Management Team

The Management Team works cohesively together to manage the CKN activities and ensure active participation from both academia and industry.

Anoush Poursartip – Co-Director

Director, Composites Research Network
Professor, Department of Materials Engineering, UBC
Director of Research, Convergent Manufacturing Technologies

Anoush Poursartip has worked in digital manufacturing for over thirty years.  He has focussed on the manufacturing of advanced composites structures, primarily for the aerospace sector. Initially, his digital focus was the development of computer simulations of the manufacturing process to reduce risk, cost, and time for product development. This work led to the founding of Convergent Manufacturing Technologies in 1998, and the 2012 founding of the Composites Research Network at UBC. As Industry 4.0 technologies have become more available, Anoush’s interests have broadened into the bigger concept of the digital twin – identifying the manufacturing conditions in a factory which should be measured, how to measure them, and how to relate them to the quality of the product and the efficiency and robustness of the factory.

Anoush is a recipient of the Medal of Excellence in Composites from the University of Delaware and the ASTM Wayne Stinchcomb Award.  He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, ICCM, and SAMPE.

Mike Hudek, Co-Director

President, Polyvations, Inc.

Mike Hudek has worked in the composite industry since 2001 in various types of organizations, such as original equipment manufacturer, component manufacturer, maintenance repair & overhaul and consulting.  His industry experience spans many industry segments including aerospace, transportation, civil infrastructure, industrial, bath ware, sporting goods, consumer products and involves manufacturing support, R&D, product development, process development, manufacturing capability development, operations, business development, business system definition and implementation.  Mike was instrumental in establishing, growing and leading the Composites Innovation Centre, the Canadian Composites Manufacturing R&D Inc. consortium and the Composites Research Network, over a period of 15 years.  Mike’s broad industry perspective and experience in a wide of technical, management and executive positions brings a unique perspective of the industry and broad connections to the Composite Knowledge Network’s clients.  Since January 2020, Mike has been directly supporting industry via his consulting practice, Polyvations Inc.  His current focus is to support industry growth and resilience to create sustained jobs and economic prosperity.

Suzana Topic – Managing Director

Manager, Composites Research Network

Suzana Topic has been the Manager of the Composites Research Network (CRN) since inception and is currently the Managing Director of Composite Knowledge Network (CKN) (Networks of Centres of Excellence in Knowledge Mobilization initiative). Suzana is responsible for business strategy, financial management, and human resources. She has coordinated all efforts toward development of the CRN and CKN, supervises the operations team, and is responsible for the planning and organization of Network events and Advisory Board meetings. Prior to joining CRN, Suzana was a Research Manager in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC. She has an MSc (McMaster) and MBA (Queens), and five years’ experience in the biotechnology sector in business development and intellectual property (Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc.).

Casey Keulen – Director, Knowledge in Practice Centre

Assistant Professor of Teaching, Department of Materials Engineering, UBC
Co-Director, Master of Engineering Leadership, AMM Program, UBC

Casey Keulen has been involved with polmyer matrix composites for over 15 years. He holds an M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Victoria. Prior to joining the Composites Research Network (CRN) in 2012, Casey worked at Profile Composites Inc. on projects in the aerospace, automotive, marine, wind energy, pressure vessel, and sport/recreation industries with a variety of materials and processes. While at the CRN, Casey worked with over 150 companies: small to large, local to international. In 2019, Casey became an Assistant Professor of Teaching in the Department of Materials Engineering at the University of British Columbia with a focus on the Manufacturing Engineering undergraduate program. He has an keen interest in education from undergraduate to continuing professional development.

John Davies – Business Development

Principal, Physical Sciences Innovation Corporation

John is a research commercialization expert with a 25-year history of helping universities and other research institutions define research, innovation and engagement strategies. He has a BA from Oxford, an MA from McGill, and is a chartered accountant. He has held senior executive roles in the UK, Northern Europe and North America.

Elicia Maine – Strategy and Innovation

VanDusen Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University

Elicia Maine is the VanDusen Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, at the Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University. She is also the Founder and Academic Director for the Invention to Innovation (i2I) program, a graduate certificate “mini MBA” in Science & Technology Commercialization. Elicia teaches “Managing Technological Innovation,” at the MBA level, “Lab to Market” to graduate scientists and engineers, and supervises MBA applied projects. Her research focuses on the dynamics of innovation in the advanced materials, nanomaterials, biotechnology, and clean tech sectors with a focus on science & technology ventures. Elicia is a frequent and dynamic keynote speaker and panelist, serves on the Boards of Directors of the Foresight Clean Tech Accelerator and Innovate BC’s New Ventures BC and is an active mentor to scientist-entrepreneurs.

Reza Vaziri – Scientific Director

Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, UBC
Scientific Director, Composites Research Network

Reza Vaziri is a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Scientific Director of the Composites Research Network at the University of British Columbia. He served as the Head of Department of Civil Engineering from 2008 to 2014. Reza obtained his B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University College London, England (1982), and his M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from UBC (1985 and 1989), specializing in structures and applied mechanics and mechanics of fibre reinforced composite materials. Reza’s contribution to engineering research has been the development of computational modelling techniques to solve a variety of problems in materials and structures and the transferring of the technology to the user community (e.g. industries, government research agencies, and private companies). His research has been focused on the development of analytical and numerical modelling techniques to simulate the manufacturing process of composite structures as well as their fracture and damage behaviour under service loads including high intensity impact and crash loadings.