The

Challenger profiles 2021

Academic excellence combined with professional training in communication, project management, Indigenous engagement, and more.

Deborah Blanca Esquivias

Deborah Blanca Esquivias, CFA, is is working on her MPP in Public Policy with Prof. Winter at the University of Calgary. Her research interest is in energy and economic policy. Debbie is a CFA® charterholder and received her BA* (2005) in Business Administration from Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business, in the Phillippines. Debbie has more than a decade of industry/government experience in Asia in finance management, investment, economics and cost-benefit analysis. Debbie is bilingual (English/Filipino) and she is willing to relocate for the right position. In her spare time, she organizes various educational events for the CFA Society Calgary, including the Oil and Gas Forecast Breakfast. Debbie is also a competitive figure skater, marathoner, and a doting mom of three.

Kienan Marion

Kienan Marion, GIT, is working on her PhD in Geohysics with Prof. Eaton at the University of Calgary. She received her a BSc (2014) and MSc (2018) both in Geology at the University of Western Ontario, receiving CSPG’s Best MSc Thesis Award for her sweet-spotting method combining stratigraphic and petrophysical data to model reservoir quality. Kienan has 3 years’ industry experience and 2 publications to her credit. Kienan is an avid soccer player, runner and classical pianist, who can regularly be found playing Dungeons & Dragons.

Pengfei Zhao

Pengfei Zhao, EIT, is working on his PhD in Civil Engineering with Prof. Grasselli at the University of Toronto. He received his MASc in Civil Engineering (2016) at the Concordia University, in Montreal, where he used digital image correlation to evaluate plastic shrinkage cracking in cement-based materials, and has one publication to his credit. Pengfei received his B-Eng (2009) in Materials Science & Engineering at Chang’an University, in China, where he also worked as a materials engineer on several construction projects prior to coming to Canada. Pengfei’s research interests are: the assessment of geo-materials for use in concrete to reduce CO2 emissions in the cement industry. Pengfei is trilingual (English/French/Mandarin) and he is willing to relocate for the right position.

Rogelio (Roger) Hernández Borbón

Rogelio (Roger) Hernández Borbón will be joining us shortly to work on his MASc in Civil Engineering with Prof. Priest at the University of Calgary. Roger received his B-Eng (2020) in Civil Engineering from Autonomous University, in Mexico, and represented his school as a competitor in the American Concrete Institute Convention (March 2019) in Quebec City. Roger is trilingual (English/Spanish/French) and he is willing to relocate for the right position. In his spare time, Roger enjoys playing football, swimming, Cross-Fit, hiking and camping.

Travis Brookson

Travis Brookson, P.Geol, working on his MSc in Sustainable Energy Development (SEDV) with Prof. Winter at the University of Calgary. Travis has more than a decade of experience working as an exploration geologist in the oil/gas industry in Western Canada and Ontario, involving advisory, management and technical roles. He received his BSc (1996) in Geology from the U.Calgary, with a minor in Geophysics. Travis’s current research interest is: *reason for MSc?. Travis enjoys academic and community outreach activities; he is a math tutor at his local high school and helps out with the campus SEDV Society. He also enjoys playing squash, biking and hiking with his family.

Behnaz Lafrenz

Behnaz Lafrenz, P.Eng, is working on her MSc in Sustainable Energy Development (SEDV) with Prof. Winter at the University of Calgary, and also holds an MSc in Chemical & Petroleum Engineering (2006) from U.Calgary. Behnaz has more than a decade of experience working with oil producers and service companies worldwide (Russia, Azerbaijan, France and Canada), often incorporating a variety of environmentally sustainable methods for oil extraction. Behnaz also has an MSc in Biotechnology Engineering (2000) from Sharif University of Technology, and a BSc in Chemical Engineering (1996) from University of Tehran, both in Iran. Behnaz is bilingual (English/Persian) and she is willing to relocate for the right position.

Ali Ghavidel

Ali Ghavidel, EIT, is working on his PhD in Geomechanics Engineering with Profs. Dusseault and Gracie at the University of Waterloo. He received his MSc in Rock Mechanics (2014) at the University of Tehran, and a BSc (2010) in Mining Engineering from the University of Sistan & Baluchestan, in Iran. Ali’s research interest is: coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) for geothermal systems. Ali has 5 years’ industry experience and 16 publications to his credit. Ali is bilingual (English/Persian) and he is willing to relocate for the right position.

Kevin Grimeau

Kevin Grimeau, P.Geo, is working on his MSc in Geochemistry with Prof. Mayer at the University of Calgary. Kevin received his BSc (2014) in Petroleum Geology from U.Calgary and, prior to returning to academia, spent 6 years working as a wellsite geology consultant in Western Canada. Kevin’s research interest is: characterizing different shale gas units through the use of isotope analysis and sustainable energy tech, and he is willing to relocate for the right position. Kevin enjoys playing hockey, traveling, and any other activity that gets him outside.

Farhana Mustafa

Farhana Mustafa, EIT, is working on her MSc in Sustainable Energy Development (SEDV) with Prof. Winter at the University of Calgary. She received her BSc (2013) in Textile Engineering with a concentration on Wet Processing from the University of Textiles, in Bangladesh. Farhana has 5 years’ QA/QC experience and one publication to her credit . Farhana is bilingual (English/Bengali*) and she is willing to relocate for the right position. In her spare time, she enjoys reading novels, music and exploring Canada’s provincial parks.

Ben Huang

Ben Huang is working on his MPP in Public Policy with Prof. Winter at the University of Calgary. He received his BA (2020) with a double-major in Economics and Sociology from the Acadia University, in Nova Scotia, completing an undergrad thesis on microcredit policy. Ben is a member of the World University Service of Canada and has completed internships in finance. He is trilingual (English/Chinese/French) and willing to relocate for the right position. In his spare time, Ben volunteers in community and outreach organizations.

Soghra Jalilpour

Soghra Jalilpour, PhD, working on her MPP in Public Policy with Prof. Winter at the University of Calgary. She received her PhD in Electrochemistry (2019) from the University of Ottawa, completing her research at NRCan. Soghra has an MSc in Inorganic Chemistry (2008) from Isfahan University of Technology, and BSc in Chemistry (2004) from Kashan University, both Iran. Soghra has 6 years’ teaching experience and has 8 publications to her credit. Soghra is bilingual (English/Persian*) and she is willing to relocate for the right position. In her spare time, Soghra enjoys personal fitness, biking and watercolor painting.

Danial Zeinabady

Danial Zeinabady, EIT, is working on his PhD in Petroleum Engineering with Prof. Clarkson at the University of Calgary. He received his MSc in Petroleum/Reservoir Engineering (2014) at the University of Tehran, and a BSc (2012) in Petroleum Engineering from the Petroleum University of Technology, both in Iran. Danial’s research interest are: well testing, unconventional reservoirs and hydraulic fracture modeling. Danial has 5 years’ industry experience and has 4 publications to his credit. Danial is bilingual (English/Persian) and he is willing to relocate for the right position. In his free time, he enjoys running, hiking and travelling.

Meagan Fong

Meagan Fong is working on her MSc in Sustainable Energy Development (SEDV) with Prof. Winter at the University of Calgary. Meagan completed a double-major in 2018, receiving a BCom in Finance and a BA in French from the University of Calgary. Meagan has broad research interests: integrating sustainable initiatives in economic, environmental and energy policies, both in Canada and abroad. Meagan is bilingual (English/French) and she is willing to relocate for the right position. In her spare time, Meagan is Treasurer of the on-campus SEDV Society and enjoys running, hiking and baking.

Phyllis (Shin-Yu) Wu

Phyllis (Shin-Yu) Wu, EIT, is working on her MASc in in Civil Engineering with Prof. Grasselli at the University of Toronto. Phyllis was born in Toronto and raised in Taiwan, where she received her BSE (2020) in Civil Engineering from National Taiwan University (NTU), with a specialization in Wood Construction. Phyllis’s research interests are broad. She worked as an NTU research assistant on bone-inspired structure simulation, produced a short video on environmental conservation/sustainability (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz2M-x6i3CA&feature=youtu.be), and more recently is focused on machine learning. Phyllis is bilingual (English/Mandarin) and she is currently learning Japanese. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities, music (piano/violin/guitar) and cooking.

Chris Wallace

Chris Wallace, P.Geo, is working on his MSc in Sustainable Energy Development (SEDV) with Prof. Winter at the University of Calgary. Chris has more than a decade of experience working with numerous national and multi-national companies to streamline and increase productivity of their energy assets. He received his BSc (2002) in Geology from the University of Calgary. In his spare time, Chris enjoys cycling, climbing, skiing and other adventures with his family.

Ali Yaghoubi

Ali Yaghoubi, EIT, is working on his PhD in Geomechanics/Geophysics with Profs. Dusseault and Leonenko at the University of Waterloo. He received his MSc in Geophysics (2012) at Stanford University, in the US. Ali also has an MSc in Rock Mechanics (2010) from Tarbiat Modares University, and a BSc (2007) in Mining Engineering from Shahroud University, both in Iran. Ali’s research uses an interdisciplinary approach to developing a framework for probabilistic injection-induced fault slip assessment. Ali has 10 years’ industry experience and 12 publications to his credit. Ali is bilingual (English/Persian) and he is willing to relocate for the right position. In addition to traveling, Ali enjoys mountain-climbing, long-distance running and reading Persian poetry.

Kimberly Markvoort

Kimberly Markvoort, P.Geo, is working on her MSc in Sustainable Energy Development (SEDV) with Prof. Winter at the University of Calgary. Kim has 12 years’ environmental consulting experience, specializing in hydrogeology, site assessment and remediation. She received her BSc (2007) in Environmental Geoscience from Acadia University in Nova Scotia. Kim returned to academia to better prepare herself to help clients, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, navigate the energy transition, integrating traditional knowledge and western scientific method.

Andreas Murphy

Andreas Murphy is working on his MPP in Public Policy with Prof. Winter at the University of Calgary. He received his BCom (2020) at Memorial University in Newfoundland, with a Certificate in Public Policy. Andreas’s research interest is: energy and environmental policy. Andreas currently sits on his university Grad Student Assoc Governance Committee, and is an assoc editor for YYC Policy Blog. Andreas is bilingual (English/French) and he is willing to relocate for the right position. Andreas enjoys traveling, hiking and volunteers with numerous community groups in a range of capacities.

Lonn Brown

Lonn Brown is working on his PhD in Geophysics with Prof. van der Baan at the University of Alberta. Prior to returning to academia, Lonn spent 4 years working at the International Seismological Centre in the UK, and taught English in Japan (JET Program). He received his MSc in Geophysics/Geodynamics (2015) at the University of Victoria, where he studied problems relating to fault strength and fluctuating stress regimes, and a BSc (2011) in Geophysics from the U.Alberta. Lonn’s research interests are: passive monitoring techniques, poro-elastic effects, and machine learning. Lonn is bilingual (English/Japanese) and he is willing to relocate for the right position. In his free time, Lonn enjoys playing music, reading, traveling, and yoga.

Gideon Choi

Gideon Choi is working on his MSc in Sustainable Energy Development (SEDV) with Prof. Winter at the University of Calgary. Gideon received his BSc (20000) in Biochemistry and his B-Ed (2002), both from the U.Calgary. As an experienced teacher (Math/Science/Music), both in Canada and Taiwan, Gideon is versatile in effectively communicating complex topics in a range of disciplines. His research interest is: sustainable production of bioplastics, waste management and bioremediation. Gideon is multi-lingual (English/Cantonese/Mandarin/French), and an advocate for inclusivity in education. Gideon enjoys reading, songwriting, performing jazz piano and hiking with his wife and two children.