OVIN Advisory Committee

OVIN is accelerating the development and commercialization of next generation electric, connected and autonomous vehicle and mobility technologies. Our Advisory Committee is comprised of leading experts in this space. Their role is to guide, inform and support OVIN’s work to drive the future of Ontario’s automotive and mobility sector. 

Grant Courville

Vice President,
Products and Strategy
BlackBerry
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Dr. Mitra Mirhassani

Co-Director, SHIELD Automotive Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
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David Ticoll

Distinguished Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
University of Toronto
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Raquel Urtasun

Founder & CEO
Waabi
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Edona C. Vila

Partner
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
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Dr. Sheldon Williamson

Professor
Ontario Tech University
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Michael Smith

Partner
Bennett Jones LL
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Cormac O’Connell

Director and Academician, Ottawa Design Center, TSMC Design Technology Canada
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Biographies

Grant Courville
Vice President, Products and Strategy
BlackBerry
LinkedIn

As Vice President, Products and Strategy at BlackBerry QNX, Grant is responsible for the BlackBerry QNX global product portfolio and strategy for the automotive and general embedded markets. Grant has over 25 years of experience in the embedded industry and is a recognized leader and spokesperson for connected & autonomous vehicles and IoT technology. While at QNX, he has held leadership roles in engineering, marketing, and strategy. In addition to the OVIN Adivsory Committee, Grant also serves as a member of the Advisory Board for the Invest Ottawa Global Expansion committee, Ottawa Area X.O steering committee and the Algonquin College ICT Program Advisory Committee (PAC).  

Dr. Mitra Mirhassani, Ph.D.  P.Eng  SMIEEE
Co-Director, SHIELD Automotive Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence 
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering 
University of Windsor 
LinkedIn

Mitra Mirhassani is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and is serving as the Associate Editor for IEEE Access Journal and Guest Associate Editor of IEEE Transaction on Computer-Aided Design. She is the co-founder and co-director of the SHIELD- Automotive Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence. She was the advisor to the WiCyS (Women in Cybersecurity) Windsor chapter in 2019 and won the leadership award for the groups’ activity in promoting the field in 2020. She was recognized as one of the Top Women in Cybersecurity by IT World Canada in 2020 and won the 2020 Outstanding Achievement award, and 2021 Donald S. Wood Leadership Award in cybersecurity in 2021 from the APMA Cybersecurity Institute. 

David Ticoll
Distinguished Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
University of Toronto
LinkedIn

David Ticoll is a Distinguished Fellow at The Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and an authority on the policy, business and social implications of technology innovation, as well as an accomplished private sector and social entrepreneur. David focuses on policy and program innovation related to skills development, labour market information, digital mobility, urban design/smart cities, and data. His recent publications include Skilling Canadians for the AI Economy and Driving Changes: Automated Vehicles in Toronto. He also chairs the National Stakeholder Advisory Committee of the Labour Market Information council. 

Raquel Urtasun
Founder & CEO
Waabi
LinkedIn

Raquel Urtasun is Founder and CEO of Waabi, an AI company building the next generation of self-driving technology. Waabi is the culmination of Raquel’s 20 year career in AI and 10 years of experience building self driving solutions. Raquel is also a Full Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto, a co-founder of the Vector Institute for AI, and the recipient of several high profile awards including a Longuet-Higgins Prize, an Everingham Prize, an NSERC EWR Steacie Award, two NVIDIA Pioneers of AI Awards, three Google Faculty Research Awards, an Amazon Faculty Research Award, two Best Paper Runner up Prize awards at CVPR in 2013 and 2017 and more. In 2021, Raquel was named as 100 Women of Impact by Entrepreneur Magazine, 100 People Transforming Business by Business Insider and Toronto’s Most Influential Torontonians according to Toronto Life Magazine. She was also named Chatelaine 2018 Woman of the year and 2018 Toronto’s top influencers by Adweek magazine. 

Edona C. Vila
Partner
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
LinkedIn

A Partner and lawyer in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Edona is a member of the firm’s Products, Automotive, Autonomous Vehicles, and Municipal Liability Groups where she advises clients on product liability, municipal liability, insurance, and emerging transportation and infrastructure technologies. Edona’s legal and regulatory practice also incorporates advice on compliance and risk management, with a special focus on internet of things, autonomous systems, and artificial intelligence. 

Dr. Sheldon Williamson
Professor
Ontario Tech University
LinkedIn

Sheldon Williamson is a Professor with the Department of Electrical, Computer and Software Engineering, and Director of the Smart Transportation Electrification and Energy Research (STEER) Group, within the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences, at Ontario Tech University, Oshawa, ON, Canada. His current research interests include power electronics, motor drives, electric energy storage systems, and smart charging for transportation electrification and autonomous e-mobility. He also holds the NSERC Canada Research Chair (CRC) position in electric energy storage systems for transportation electrification. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). 

Michael Smith
Partner
Bennett Jones LLP
LinkedIn

Michael Smith is a Partner at Bennett Jones LLP.  He has been working with the automotive industry throughout his 25+-year legal career, both in private practice and in-house at General Motors of Canada Company and as Acting General Counsel and Government & Regulatory Affairs Counsel at Volkswagen Group Canada Inc.  There are few, if any, issues facing the automotive industry that Michael has not advised on.  Among other recognition, Michael received the Benchmark Litigation Product Liability Litigator of the Year award in 2016. 

Cormac O’Connell

Director and Academician,
Ottawa Design Center,
TSMC Design Technology Canada
LinkedIn

Cormac O’Connell has been working in the semiconductor industry for almost 40 years working in almost every role from designer, technical manager, business development, marketing consultant, start-up founder, on the board. He has wide experience on the technical side he’s worked on ASICs Memory, RF, Mixed-Signal and holds more than 40 US patents.. On the business side he has raised money, found lead customers, defined products, ran projects, delivered products and been involved in company M&A. His career started in Europe at Philip’s Central Research, then moved to Canada where he worked and partnered with many companies in the US and Far East and now working for TSMC has close ties with Taiwan. Occasionally he assists Invest Canada/Ontario/Ottawa with their goal to expand Hi-Tech business here in Canada.