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Panel Discussion

Decarbonization Dialogue


Tuesday April 16, 2024
10-11:30am PST

Speakers and panelists from a variety of renowned Swiss and Canadian institutions will discuss energy challenges and different approaches to collaborative solutions. Audiences across sectors are encouraged to join the discussion to explore opportunities for future cooperation.

Swiss-Canadian Dialogue on Decarbonization:

What is the way forward?

The panelists from Switzerland and Western Canada will come together to share different approaches to decarbonization, including strategies on alternative energy system, current challenges (i.e. CO2 emission reduction), and energy solutions.


Speakers representing both Canadian and Swiss higher education institutions (SFU, PSI, ETH and EPFL) will be engaging in discussion on their expertise, synergies, and areas for bilateral collaboration.


Laura Sloboda

Acting Director, Hydrogen Hub, Research Operations, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Laura has 10+ years of experience in Canada’s manufacturing sector, across various industries including automotive, electronics and fashion. She previously worked for the Boston Consulting Group – a top 3 global consulting firm – within energy, industrial and consumer goods sectors. Laura has Bachelor and Masters degrees in chemical engineering. In her current role at Simon Fraser University, she leads operationalization of SFU’s hydrogen hub to support the clean hydrogen innovation ecosystem.

Laura Sloboda profile.jpg


Dr. Russell McKenna

Head of the Laboratory for Energy Systems Analysis, Paul Scherrer Institute, ETH, Switzerland

The Energy Economics group in the Laboratory for Energy Systems Analysis (LEA) at PSI contributes to understanding of energy technology development and identifies policy strategies for the realisation of sustainable energy systems at Swiss and global levels. This is accomplished by developing and analysing scenarios of future energy system development and technology change using detailed energy-system models. Energy scenarios provide a means to explore future uncertainty of the energy system and to test alternative strategies to identify robust approaches for technology and policy development. Energy systems approaches combine a high level of technology detail with a systems approach which represents the coevolution of energy production, conversion, transmission and distribution, and end-use in an integrated way.


Dr. Yasmine Calisesi

Executive Director, Energy Center, EPFL, Switzerland

Since 2019, Yasmine has been catalyzing energy research led by EPFL laboratories in collaboration with industrial and institutional partners, and enhancing EPFL’s impact and image as a world leading research and education institution. From 2007 to 2019, she developed and implemented the Pilot and Demonstration Program of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy SFOE. Prior to that, Yasmine established Earth observation from space as a discipline of the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern. As a post-doctoral fellow of the University of Bern and in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, she participated among other things in the validation of ESA’s ENVISAT satellite. Yasmine received her PhD from the University of Bern and holds an MSc in Physics from the University of Geneva. In 2006, she was awarded the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Award by the Swiss Commission for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.


Dr. Curran Crawford

Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Director, Institute for Integrated Energy Systems, University of Victoria, Canada

Dr. Curran Crawford co-directs the Pacific Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery (PRIMED) with Dr. Buckham, focusing on assisting community energy planning and demonstration projects to integrate marine renewables into remote Indigenous community micro-grids. His Sustainable Systems Design Lab (SSDL) is focused on energy system technology modeling, optimization and control, focusing on multi-disciplinary/fidelity optimization techniques, uncertainty quantification and machine learning applied to energy systems optimization and digital twinning. 


Sami Khan, P.Eng.

Assistant Professor, School of Sustainable Energy Engineering, Simon Fraser University

Dr. Sami Khan obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 2020. At SFU, Khan leads the Engineered Interfaces for Sustainable Energy (EISEn) group, which aims to improve the performance and longevity of sustainable energy systems by fundamentally understanding and tuning electro-chemo-physical interactions at interfaces, with a particular focus on enhancing CO2 capture and conversion processes. Khan is determined to find a solution to the ongoing climate crisis. By combining his expertise in chemical engineering with his passions for sustainability and public policy, he takes an interdisciplinary approach and aspires to make an impact from grassroots research to the highest level of policymaking.

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