Meet Our Researchers
Our talented faculty researchers are industry experts and lead all research projects. They specialize in focus on speed to market while ensuring our students are job-trained and market-ready.
Senior Food Scientist
Rob McCurdy brings considerable academic and industry experience to his role as Senior Food Scientist at George Brown College’s Food Innovation and Research Studio. Rob has both a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Food Science from the University of Guelph. Rob has more than 25 years of experience in product and process development/innovation, project management, quality systems design, market research, scientific writing, large and small scale manufacturing, and process validation/optimization processes within the food industry. Rob’s retail & food service experience includes roles as a Quality Scientist (Royal Canin Canada), Senior Scientist (Mars/Masterfoods, USA), Technical Director (Lyons Magnus) and Applied Research Scientist (Food Innovation and Research Studio (FIRSt), George Brown College). Rob’s technical expertise includes product formulation, nutritional compliance testing, thermal processing, market research, sensory evaluation, technical writing, food chemistry, bench-top to production scale-up, regulatory compliance, and quality system management. Rob’s extensive product development portfolio spans a wide range of food categories including sauces, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, confectionery products, fruit compotes, variegates and fillings, shelf stable entrees, pet foods, salad dressings, salsas, smoothies, fudges and caramels. Since joining GBC in 2014, Rob has been instrumental in the success of over 50 applied research projects and product development-related services at FIRSt.
Food Scientist, FIRSt
Kassandra leads all regulatory affairs activities at FIRSt by providing interpretation and communication of federal and provincial legislations, guidelines to support business growth, product integrity, claims substantiation, third party certification and compliance. Her strong analytical skills enable her to present complex information from scientific and legal sources. Drawing upon her industry experience, with over 1000+ product reviews in diverse food categories, she takes a proactive and pragmatic approach to guiding clients through an increasingly intricate regulatory environment. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Food Science (Honours) with a minor in Nutritional and Nutraceutical Science from the University of Guelph. She also has certificates in Advanced Canadian Nutrition and Ingredient Labelling from NSF International, as well as Artisan Bread Baking and Culinary Arts from George Brown College.
Areas of Expertise:Regulatory Affairs, Nutrition, Labelling and Packaging, Compliance, Claims Substantiation, Research and Development
Food Scientist, FIRSt
After obtaining a Food Science degree at the University of Guelph, Emily’s interest in the Culinary Arts led her to complete a Culinary Certificate at George Brown. There, she became enamored with the creative problem solving involved in food and beverage manufacturing and was thrilled when she was eventually hired as a food scientist. At FIRSt, Emily works with clients and partners to discern the “why and how” of food science challenges and to formulate, optimize and evaluate the sensory properties of food and beverage products. Previously, Emily worked for Mondelez International, conducting research and development for brands such as Oreo and Chips Ahoy, and for Maple Leaf Foods, as a microbial technologist. In 2019, she was a recipient of Ontario Hostelry Institute’s “Top 30 Under 30” award.
Areas of Expertise:Creative problem solving; food and beverage manufacture, communication; food science; product formulation/optimization; sensory evaluation
From learning family recipes to working in hotels around the world, Candace’s passion for food has been her driving force. With over 16 years of culinary and foodservice experience, she has proven skills in recipe and product development. Candace values building strong client relationships at FIRSt and has a proven track record of meeting the demands of FIRSt’s diverse and dynamic clients, who are often at the cutting edge of the foodservice and the consumer package goods industry. By collaborating with food scientists and culinary students at FIRSt, she applies her culinary and sensory science experience to meet the needs of FIRSt’s diverse clients to produce best-selling products. Her product roaster includes ready to drink beverages, sauces, healthy snacks and nutrition focused recipes which help in the recovery of certain medical conditions. Since starting her career at FIRSt, she has seen first-hand how innovation continues to push the boundaries when developing unique products, and how food continues to bring people together. Candace holds a B.A from the University of Windsor and is an alumnus of both the George Brown College (GBC) Culinary Management and Italian postgraduate programs. Candace is a member of the Research Chef Association is also a past recipient of the prestigious Ontario Hostelry Institute’s ‘Top 30 Under 30’ award.
Professor, George Brown College
Dr. Md. Safiuddin is currently a Professor at George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology. Before this position, he worked as a Research Associate at the Center for Pavement and Transportation Technology (CPATT), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, M.A.Sc. in Civil Engineering from University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, M.Sc. in Civil and Structural Engineering from National University of Malaysia (University Kebangsaan Malaysia), and B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.
Dr. Safiuddin’s career goal is to build a High Caliber Teaching/Research Expertise in the area of Construction/Building Materials. He is interested in teaching Engineering Mechanics, Fluid Mechanics, Engineering Materials, Concrete Materials, Mechanics of Materials, Construction Technology, Reinforced Concrete, Structural Analysis, Prestressed Concrete, Advanced Concrete Technology, Special Concretes, Rehabilitation of Concrete Structures, Durability Design of Concrete Structures, Theory of Elasticity and Plasticity, and Design, Deterioration and Repair of Concrete. His research interests include High Strength and High Performance Concretes, Fiber-reinforced Concrete, Self-consolidating Concrete, Lightweight Concrete, Green Concrete, Utilization of Waste or Recycled Materials in Concrete, Transport Properties and Durability of Concrete, Rehabilitation of Concrete Structures, Non-destructive Testing of Civil Engineering Materials and Structures, Performance of Concrete Sealers and Coatings.
Credentials:Ph.D., M.A.Sc., M.Sc., B.Eng.
Areas of Expertise:Structural Engineering and Materials, Building Materials, Systems, and Technology, Concrete Materials and Design, Concrete Construction Technology, Repair and Protection of Concrete Structures
Faculty, School of Architectural Studies Program Coordinator, Architectural Technology
Pietro Ferrari is a Professor and Program Coordinator in the School of Architectural Studies (SAS) where he has been a faculty member since 2004. Pietro brings over 30 ongoing years of experience in the design, building and construction industry to serve as a significantly contributor to his teaching.
Pietro also serves as the coordinator and lead faculty of SAS’ very successful Architectural Technology Co-op program and founded the School of Architectural Studies Lecture Series. Pietro received his Bachelor of Technology in Architectural Science from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto and both a Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture from Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan.
Pietro was part of the Program Development Teams for George Brown College’s Building Information Modeling (BIM) Post-Graduate Certificate Program and Interior Design Technology Program and is a recipient of the George Brown College Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and is a sitting member of the GBC Vice President (Academic) Brain Trust Team.
Since 2013, Pietro has served as a Director of the Canada BIM Council (CanBIM), and Chair of the CanBIM Education, Research & Certification (E,R&C) Committee and spearheaded the development of the CanBIM Professional Certification Program, the CanBIM Company Certification Program and the CanBIM Educational Foundations Program.
Pietro has served as a juror and judge for numerous competitions and awards as well as an invited reviewer, and external advisor, mentor and panelist for architectural and interior design academic programs. Pietro’s current research interest is in the relationship between the aesthetic experience and technological advancements focusing on how digital technologies are transforming the fundamental nature, creative process and experiential nature of architecture.
Virtual Reconstruction of Lost Architectural Heritage in Abruzzo, Italy, utilizing 3D Terrestrial Laser Scanning and Digital Photogrammetry
Education:Bachelor of Technology, Architectural Science; Bachelor of Architecture Master of Architecture
Areas of Expertise:Architectural Theory & Criticism Design Process in Architecture; Architectural Technology; Digital Culture in Architecture
Professor, Centre for Business
Dr. Robin Yap
Robin has deep expertise in performance and talent management, and social data, AI/Robot Ethics and applied technology in business and entrepreneurial practices. He has an interdisciplinary academic background coupled with a global corporate experience spanning three decades. His academic background, over 100k followers on his combined social media channels, social data research, and publications gained him a featured guest spot in CNN-Asia and CBC-Metro Morning.
Robin is a social data scientist, AI/Robot Ethicist and professor at George Brown College. He has spoken on business and human resources topics at over four dozen conferences in Europe, Asia and North America throughout his career. Robin’s focus is on the intersection of stellar leadership practices, optimal learning landscapes, transformative performance, strong collaboration networks, and sustained employee engagement.
Please go to RobinYap.ca for more information.
Education:B.A. in Philosophy; B.A. in Political Science; MSc in Computer Technology; L.LB Bachelor of Laws; Doctorate in Global Leadership (Technology, Social Data, Learning, Performance Management); Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Data Analytics
Areas of Expertise:Performance management; Ethnographic Research; AI/Robot Ethics; Social Data Science; Advanced Convergences of Technologies
Professor & Program Coordinator
ESRI ArcGIS training, Revit training.
|Navigation App for GBC Casa Loma Campus (ongoing project)|
Areas of Expertise:Building Information Modelling, Project Management, Contract Management
Professor, Department of English and Communication
Sarika Narinesingh is a Professor in the Department of English and Communication who teaches Communication courses across the college, specifically the Assaulted Women and Children’s Counsellor/ Advocate (AWCCA) program, the Special Event Management program, and various programs in the School of Design. Her current research project investigates the impact of learner-generated podcasting on students’ intellectual humility. Her research aims to arrive at innovative ways of teaching and learning human skills to prepare learners for the future of work.
Areas of Expertise:project design, strategic thinking, and data analysis.
Chair, Community Services & Deaf, Deaf Blind Studies
Dr. Zeenat Janmohamed
Dr. Zeenat Janmohamed is the Academic Chair in the School of Social and Community Services and School of Deaf and Deafblind Studies at George Brown College. She has held faculty positions in the School of Early Childhood, the Atkinson Centre at the University of Toronto, Ryerson University and the Eric Jackman Institute of Child Studies at the University of Toronto. Zeenat maintains an active research portfolio in early childhood development in partnership with the University of Toronto. She is also exploring the training needs of child and youth care practitioners in supporting children and youth who have experienced human trafficking. She is engaged in ongoing reviews of professional training and includes a commitment to the implementation of diversity, equity and difference. Zeenat’s collaboration in higher education, program evaluation and strategic planning extends across Canada and in many countries across the globe. Zeenat completed her PhD in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at OISE, University of Toronto.
Areas of Expertise:early childhood development curriculum development strategic planning academic leadership
Professor/Chef, Center for Hospitality and Culinary Arts
Amy Symington, MSc
Areas of Expertise:Functional foods, disease prevention and management, culinary nutrition and plant-based cuisine
Professor, Centre for Business
Jon Callegher, Ph.D.
|2018-2019||Ontario Government Report on Retaining Employees in the Skilled Trades (R.E.S.T.). With the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON).|
Skilled Trades: Innovative Study and Website for Recruitment in the Skilled Trades. With the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, Skills Canada Ontario, CWB Welding Foundation, Q.i. Value Systems.
Academic History:Ph.D, Sociology, University of Waterloo, 2013 M.A, Sociology, University of Windsor, 2006 B.A. Hons, Sociology, University of Windsor 2004
Areas of Expertise:Marketing Research, Generational Research, Employment Research, Skilled Trades
Blended Learning for College Elective Courses: Successes and Challenges
Areas of Expertise:mathematics, physics, statistics, online and blended learning, instructional design
Credentials:PhD in Physics
Professor, Centre for Arts, Design and Information Technology
Areas of Expertise:software engineering, mobile app development, database design, cloud computing, information systems for education
Credentials:M.Sc in Software Engineering, a double diploma from Wroclaw University of Technology (Poland) and Blekinge University of Technology (Sweden)
Jonathan started his career teaching science and credit recovery in a high school in Brampton. After teaching for five years, he completed his M.Ed. in Human Development and Applied Psychology. Next, Jonathan transitioned to George Brown College where he taught in Academic Upgrading and then worked as a Student Success Specialist. Currently, he is seconded to the Office of Academic Excellence as a curriculum specialist and completing his Ph.D. in Higher Education.
Areas of Expertise:Retention, curriculum, assessment
Credentials:B.Sc in Biochemistry M.Ed in Human Development and Applied Psychology
Rusa Jeremic, PhD (Candidate)
Areas of Expertise:Social Justice approaches to Community Work Critical Digital Pedagogy Human Rights Digital Activism Social Movements
Credentials:M.A. Political Science, York University PhD (Candidate), Social Justice Education, OISE/UofT
Professor, Social & Community Services
Melissa Teles has worked in the child and youth sector for nearly 20 years as a practitioner, supervisor and, most recently, as a GBC Professor of CYC. She holds a Master of Arts and is currently completing her PhD at the University of Toronto, with a focus on higher learning and sexual diversity studies. Melissa is currently working on a project that explores the commercial sexual exploitation of young people, and a project in Regent Park which aims to build the capacity of young people to conduct research in their communities. She has supervised over two dozen emerging practitioners and supported over 400 students in field education in the Child and Youth Care Program. She is actively involved in the CYC Educational Accreditation Board of Canada, which is focused on the education, training and regulation of child and youth care practitioners. Melissa has extensive experience building and navigating community partnerships, having worked with agencies in Canada and the United States, such as child protection agencies, hospitals, and school boards. Her direct and relational approach has proven successful in navigating partnership challenges and ensuring the long-term sustainability of research projects.
Professor, Centre for Preparatory and Liberal Studies
Jennifer Mitsche has over 20 years experience as an educator and, more recently, as a researcher. Her research focuses on the connection between food security, community, and student well-being. Jennifer is currently a professor of English and Communications at George Brown College. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and English Literature, and an M.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies. She is the founder of the Communal Lunch Project, a program that is grounded in both performance theory and food security theory, and which was officially launched in 2019 as part of the GBC Peerconnect student support program. Her current research project is an innovative initiative that highlights the social function of food to address the food insecurity and social isolation faced by so many post-secondary students.
Chair, School of Design
Ana Rita Morais
Areas of Expertise:Mobile and Locative Media, Augmented Reality, Theories of Technology, Human Computer Interaction
Credentials:BA, MA, PhD (ABD)
Professor, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Gary is currently a Professor of Hospitality Management for the Bachelor of Business Administration (Hospitality) Degree program at George Brown College in Toronto. Besides a busy academic schedule, he has been active recently researching the benefits of Farm to School approaches and advocating for universal school meals for students. Gary and a host of GBC students and graduates have also been delivering cooking, food security, and food system workshops to middle and high school students in the GTA.
He has been a supporter of local farmers and organic agriculture for nearly three decades and a leading advocate for sustainable local agriculture and environmental responsibility.
Gary has enjoyed a long and successful career as a Restaurateur, Chef, and General Manager in the foodservice industry. Now, as a Professor, he imparts the responsibilities for protecting the health and well-being of society and stewarding the environment that leadership entails to a new generation of industry professionals.
Professor, School of Fashion Studies
Milan Shahani holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology from Bombay University. She also holds a Master in Fine Arts Degree specializing in Costume Design for Theatre, from the University of North Carolina’s School of The Arts. Milan has worked as a Costume Designer for various theatre and film productions in Toronto, New York and India. She has taught designers, mentored students through industry commissioned projects and provided apprenticeships for graduates. Her applied research interests lie in designing garments for healthcare and particularly the differently able community. She is actively involved in bettering the life of stroke survivors. Milan joined the faculty of George Brown College in 1999 and has been teaching here ever since.
Professor, School of Early Childhood
Dr. Monica McGlynn-Stewart
Areas of Expertise:early years curriculum, literacy learning and teaching, digital learning, teacher professional development
Credentials:BA, DCS, M.Ed, PhD (UofT); Professional qualifications: RECE, OTC
Areas of Expertise:peer support work in social and community services; critical perspectives on mental health; harm reduction
Professor, Health Sciences
Taras has been a professor at George Brown College since 2002 after a 12 year career teaching mathematics in the Toronto District School Board. He teaches courses in mathematics, statistics, and research methods to students in the Health Science Division. Taras’ research has been focused on improving mathematics and statistics education for non-mathematicians, but he has also supported research in Inter-professional Education and other health sciences education research formally and informally. As part of larger research projects Taras has led a team that evaluated the adaptation of JUMP math to the college setting (HRSDC sponsored) and created online learning tools (www.mathessentials.ca and www.statcat.ca).
Professor, Centre for Preparatory and Liberal Studies (CPLS)
Jaswant Bajwa, PhD.
Jaswant Bajwa has worked as an anti-violence advocate, academician and community researcher, consultant and clinician for over 25 years. She uses an intersectional lens in her practice and is passionate about the use of education as a tool for social change and empowerment. Since the early 1990s, both her research and practice have focused on the impact of violence on learning and the educational changes (both at micro and systemic levels) that need to be made in order to foster a safe and inclusive learning environment for students with histories of violence. In this role, she provides leadership to staff and students and is responsible for the development of the research capacity within the division. She has a PhD in Clinical Psychology with a focus on psychological burnout in caring professionals.
Credentials:Masters in Environmental Studies (MES) from York University
Areas of Expertise:Community Development, Arts-Based Social Justice Education, Project Management, Event Planning, Public Speaking
Industrial Designer, Professor & Principal Investigator
As a part-time faculty member teaching in both the engineering and architecture streams at George Brown College (GBC), Shayva Steinberg brings an unusual combination of skills to the table. In addition to a Master of Education in Guidance Counselling, and a wealth of experience in the field of employment, Shayva also holds an advanced diploma from the Ontario College of Art and Design in Industrial Design, and has managed her own (product, environment and lighting) design business for several years.
In her work as a Principal Investigator, Shayva Steinberg leads and plans applied research projects between college researchers, students and Industry Partners. With an extensive background in industrial design, Shayva creates the ergonomic, interface and aesthetic aspects of the prototypes engineered by students and faculty. As a researcher, writer and editor, Shayva sources a broad range of relevant and tertiary information to deeply understand concepts and coalesce information from many sources for comparative analysis.
Areas of Expertise:Human Factors, Engineering Design, Materials Processing/fabrication, Cognitive Science, Graphics, Social sciences and humanities, Industrial Design
Professor, Applied Research Technician
Ryan Billinger is a Professor and Principal Investigator working within George Brown College’s Product Development Exchange (PDx), an interdisciplinary design, prototyping and assessment facility for industry experimental development of new products through iterative and rapid prototyping. Ryan Billinger has been a Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology – Design in George Brown College’s (GBC) Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies since 2017. As a George Brown College graduate (2015), Mr. Billinger has been working on various research projects since 2013, when he was first employed by the Research and Innovation Department. In addition to Graduating from George Brown College, he competed his third-year capstone project at the University of Toronto, where he teamed up with two University of Toronto students to design and manufacture a fully function four-stroke engine. The engine was later used in an ultra fuel-efficient vehicle which competed at the Shell Eco-Marathon in Houston, Texas winning First Place (3421 MPG).
Areas of Expertise:Electrical Design, Product Development, PCB Schematics and Layout, CNC machining, CAM programming, Data Acquisition and Analysis
Professor, Technologist, Principal Investigator, Research Asst.
John-Allan Ellingson, B.Eng., has since 2017 worked in George Brown College’s Product Development Exchange (PDx), an interdisciplinary design, prototyping and assessment facility for industry experimental development of new products through iterative and rapid prototyping. Since 2007, PDx teams have delivered over 91 prototyping solutions to partners across multiple sectors, not only aiding them to develop fully validated prototypes ready for downstream manufacturing, but also assisting them to integrate product design and development into their business models and develop the partnerships required to support full-scale manufacturing and commercialization.
John-Allan has been a Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering Technology since 2018, teaching courses in the Mechanical and Electromechanical Engineering Technician and Technologist programs. His work as a researcher supports the culture of innovation at GBC and creates new avenues for industry-focused teaching, as well as employment and mentorship for student researchers. He has a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) from Lakehead University.
Areas of Expertise:Design, Prototyping, CNC, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics, Programming
Professor & Principal Investigator
James McIntyre, M.Sc., leads George Brown College’s Product Development Exchange (PDx), an interdisciplinary design, prototyping and assessment facility for industry experimental development of new products through iterative and rapid prototyping. Since 2007, under Mr. McIntyre’s stewardship, PDx teams have delivered over 91 prototyping solutions to partners across multiple sectors, not only aiding them to develop fully validated prototypes ready for downstream manufacturing, but also assisting them to integrate product design and development into their business models and develop the partnerships required to support full-scale manufacturing and commercialization.
Mr. McIntyre has been a Professor and Program Coordinator of Mechanical Engineering Technology – Design in George Brown College’s (GBC) Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies since 2000. With a Master’s degree in Product Development, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering Physics (Mechanical), and 8 years of industry experience in manufacturing engineering, Mr. McIntyre has distinguished himself as a leader in industry-facing innovation and in building applied research capacity at GBC, energizing research across all the College’s strategic priority areas. For 16 years, he has continued to foster and expand meaningful relationships with his industry partners, students and research teams, ultimately enhancing the knowledge base across Canada. Within his Mechanical Engineering classes, he oversees up to 18 curriculum-based student capstone projects annually, nearly all of which have an associated industry partnership.
Areas of Expertise:Design, Product Development, Rapid Prototyping, Mechanical engineering, Electronics, Manufacturing, Management
Paul O’Brien, B.Tech., B.Sc., has been a Professor of Engineering Technology in GBC’s CCET since 2011. With a Bachelor of Technology degree in Electronics Engineering Technology, a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and over 20 years of experience in electronic instrumentation and rehabilitation engineering, Paul has worked in research across all of the College’s strategic priority areas. For the last 3 years, he has fostered meaningful relationships with his industry partners, students and research teams.
His applied research contributions offer a range of collaboration with industry and community partners, providing a cost-effective way for SMEs to develop innovative products and services. His work in applied research supports the culture of innovation at GBC and helps develop new avenues for experiential student learning. As a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator Paul O’Brien has developed, scoped and planned new research projects between college researchers, students and our industry partners.
Areas of Expertise:Electrical Engineering, Interaction, Sensors, Instrumentation, Digital Elec-tronics, Educational Informatics, Building Automation, Medical Rehabilita-tion Technology, Micro-Controller Programming
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Curious about our projects? Learn more about what we work
on with our Project Portal. Searchable by research focus, year or PI.