Speakers | Transforming Construction | UNB

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Off-site Construction Research Centre


Adrian Mitchell

Vice president of sales and business development | Kreo Modular North America Ltd.

Adrian Mitchell

Adrian has a diverse construction background with expertise in prefab and modular methods. A former director of sales at both Horizon North Modular and BONE Structure; Adrian understands how new and modern methods of construction can leverage technology to achieve mass adoption. Adrian has a deep technical understanding of building envelope and structural systems, developed over years of competing with traditional, on-site building methods.

Presentation date: May 5, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. EDT

Kirk Stalkie (moderator)

Design technology manager | NORR

Kirk Stalkie

Kirk explores the connections between design, technology and how they create the world around us. He believes that technology expands the capabilities of those who leverage it, improving the built environment. As a design technology manager, Kirk constantly examines and implements new tools and workflows to improve how NORR's integrated design teams deliver projects. Kirk is also the executive director of Digital Built - National Capital Region (dbNCR), facilitating the connections between the built environment and technology. As an instructor at Algonquin College, he urges the next generation of professionals to continue advancing the industry. Kirk is also involved in the national BIM Community, sitting on the Education and Industry Engagement Think Tank of the Canada BIM Council.

Dr. Rodney McAffee, M.Sc.E., Ph.D., P.Eng. (panellist)

Vice president, energy & industrial engineering | Kognitiv Spark

Rodney McAffee

Rodney McAffee is a professional engineer with over 25 years of experience working on civil, mining, and oil & gas projects. He has a doctorate in Civil Engineering (Geotechnical) and has specialized in soil-structure interaction problems for the design and construction of tailings dams, retaining walls, rock anchors, and building foundations. Before joining Kognitiv Spark, Rodney led an applied research group specializing in advanced numerical modelling and geotechnical centrifuge modelling for deep water offshore foundation problems. At Kognitiv Spark, Rodney focuses on working with clients to maximize the benefits of using augmented reality for remote worker support.

Chetna Chauhan (panellist)

Founder, BIMWize Inc.

Chetna Chauhan

Architect by training, Building Information Modelling (BIM) advocate by passion, Chetna is an Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) professional who has over 10 years of experience managing BIM in Canada and Internationally. She has successfully managed complex Healthcare, Institutional, Transit and industrial projects that require BIM coordination between ASMEP.

In 2019, she opened her BIM consulting company, BIMWize, where she helps AEC professionals to adopt BIM within their organization. Her approach to create custom BIM adoption workflows for her clients helps them achieve exceptional results in much lesser time and creates an efficient BIM implementation process.

Alec Pestov (panellist)

CEO, vGIS Inc.

Alec Pestov

Alec is a productivity expert with over 20 years of global management consulting experience. Alec has an MBA degree specializing in Macroeconomics and Strategic Management. He has a keen interest in visualization and spatial technologies. Alec is an experienced entrepreneur with three previous successful start-ups and the founder of vGIS. vGIS is the Leading augmented reality platform for BIM, GIS and reality capture.

Presentation date: May 12, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. EDT

Craig Mitchell

Principal, BlackBox Offsite Solutions

Craig Mitchell

Craig Mitchell is passionate about modular and off-site construction. He has spent the last decade in a senior management role in the permanent modular construction field working with clients in both the US and Canada. He has held board roles with both the Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA) and the Modular Building Institute (MBI) and is the principal of his off-site consulting company – Black Box Modular Solutions.

Presentation date: May 12, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. EDT

Mohamed Adel

Atlantic BIM manager, Bird Construction

Mohamed Adel

Mohamed Adel is currently the Atlantic district BIM manager for Bird Construction, where he oversees the digital transformation and implementation of BIM in the Atlantic region. Mohamed Adel has 10+ years of experience in digital construction and project management. He has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Ain Shams University, a diploma in Project Management from the American University in Cairo, and Digital Transformation from London Business School. Prior to joining Bird, Mr. Adel has worked in various organizations and countries.

Presentation date: May 26, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. EDT

Ryan E. Smith

Director and founding partner, Washington State University and MOD X

Ryan E. Smith

Ryan is the director of the School of Design + Construction at Washington State University. He is also the founding partner of MOD X, a research and education consultancy and network focused on the industrialized construction sector. Trained as an architect, Ryan has performed and published some of the key industry reports and papers, books and videocasts to propel the research and development of the offsite construction industry internationally.

Presentation date: June 2, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. EDT

Kevin Read

President & CEO, Nomodic

Kevin Read

Kevin Read is the founder and CEO of Nomodic, an industry-leading provider of integrated building solutions that is dedicated to ‘building without boundaries’ through an innovative, flexible, and holistic approach to construction. Since its inception in 2012, Nomodic has become a Canadian leader in the delivery of accelerated modular projects – such as multi-residential and First Nations housing, resorts and recreational properties and affordable housing.

Kevin’s education includes a bachelor of applied business and entrepreneurship degree from Mount Royal University in Calgary. Since he founded Nomodic, he has been named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 (2018) and one of Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40 (2017). He currently serves as the chair of the Modular Building Institute’s Canadian Council.

Presentation date: June 9, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. EDT

Jared Dielwart

VP, Corporate Development & Innovation, Nomodic

Jared Dielwart

A passionate and driven entrepreneur excelling in strategic vision and growth, Jared Dielwart has a diverse background that spans multiple industries including real estate, land development, technology, and media. Prior to serving in a newly created position as Nomodic’s VP of Corporate Development & Innovation, Jared served as Nomodic’s Business Development Lead in the Eastern region, helping build strategic relationships with clients and partners throughout Eastern Canada. Before joining Nomodic, Jared was a founder and executive of a successful global technology & media company and was recognized in his field with a North American top 40 award.

Jared holds a Bachelor of Science in Design in Housing and Community Development with a minor in Business from Arizona State University.

Presentation date: June 9, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. EDT

Carlo Carbone

Professor, Université du Québec à Montréal

Carlo Carbone

Carlo Carbone is an associate professor of environmental design at the University of Québec at Montréal. He has been a practising architect in Montréal since 1998 and holds a master’s degree in architecture and planning (Université de Montréal). He founded Pre[FABRICA]tions, a design research lab, in 2010. His research is focused on the history of prefabrication, the generative links between industrialization and modern building culture, the prefabrication of houses and the current state of industrialized building systems, specifically their potential customization by users, builders and architects.

Presentation date: June 16, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. EDT

Dr. Chris Rausch (moderator)

Software project manager, Z Modular

Chris Rausch

Chris is a software project manager for Z Modular, where he oversees various digital innovations linked to digital twinning, quality control and design automation. Chris obtained his PhD from the University of Waterloo, where he developed algorithms and digital workflows to improve the state of modular construction. Chris has experience in computational design, laser scanning, asset management, R&D, and structural engineering. Chris sits on two committees for CSA Group, and is the co-Chair of the Prefabrication, Offsite and Modularization Think Tank for CanBIM.

Aaron Holm (panellist)

Co-CEO, Blokable

Aaron Holm

Aaron’s background is building businesses that transform industries and in 2016, he launched Blokable. Aaron has founded and led businesses and product teams, notably spearheading Amazon’s first two physical retail businesses, Amazon Go and Amazon Books. At Amazon, Aaron saw first-hand the opportunity to apply advanced technology, supply chain and logistics to enable innovative and integrated business models in the built environment.

Prior to his time at Amazon, Aaron, among other projects, co-founded Mylio, a software start-up that protected and organized large libraries of personal photographs and memories. Mylio has raised over $55M from technology industry leaders including Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Marc Benioff and others. He also co-founded Industrial Color, a global leader in digital media Software as a Service, where he built a world-class team and digital media infrastructure that serviced customers like NBC, Warner Bros, Victoria’s Secret, Sony Pictures, Gap/Old Navy, CBS and Publicis. Aaron was CTO and head of the software business. Industrial Color sold in successive private equity transactions for over $100M.

Aaron has put his deep experience applying advanced technology to transform traditional industries to work at Blokable. He understands the complications inherent to the development of physical space and the opportunity to create the technology and logistics platform necessary to enable Blokable’s Housing Development-as-a-Service model.

Colby Swanson (panellist)

Managing partner, Momentum Innovation Group

Colby Swanson

Colby Swanson is a serial entrepreneur, innovation strategist and construction technologist who has spent over 20 years in the building industry, gaining a 360-degree understanding of the construction space. He began as a framer, graduated to a building scientist and forensics investigator, has authored corporate strategies at multiple Fortune 500 companies, and has led the launch of many new ventures. He is currently the managing partner at Momentum Innovation Group "MIG", an innovation consulting firm helping clients drive transformation in their business and find unseen areas of opportunity and growth. MIG is designed and determined to help the industry build smarter, faster and more equitably for everyone.

Colby also serves as the director of the Modular Mobilization Coalition "MMC" - 15+ modular construction companies with a nationwide network of two dozen factories. The MMC product portfolio and network of factories is designed to service very large developers and building owners who demand high value, volume and velocity in all their projects.

Royston Rebello (panellist)

Director of Sales & Business Development, NRB Modular Solutions

Royston Rebello

With a blended experience in prefabrication and modular construction, Royston Rebello continues to push to transform the construction industry that is traditionally conservative when it comes to the adoption of new construction practices. Royston brings a holistic approach through his previous industry experience to help achieve greater productivity by utilizing off-site manufacturing techniques to limit schedule uncertainties and costs overruns inherent in conventional construction practices.

Presentation date: June 23, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. EDT

Dr. Robert Hairstans

Professor, Edinburgh Napier University

Robert Hairstans

Professor Robert Hairstans is the head of the Centre for Offsite Construction + Innovative Structures (COCIS) at Edinburgh Napier University's Institute for Sustainable Construction. He leads research, innovation and knowledge exchange activities designed to deliver construction technologies for tomorrow's communities within a circular economy. His specialist expertise is in the fields of timber engineering and technology with a focus on adding value to the timber supply chain and an emphasis on engineered timber products and off-site construction.

Presentation date: July 7, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. EDT

Matt Stevenson

Founder & Managing Director, ECOSystems Tech

Matt Stevenson is driven to deliver social, environmental and industry impact and was an early pioneer of sustainable, volumetric manufacture in the UK.

Matt is founder of ECOSystems Technologies, an innovative PropTech company, recently launched and bringing together experienced sector professionals dedicated to digital transformation of the construction industry, applied innovation in timber technology and the democratisation of low energy, sustainable and healthy building solutions.

Matt is a serial collaborator and committed to working to deliver applied innovation through incubation and commercial acceleration.

A key current focus for ECOSystems is on adding value to our homegrown timber resource through the commercialisation of mass timber products.

Sam Hart

NMIS Innovation Manager (Built Environment), Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (Edinburgh Napier University)

Delivering transformational change across the construction industry, Sam Hart is the sector lead for the decarbonisation of the built environment through digital transformation, modern methods of construction (MMC), renewable and biogenic product development, operations, sustainable procurement, and quality. This drives greater social and economic impact for Scotland by linking industry, academia, and the public sector to support innovation through business, product, process, people, and service.

Scott Fisher

CEO, PrefabNZ

Scott Fisher

Scott is the CEO of PrefabNZ, New Zealand’s peak body representing the off-site construction sector. Scott is passionate about how the offsite sector and new technologies can achieve a better built environment - higher quality, smarter, greener, safer, faster, more innovative and efficient building solutions.

Scott has extensive commercial and leadership experience in the public, private and NGO sectors and with several membership bodies.

Presentation date: July 7, 6 p.m. -7:30 p.m. EDT

Steven Haylestrom

Sr. Consultant, The Modular Solution

Steven Haylestrom

With extensive experience in modular and prefabricated construction (MPC) methods, Steven's passion is to push the construction industry into an age where affordable, green housing solutions are available to everyone. In pursuit of his passion, he has worn many hats, including consulting work for the CSA Group producing a forthcoming report examining the regulatory landscape concerning modular construction across Canada, and helping those seeking to navigate these regulations.

Steven is a keen believer in finding practical, pragmatic solutions to contemporary building and construction issues. Steven brings a passionate approach and an expertly honed understanding to MPC, with perspectives and experience in every aspect, from planning to design to installation, handover, and maintenance. His extensive leadership in the industry has allowed him to explore a number of innovative approaches in public, private, and NGO sectors.

He is currently wearing the hat of senior director of innovation strategy and transformation for the newly created Modular Innovation Think Tank with its home base located in Ottawa, Ontario. While he continues to do consulting work, he is firmly focused on developing and creating the innovative change necessary to move modular construction to the next level.

Presentation date: July 14, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. EDT

Dr. David Heesom

Reader in BIM, University of Wolverhampton

Dr. David Heesom

David Heesom is currently a Reader in BIM at the University of Wolverhampton. He has spent 20 years in Academia researching the application of advanced digital technologies for architectural design and construction, publishing his work in international journals and speaking at events around the world. Prior to this, he worked as an infrastructure engineer, focusing on the design of large highway schemes using both 2D and 3D digital modelling. David has won numerous funded research awards and works closely with companies around the UK to support them in implementing BIM and digital technologies to enhance their processes.

He has held numerous Knowledge Transfer Projects (KTPs) funded by the UK Government to support applied R&D by pushing the boundaries of digital construction and directly implementing this into the UK AEC sector. In addition, he has previously won a Royal Academy of Engineering grant to support the creation of a spin out company which provides VR and AR tools for construction and infrastructure.

Current research projects involve the application of digital workflows for the high value ventilation sector, the use of Heritage BIM for the translocation of historic buildings and the use of BIM and AI to manage smart buildings. David is the co-chair of the International Conference on Construction Futures and the academic lead for the University of Wolverhampton Construction Futures Research Centre (CFRC). He is also the co-investigator of the major UK government funded project, STELLAR, which is integrating BIM and Digital Twin approaches to support offsite housing construction.

Presentation date: July 21, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. EDT

Emanuel Jannasch

Senior Instructor, Dalhousie University

Emanuel Jannasch

Emanuel began architecture studies at Cornell in 1978 and received his M.Arch from Dalhousie in 1998. Before during, and after this process he developed a broad background in the building trades and construction management as well as in architectural work and media design. He has lectured in 7 provinces, 3 states, and on 4 continents and currently teaches at the Dalhousie School of Architecture.

Presentation date: July 28, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. EDT

Jonathan Fernando

Project Manager, Construction and Infrastructure, Canadian Standards Association

Jonathan Fernando

Jonathan Fernando is the Project Manager at the Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group), responsible for the welding and modular construction standards. Jonathan has extensive experience in the construction industry overseeing multiple condominium developments in Toronto for the past 10 years. A mechanical engineer by training, Jonathan is a firm believer in the benefits the industry stands to gain from the innovative nature of modular construction.

Presentation date: Aug. 11, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. EDT

Daniel Barbeau

Digital innovation manager, Canam Group inc.

Daniel Barbeau

Daniel Barbeau, M.Eng., graduated with a master’s degree in industrial engineering from Polytechnique Montréal in 2012. Before joining Canam Group in 2015, he was an entrepreneur in construction engineering services. He now holds the position of business relationship manager in the engineering and digital innovation segment of the company.

His work is mainly oriented around optimizing the digital supply chain of structural steel construction using BIM technologies and Lean principles. He is also a lecturer at ÉTS (École de Technologie Supérieure) in Montréal.

Presentation date: Aug. 18, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. EDT