May 6th 10AM-12PM – Role of Automation and AI in Canadian Industry

Synopsis – Our world is becoming more automated due to key developments in technology and computing. Converging the world of information and the world of operation simply by bringing together energy, automation, and software to get a greater level of efficiency and reliability. Hear industry experts talk about some of the latest developments to show real life applications.

Room: Main Ballroom

Chair: François Blouin, Director of Innovation, ATCO

  • Opening Remarks (10 min)
    Ahsan Upal – IEEE Industry Chair and Regional Manager with Burns & McDonnell
  • Applied AI in Healthcare (20 min)

Parisa Naraei – Manager, Analytic Techniques and Tools, Canadian institute for Health Information (CIHI)

  • Innovating to Deliver Value for Utilities (30 min)
    Ahsan Upal, Regional Manager with Burns & McDonnell
  • Q/A Panel Discussion (15 min)


May 7th 10AM-12PM – Innovation in the Energy Sector

Synopsis – Innovation is abound in the energy sector as it goes through a major transformation driven by technology, process efficiencies and greater environmental mandates. This has had major implications for Canada’s energy industry as it adjusts to these new realities. Our presenters will speak about what innovative solutions their companies are implementing to help the Canadian industry make the shift.

Room: Main Ballroom

Chair: Ahsan Upal

  • Opening Remarks (10 min)
    Ahsan Upal – IEEE Industry Chair and Regional Manager with Burns & McDonnell
  • Applying AI Techniques for Asset Performance Management(APM) in Utility & Electro Intensive Industries (30 min)

Kaliyur Sridharan – Senior Director, Growth Programs with Schneider Electric

  • Microgrids: Design, Applications and Operation (30 min)
    Omid Alizadah, Principal Consultant, Quanta Technology 
  • Q/A Panel Discussion (20 min)



Ahsan Upal, P.Eng. PMP
IEEE Industry Chair and Regional Manager of Business Development, Burns & McDonnell

Ahsan is the national business development leader with Burns & McDonnell, an EPC engineering firm specializing in all aspects of power generation, transmission and distribution, storage and renewables with 50 offices globally including in Calgary and Toronto.

Ahsan has 19 years of experience in Canada/US in engineering and projects leadership roles with an electrical transformer manufacturer, major electric and oil/gas pipeline utilities and consulting firms executing major infrastructure projects in power, pipelines and utility telecommunication networks.  Ahsan is an electrical system engineer and is the national chair of Industry at IEEE Canada. Ahsan is an active member of the Canadian Electricity Association, Ontario and Calgary Chambers and he writes and speaks on emerging trends in the energy sector.


Parisa Naraei, Ph.D.
Manager, Analytic Techniques and Tools, Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI)

Dr. Parisa Naraei is a PhD in computer science with excellent expertise in cognitive science and their applications in healthcare. She is currently the manager of data science in Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and a faculty member in the department of cloud computing for big data in Lambton college in Toronto.

In CIHI, she is driving emerging digital, AI & cloud tech in the healthcare industry and with over 250 citations of her books, journal and conference papers, Dr.Naraei has been a great contributor to the state of the art field of Artificial intelligence, information security and cognitive science.

Dr. Naraei has been the leader of “neural networks in Python” project in IBM and recently she is inspired by writing dialogues that make chatbots and healthcare NLP products helpful, natural and persuasive when they talk to customers.


Omid Alizadah, PhD
Power & Energy Society Toronto Chair and Principal Consultant, Quanta Technology

Omid is a Principal Consultant with Quanta Technology. Quanta Technology is an expertise-based, independent technical consulting and advisory services company specializing in the electric power and energy industries. Quanta Technology helps electric utilities by providing practical solutions to their most complex transmission and distribution challenges.

Omid specializes in power systems studies, integration of distributed energy resources, and application of emerging technologies. Prior to joining Quanta Technology, he was a Research Fellow at the Centre for Urban Energy in Ryerson University. In recent years, Omid has been involved in several utility projects focusing on microgrids, utility-scale energy storage integration, system impact studies of distributed energy resources, real-time testing of P&C equipment, and advanced distribution protection and automation design and evaluation. Omid is currently serving as the chair of IEEE Toronto’s Power and Energy Chapter.


Kaliyur Sridharan, Senior Director – Growth Programs Schneider Electric Canada


Kaliyur Sridharan serves as the Senior Director – Growth Programs at Schneider Electric. He is a senior industry professional with deep insights to strategically plan, direct, and convert company products and solutions portfolio into rapid commercialization for global adoption in Utility and Industrial Automation segment.  Kaliyur has undergraduate degrees in physics and electrical engineering and a graduate degree in Process Control and Instrumentation.  He is a certified six-sigma green belt and a registered professional engineer.