Room: Rutherford Room

Date and time: May 6th, 10am-5pm.


A full-day workshop is being held under the Humanitarian Activities Committee’s auspices. It will contain four panels addressing the following United Nations goals:

Goal 4: Quality education

Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy

Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Goal 13: Climate action

Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals


Panel #1: Education inclusion (10am-11:40am).

Chair: Rossitza Marinova


  • Prof. Witold Kinsner, Educational Activities Board, IEEE
  • Prof. Rossitza Marinova, Educator, Concordia University of Edmonton
  • Bob Gill, Educator, BCIT
  • Tessa Ryan, Ph.D. Candidate and Engineer-In-Training, EPCOR, Edmonton
  • Prof. Fuhua (Oscar) Lin, Educator, Athabasca University
  • Ravinder Shergill, Industry, TELUS

The “Education Inclusion” panel is a joint initiative of IEEE Region 7 Educational Activities Committee and Humanitarian Activities Committee. The panel objectives are to present and discuss different visions of education – from the points of view of employers, learners, and educators. The panel also covers the humanitarian aspect of education.

Industries seek to hire individuals with specific skills. Employers frequently work with educational institutions to assist students in obtaining necessary knowledge and skills for being successful in their work. Employers can benefit if educational institutions can assist their employees with certification and professional development.

The viewpoint of students is also important. Young professionals face challenges in being prepared for the right jobs. Employers and educators want them to be successful in their career.  This can let them advance technology for the benefit of humanity. Hence, they need education that helps them acquire the skills employers demand.

What is the right education that can equip individuals with skills and knowledge to build the future with confidence? What will the future bring so that everyone could adapt to it? The panelists will try to share their vision and answer some questions the audience may have.

Panelists intend to present and discuss innovative teaching and learning approaches, including the best online learning environments and the next generation of pedagogy for online and blended higher education.


Panel #2: Mission Critical Communities and Clean Energy Adoption (1pm-2:00pm).

Chair: Ahsan Upal


  • Ryan Anderson, Project Manager, Isolated Renewables, ATCO Electric
  • Dr. Alexandre Nassif, Specialist Engineer,  Facilities Planning, ATCO Electric
  • Matthew Wright, Senior Engineer, Renewables and Solar, ATCO Electric

There have been strong drivers toward lessening diesel dependency in remote communities. These off-grid communities can be difficult to access, and often face challenges with diesel supply. More importantly, governments are striving to improve the environmental outlook in these areas. Tying this need with associated high operational costs and fuel handling challenges, alternative sources of energy and energy storage have emerged as a viable option to reduce diesel consumption. This paper presents the experience of a Canadian electric utility in planning the application of utility scale photovoltaic generation and Battery Energy Storage Systems to supplement existing diesel generators in a remote isolated community in Alberta. Economic drivers and opportunities to partner with first nations have sparked stakeholder attention and positioned the project as a national interest. Technical and economic studies were conducted to address all aspects of the project. These include forecasting load, sizing and siting each alternative generation option, customizing dispatch strategies, and determining required spinning reserve from diesel generators through time-domain studies.


Panel #3: The Role of AI in Humanity and Ethics (2 pm – 3:30 pm).

Chair: Graeme Vanderstar


  • Prof. Irene Cheng, Scientific Director, Program Director, University of Alberta
  • Dr. Parisa Naraei, Manager of Data Science, Canadian Institute for Health Information
  • Dr. Tim Hannigan, Assistant Professor, University of Alberta
  • Dr. Lianne M. Lefsrud, Assitance Professor, University of Alberta

The remarkable achievements made in artificial intelligence (AI) over the past decade have fostered predictions from many pundits of a coming rapid technological advancement that will lead to a cultural and societal transformation of human civilization at large.  With such grand predictions come the opportunity to study how AI will advance humanitarian causes in many different fields, however, these predictions also forewarn of many ethical challenges that may come to the forefront as AI becomes a greater part of our lives.  This panel will engage 4 highly qualified experts on the topic of AI who will first brief the audience on precisely what AI is and what predictions they have for the technology in the next 10 years and who will then dive into a deeper analysis of the ethical challenges and humanitarian opportunities that AI will present society in the years to come.


Break: 3:30pm – 3:45pm


Panel #4: Introduction to Impact Assessment and Social Return on Investment (3:45 pm – 5:00pm).

Chair: Holly Brown


  • Holly Schneider Brown, Director, Public Imperatives and Corporate Development, IEEE
  • Jineet Doshi, IEEE

There has been strong, sustained interest in humanitarian activities in IEEE Region 7, yielding a number of humanitarian and sustainable development projects. The IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC) provides support by raising awareness, conducting training, offering funding opportunities, and facilitating collaboration and strategic partnerships. In 2019, HAC is focused on providing tools to IEEE volunteers to assess the impact of projects. Impactassessment will enable project teams to question assumptions, better determine good practices, adapt, improve, and also be able to more effectively tell their project’s story in order to attract more support. In this workshop, attendees will learn about impact assessment, focusing on Social Return on Investment (SROI) – the theory, examples of SROI assessments that are currently underway, as well as hands-on exercises.