WISA Talks: Data Analytics & Optimization

Thursday, January 6, 2022 11:00 am - 12:15 pm EST
Remote video URL

The Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics (WISA) is proud to present: WISA Talks, a webinar series where we bring together panels of academic, industry, and government leaders to dive deep into challenges facing aeronautics. 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.

WISA Talks: Data Analytics and Optimization, will look into how data is collected, analyzed, and can be used to inform best-practices in aeronautics, such as aeronautical decision-making, safety, operations and scheduling, and optimized routing. The webinar will feature a panel discussion with leading industry professionals and researchers in the fields of systems design engineering and management sciences who are analyzing data to optimize various processes in aviation.

Join us on Thursday, January 6th from 11:00AM - 12:15PM ET to learn more! If you can't make it, make sure to catch the replay on our YouTube channel. 

Logan Jones


Analytics Manager N-Flight Planning, NAVBLUE, an Airbus Company

Dr. Logan Jones works on operational analytics for NAVBLUE, to improve efficiency and planning in airline flight operations and innovate to provide airlines with solutions for sustainability. Previously with Airbus, he worked on the development and certification of Airbus’ Runway Overrun Prevention System and Braking Action Computation Function. He served on EUROCAE and ASTM standardization committees for runway safety technologies and spoke on runway safety at IATA, ICAO and Flight Safety conferences.

Allyson Kukel

Allyson Kukel

Head of Airline Engagement, Halldale Group

Allyson Kukel leads Airline Engagement for the Halldale Group which specializes in aviation training. She is the product owner of a collaborative effort between the Halldale Group and the ATPG, a sub-group of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is currently striving towards their Big Data MVP. Allyson holds a Bachelors in Administration from the University of Lincoln, is a certified NLP Master Practitioner with several coaching certifications, and is a Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Julia Nuttall


Manager, Corporate Sustainability and Performance, NAV CANADA

Julia Nuttall is responsible for NAV CANADA’s Organizational Performance Metrics framework, including the development of the Environmental, Social, and Governance Strategy. She is an experienced analytics leader who has developed business insights for initiatives such as Space-Based ADS-B, flight delay metrics and fuel efficiency planning. Julia is passionate about collaborating across the aviation industry to ensure quality data is collected and analyzed to generate insights and guide sustainable decisions.

Shi Cao (moderator)

shi square

Associate Professor, Systems Design Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

Shi Cao (“SHER TSAO”) studies human factors engineering. His research projects include human performance and workload modeling, human-machine system reliability, the applications of virtual and augmented reality, and new aviation training technologies. Cao has developed computational cognitive models and human performance prediction systems for driving and piloting tasks.

Fatma Gzara


Professor, Management Sciences, Faculty of Engineering

Fatma Gzara is Professor at the Department of Management Sciences and co-founder and co-director of WANOPT, the Waterloo Analytics and Optimization Lab. Her primary research interests are in supply chain analytics and large scale optimization.  Her current research focusses on improving supply chain operations using data driven approaches, the analysis of emerging technologies in logistics and distribution like crowdsourced and drone delivery, and the optimization of systems operating in uncertain environments.

Mehrdad Pirnia


Graduate Attributes Lecturer, Management Sciences, Faculty of Engineering

Dr. Mehrdad Pirnia, a PhD Waterloo alumnus in Electrical and Computer Engineering, is a faculty member and Graduate Attributes lecturer in the Department of Management Sciences. His main research focus is enhancing the operation and planning of energy and transportation systems through artificial intelligence, optimization and stochastic techniques. 

Jingru Yan

Jingru Yan

PhD Student, Systems Design Engineering

Jingru is a part-time PhD student supervised by Dr. Shi Cao and Dr. Suzanne Kearn. She has been working in the aviation industry for 7 years in safety management roles after achieving Master of Applied Science degree from System Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Jingru studied proactive identification of human factors related risks through Flight Data Monitoring in her masters’ program. Her PhD research focuses on aviation human factors and innovative competency-based training.