Executive Team

Click on names to expand bios

Derya Yinanc, BSc MEng IMBA
Chief Executive Officer
& President

Derya is emerging as one of the top technical and business minds driving renewable energy entrepreneurship based in Canada. Mr. Yinanc has a background in physics, electrical engineering, international business and investment banking, is a graduate of the IMBA program at the Schulich Business School at York University in Toronto and a graduate of master of engineering program of University of Alberta. Derya conducted research on solid state physics and astrophysics while studying at Rutgers University, NJ and was a founding and managing member of four high tech ventures in Information Technology (IT) field. In the last few years he focused on bringing technological and business innovation tackling diverse challenges plaguing humanity such as the climate change, and resultant food and water shortages all around the world. Lastly, he was the President of Gaia Shakti Group, a cutting edge renewable energy firm that established the largest ethanol feedstock trial in Western Canada in collaboration with First Nations.

Paul Harris
Director of Advanced Concept Research

Paul is an active researcher studying fundamental electromagnetics, power transmission, high voltage electronics, biomass energy, hydrogen production, alternative fuels, hydrodynamics, noble gas chemistry, fluid mechanics, biochemistry and plasma physics. Previously Paul was a vibrant member of the internet revolution, acting as a founding member and Chief Technical Officer of iStockphoto. He also worked as a senior internet application designer for Webcore Labs / Evolvs. Paul has spent the last few years creating Aurea Media Inc, a leading CD / DVD replication house in Calgary Alberta.

Garry Mihaichuk, BSc MEng PEng
Co-President (Commercialization)

Independent Businessman, Director and Advisor to companies in the Energy Industry, Technology Industry and Provincial Government. Garry has over 35 years of experience building and developing global businesses in Energy, Petrochemicals and Infrastructure. He has held senior positions with Toromont Energy Systems (President and CEO), Husky Energy (Vice President of Oil Sands and Heavy Oil), Mancal Corporation (Senior Vice President Business Development), TransCanada Pipelines (President), Amoco Corporation (Senior Vice President), Dome Petroleum (General Manager), General Crude Oil (Engineering Manager) and Texaco Exploration Canada Ltd. (Engineering).

Garry is a Director of Badger Daylighting, Greenfields Petroleum Corporation, Translang Technologies, Alberta Economic Development Authority, University of Calgary Social Sciences Faculty, and the Friends of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

He also advises Oil and Gas companies and Technology companies from start-ups to developed companies, on financing and strategy, technology evaluations and tactics to develop their products and projects.

Dr. Robert Schulz, PhD

Bob is a Professor in the Strategy and Global Management(SGMA) and Business and Environment(BSEN) areas. He has been teaching at the Haskayne School of Business since 1973. He received his BA(Mathematics) from St. Vincent College(Latrobe, Pa.), BS in Mechanical-Industrial from University of Notre Dame, MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, and PhD in Business Administration from The Ohio State University. Bob is currently the Academic Director for the Petroleum Land Management concentration. Prior to joining Haskayne, Bob was Education Director for Management Horizons Data Systems in Columbus, Ohio. He has taught Strategic Decision-Making for MBAs as an Adjunct Professor for Mendoza College of Business at University of Notre Dame.

Bob teaches the capstone senior Business Strategy course for undergraduate students, Management Education for doctoral students, first-week intensive Strategy course for EMBAs, major project management course for EMBAs, and executive education programs. Bob particular areas of research interest include time management, telework, manager as coach, and the future environment of business.

Bob is currently researching virtual work and telework in Calgary, a continuation of his previous research. Bob's work has been published in Growing the Virtual Workplace: The Integrative Value Proposition for Telework by Verbeke, Schulz, Greidanus, Hambley , a book published by Edward Elgar in 2008. He has won 21 outstanding teaching and student service awards and has been named to 7 Who's Who publications.

Bob coached undergraduate student intercollegiate competition teams to 73 national championships and ranked #1 or #2 overall for 31 consecutive years, won 2 world-level undergraduate titles, and won 3 world-level MBA championships. In his spare time he enjoys golf.

Board of Management Advisory

Jeff Arsenych, BA MBA
Independent Management Advisor

Mr. Arsenych is President & CEO of Petro Verde Energy, a private company based in Calgary that is focusing on heavy oil development using novel extraction technologies. He is also Chairman of Kyoto Fuels, a biodiesel company based in Lethbridge, and Prairie BioGas, a waste-to-energy company based in Regina. He brings 30 years experience in the energy sector in the areas of management, business development, corporate finance, economic evaluations, and new technologies.

George Marquardt, P.Eng
Independent Management Advisor

Independent businessman, and advisor to companies in the energy industries. Various ventures over the last 35 years have included starting new companies, Board of Director /advisor involvement, technical/strategic guidance, and investment, management, and technical roles.

George is a founder, Director, and Chairman of Mosaic Energy, a private Calgary oil & gas company active in horizontal well resource developments in Alberta and currently producing 4000+ Boe/d. Mosaic followed Grid Resources where George was the President, Chairman and CEO, and Stellarton Energy, Stellarton Resources, and SGS Limited partnership where he was a director and COO. Other companies founded during this time frame included Advanced NPD (Oil Tools and Compression), and Absolute Engineering.

He is a director and former Chairman of Simmax Corp, a private Edmonton conglomerate with subsidiaries (ADCO Power Ltd., ADCO North, Simson-Maxwell) active in design, construction, service and sales of powerplants and related equipment in Canada, as well as in domestic and international construction projects. He is also a director of Canfrac Sands, a private frac sand mining and processing operation northeast of Lloydminster that began production spring of 2008.

Previous employment included various engineering, troubleshooting, and managerial roles at Aquitaine, Canadian Hunter, and American Hunter.

Robert Peterson, BA MSEE MBA
Independent Management Advisor

Robert Peterson has over 30 years experience in the oil and gas industry, managing international exploration, asset development, and R&D programs. He has held senior management positions at Mobil, ExxonMobil, IBM and Schlumberger. He currently leads the North American Oil and Gas practice for Charles River Associates as well as running his own technology advisory firm.

Mr. Peterson holds a BA in Physics from Carleton College, an MSEE from Michigan, and an MBA from Southern Methodist University, and is named as the principle inventor on 6 patents related to exploration and imaging methods.

He advises oil and gas technology companies, from start-ups to majors, on financing and product strategy, market positioning as well as on effective management of the innovation process from inception to monetization, and partnering strategies. He is currently advising a number of clients on oil sands and tight gas on technology and business strategies, and has assisted 6 oil and gas technology firms in successful launch in the past 5 years.

Dr. Michael Raymont, B.Sc (Hons) PhD
Independent Management Advisor

Dr. Michael Raymont is Chairman and a Principal of Borderline Asia. In addition, he is a Managing Partner with Equinox Energy Partners. Both of these companies provide financial advisory work and cross-border M&A and IPO services, as well as market entry strategies for companies entering China. In the past, he was a partner and president of a private equity company specializing in the energy, resources, environment and healthcare sectors in South-East Asia, with a special focus on China.

Formerly, Michael was CEO of EnergyINet, a think-tank with government departments as well as counting a significant number of major energy companies in Canada as members. Prior to that, Michael worked for Federal Government of Canada, Serving as President (Deputy Minister), and Vice President with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). Before his time with NRC, Michael was President and CEO of three Canadian-based technology companies in the engineered materials and energy-related sectors as well as the CEO for all Telus Corporation non-regulated subsidiaries. His previous roles have involved energy research management, licensing and technology transfer at not-for-profit research institutes.

Dr. Raymont has B.Sc (Hons) and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry, and was a Killam Scholar. He holds two patents, and has authored over 200 publications and presentations, principally on energy, climate change, technology commercialization and economic development. He has very extensive international experience, having spent almost half his life outside Canada, in the US, East Asia and Europe. He has been active as director in a number of public and private energy and technology companies, and is currently a member of several professional associations. He has also provided advisory work to several governments on conventional and alternative energy, innovation, technology commercialization and economic development. Dr. Raymont has made over 80 visits to China. He has concluded numerous business transactions in China and SE Asia, and while he was in government, he led many delegations there. He is considered an expert in China market entry strategies, structuring and Chinese/western business cultural issues.

Scott Fawcett, BSc. (Geology), MBA (International Business)
Independent Management Advisor

Scott is a member of the board of directors of Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF). Scott is currently assisting Aptio. In his role with Apptio, Scott Fawcett is helping private and public sector Chief Innovation & Technology Officers, CIOs and CFOs optimize the effectiveness of their industrial and ICT technology investments. Through the past 21 years, Scott has provided global commercialization services to over 20 products and solutions for some of the largest technology companies in the world. Scott’s core focus has involved the delivery of innovative technology solutions meeting the unique needs of specific vertical industries, and the public sector. Past roles have included: Global Energy Industry Manager for Microsoft, Global B2B Strategy Manager, Microsoft, and Director Energy Industry & Smart Grid for Cisco Systems. Active in the Western Canada venture capital community, Scott is a strong advocate helping small- and medium-sized Alberta businesses succeed in the global marketplace.

Technical Advisory Council

Dr. David Devenny, PhD P.Eng P.Geol
Independent Technical Advisor

Many years in key roles for industrial and natural resource developments. Main disciplines of practice are engineering geology and geotechnical engineering. Projects include large civil projects, industrial projects, natural resource developments, northern development, oil sands and mining developments.

In recent years works as an independent advisor to natural resource developments and to consultants. Main areas of expertise include site exploration and evaluation, development planning, extraction and upgrading process selection, tailings management, reclamation and closure, due diligence reviews, expert witness in litigation.

Public service experience include President of APPEGGA (1994-1995), President of Canadian Geotechnical Society (1984-1986), President of APPEGGA Education Foundation (2007-2008) and Founding member of Alberta Economic Development Council (1995-1997).

Dr. Jalal Abedi, PhD P.Eng
Independent Technical Advisor

Dr. Abedi earned his M.A. Sc. and Ph.D. from University of Toronto and B.Sc. from Abadan Institute of Technology, Iran.

Dr. Abedi is an associate professor with department of chemical enginering of University of Calgary. Dr. Abedi works on issues relating to energy and environment. His areas of expertise are phase behaviour of heavy oils/solvents, renewable energy, biomass/waste gasification and pyrolysis, biofuel production, and hazardous air pollutant removal. He is currently conducting research studies on biomass pyrolysis and solvent solubility in bitumen and phase behaviours. His research work involves the use of high performance computing and modeling.

Dr. Thomas G. Harding, PhD P.Eng
Independent Technical Advisor

Dr. Harding earned his Ph.D. from University of Alberta, and M.Sc. as well as B.Sc. degrees from University of Calgary.

Dr. Harding joined the University of Calgary's Schulich School of Engineering in January 2004 after a 28 year career in the petroleum industry. He has varied engineering experience related to heavy oil, conventional oil and gas production operations both domestic and international. His main areas of research interest are in:

  • Advanced oil recovery including methods for heavy oil and oil sands extraction and enhanced recovery of conventional oil. Current research focuses on optimization of the steam-assisted gravity drainage process (SAGD) including optimization of well arrangements and use of additives to steam to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact of the process.
  • Management of produced water associated with oil and gas recovery operations. This work emphasizes minimization of fresh water usage for hydrocarbon recovery and beneficial reuse and recycling of produced water. Current work is focused on removal of organic contaminants in produced water from thermal oil recovery operations.

Brian W. Raymond, MSc P.Eng
Independent Technical Advisor

Associated with the coal and oil sands industries for the past 40 years which included senior management positions in operations, engineering and management of many large-scale projects. Responsible for building successful organizations ranging in size.

Brian received his bachelors degree in extractive metallurgical engineering from University of Alberta and received his master of science degree in mineral dressing engineering from Montana School of Mines.

Brian is the founder of Raymond Mineral Dressing Consultants and provides engineering consulting services to primary resource producing industries. His areas of expertise include coal preparation, tar sand extraction, froth treatment, oily sludge cleanup, mineral processing, quarrying, and materials handling.

He provided exploration, bulk sampling, quality evaluation, feasibility, property evaluation, pilot plant design and management, process design, project management, cost estimating, marketing, startup assistance, professional witness and technical due-diligence services to major coal and oil & gas companies primarily in Western Canada, Nova Scotia, West Germany and United States.

Ken Putt, P.Eng., FCAE, FEIC, FCSSE
Independent Technical Advisor

Ken is a member of the executive of the University of Victoria Engineering Associates and serves as a mentor to Engineering Co-Op students. Besides marking UVic Engineering student Co-Op Work Term Reports, Putt judges, along with CSSE Members Black, Colin Smith, George Beer and Andy Molozzi, the winners of the UVic Engineering Associates “Work Term Report Awards of Excellence.”

Ken is a past UVic Visiting Scientist and is the only non-faculty participant in the University’s Vice President (Research) Innovation Strategy Committee formed to help reshape the University of Victoria’s innovation profile. In addition, Ken Putt is presently on the Board of Directors of the EIC Vancouver Island Branch Scholarship Society as well as on the Board of the Vancouver Island Branch of the Canadian Society of Senior Engineers (CSSE). Nationally, Ken is a Director and CSSE VP -Canada West, a Director of the Canadian Society for Engineering Management (CSEM), is the Canadian Editor of the ASEM Engineering Management Journal, Chairs the EIC Council Investment Committee and is a member of the EIC’s CCTC-2013 Organizing Committee. Ken is a founding and Independent Director of the Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC)

Since retiring from a career with Imperial Oil Limited and consulting in management of technological change for NRC’s IRAP organization, Ken served on many national research funding committees with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and National Centres of Excellence (NCE) as well as the Ontario Research Foundation Research Excellence funding panels.

His professional affiliations include Life Memberships in APEGGA and SPE as well as membership in CIM, APEGBC and the Canadian Academy of Engineering. Ken is a Fellow of CAE, the EIC and the CSSE.