profit sector for health and education charities and brings experience working with funders, grants, and reporting to her role at Niagara College. Janice holds a (Hon.) Bachelor of Commerce (Hon.) from the University of Ottawa and a Business Administration diploma from Mount Royal College.
Kevin Poulin joined the Research & Innovation Division in August 2004. Kevin is a graduate of Niagara College’s Computer Programming and Network System Operations. He has more than 14 years of experience in the Information Technology field. He is responsible for maintaining all Research & Innovation’s information technology systems. Kevin also assists Research & Innovation staff, faculty and students with the technology aspects of their various projects to help them meet their goals. He maintains 3D render farms, sensor networks, servers, and is quick to adapt and implement any new technology required.
In her role as the Web and Graphic Design Officer for the Research & Innovation division, Stephanie Farr supports the team on a variety of marketing and promotional projects, involving print and digital graphic design, updating and maintaining the R&I website, and developing new microsites for the division’s diverse outreach activities. Stephanie is a graduate of Niagara College’s New Media Web Design program, where she learned video editing, the design of promotional materials, 3D animation and marketing skills.
She has since been self-employed designing websites on her own for small- and medium-sized businesses in Niagara, and as part of the Armstrong Strategy Group’s stable of contracted service providers.