We’re excited to invite you to join us virtually on October 5th from 1:00pm- 2:30pm for an engaging afternoon as we celebrate the launch of the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics (WISA), the world’s leading hub for sustainable aviation and aerospace research, technology, and education. By facilitating direct partnerships with industry, government, and academia WISA mobilizes the research and innovation capacity of all six faculties at the University of Waterloo to drive meaningful and lasting impact.

The launch will also feature a panel discussion with decorated astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield, Dean of Engineering Mary Wells, Director of WISA Suzanne Kearns and Thomas Lagaillarde from NAVBLUE as they discuss how the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics is helping to build a sustainable future in Aviation.

Commander Chris Hadfield


Astronaut | First Canadian Commander of the International Space Station  

Referred to as “the most famous astronaut since Neil Armstrong,” Colonel Chris Hadfield became a household name as the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station.  A heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and pilot, Hadfield’s many awards include the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.  

Dean of Engineering at the University of Waterloo

An accomplished materials engineer, is known for her strategic leadership in building collaborative and strong relationships within a university setting and for her work in attracting, engaging and retaining women in the engineering industry. Her research focuses on the relationship between processing, structure and properties for advanced metallic alloys used in the transportation sector.

Thomas Lagaillarde

Thomas Lagaillarde

Head of Product Portfolio & Programmes and Managing Director Canada | NAVBLUE

As Vice President Product Portfolio & Programmes at NAVBLUE Thomas Lagaillarde is passionate about the global aviation industry and how the new technologies will transform it in the coming decade. He has led projects around integrated Electronic Flight Bag operations, pilot training and runway safety systems At NAVBLUE he is now leading the transition to an integrated agile lean portfolio management to enhance the customer value creation and boost competitiveness.

Suzanne Kearns


Associate Professor, Aviation, Faculty of Environment

An aviation academic with a focus on education and optimizing pilot performance. Her research explores how to optimize the next generation of aviation professionals (NGAP) by analyzing processes to attract people to the field of aviation, optimizing and innovating the traditional education pathway, and improving the retention of professionals within the field. She is a former airplane and helicopter pilot and is internationally recognized within the aviation industry.

Moderator: Bessma Momani


Professor | Faculty of Arts

A professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. She is a Senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance and Innovation (CIGI), and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, D.C. She is also a Fulbright Scholar. Dr. Momani currently sits on the National Security Transparency Advisory Group (NS-TAG) to advise the Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada and other Government officials on improving transparency to Canada's national security and intelligence departments and agencies.