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EXECUTIVE - Biographies


Mir Abolfazl Mostafavi 


Dr. Jonathan Li


Dr. Yang Gao

Marlene McKinnon


Ruisheng Wang



Desmond Power


Robert Harris


Tommy St-Denis


ACSG Montreal - photo Joanie Desgroseilliers

Joanie Desgroseilliers


John Donner


Gunho Sohn




Costas Armenakis


Julia Siemer

Jean-Noël Lechasseur


Mir Abolfazl Mostafavi 


Dr. Francis Roy


James Burn



Dr. Mir Abolfazl Mostafavi is a full professor at the Department of Geomatics Sciences, Université Laval. He is the editor in chief of the Journal of Geomatica published by the Canadian science publishing (CSP) and which is dedicated to the dissemination of information on the latest scientific and technical advances in the field of geomatics sciences.

He is currently a member of the Centre for Research in Geospatial Data and Intelligence (CRDIG) and has acted as the Scientific Director of the centre for six years (2010–2016).  In his research activities, Professor Mostafavi innovative research activities on geographic information systems (GIS), dynamic multidimensional GIS, spatial modelling, geosimulation, spatial ontologies and semantic interoperability, sensor networks for smart mobility and smart environments.

Since 2009, Prof. Mostafavi has joined the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration (CIRRIS) allowing him to open a new horizon in innovative multidisciplinary research activities involving geospatial technologies to assist people with disabilities (PWD) and elderly people in their daily activities, and hence to contribute to improving their mobility, social participation and quality of life. Since early 2020 and,iIn collaboration with several researchers in CRDIG and CIRRIS, he has established his new research Lab “ Mobility Sensing Lab”  where he works with his team on Mobile assistive technologies, wayfinding, personalized navigation technologies by putting emphasize on  characterization of human-environment interactions and the development of a new generation of “platial information sciences and systems”. MobiliSIG is an example of multidisciplinary projects led by Dr. Mostafavi since 2014.

In 2013 and following the end of the GEOIDE Network, Prof. Mostafavi led a team of more than 30 researchers from 11 universities across Québec and Canada to establish the Convergence Network on Geospatial Intelligence for Innovation (CONVERGENCE NETWORK).The network, which is funded by the Government of Québec (Programme d’appui aux réseaux d’innovation de FRQ-NT (2013-2019), aimed at facilitating collaborations and partnerships between academia, industry and government to undertake research and innovation in the field of geomatics and to accelerate knowledge transfer to potential users. In addition to the researchers, more than 22 provincial ministries and agencies, as well as several federal agencies and private companies, were members of the network.

He joined the Canadian Institute of Geomatics (CIG) in 2004 and has been serving on the Canada’s National Committee for ISPRS since 2006. He was elected Vice President of CIG in October 2019 and as the President Elect of CIG in October 2020.

Among his contributions to several international organizations in geomatics, Professor Mostafavi has been actively involved in the International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) since 2004. He is currently co-chair of the international working group on Semantic Interoperability and Ontology for Geospatial Information within the ISPRS commission IV (WG IV/2).


Dr. Jonathan Li is a Professor of remote sensing at the Department of Geography and Environmental Management and cross-appointed at the Department of Systems Design EngineeringUniversity of Waterloo. He holds a PhD degree in photogrammetry and remote sensing from the University of Cape Town in 2000. Prior to moving to Canada, he had international work experience in China, Germany, and South Africa. He is a founding member of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Climate Changes and Waterloo Artificial Intelligence Institute, and founding director of Geospatial Sensing and Data Intelligence Lab, University of Waterloo.

Dr. Li’s sustained research is devoted to geospatial mapping and urban remote sensing using earth observation images and LiDAR point clouds with significant impact in geomatics industry. He has supervised over 100 PhD, MSc and Honours these to completion. Dr. Li has co-authored over 250 research papers published in prestigious IEEE, ISPRS, Elsevier journals in remote sensing with higher Google Scholar citations and ResearchGate citations.

He joined the Canadian Institute of Geomatics (CIG) in 2001 and has been serving on the Canada’s National Committee for ISPRS since 2002. He was elected Vice President of CIG in the 113th AGM on October 27, 2020. He currently also serving on the CIG Certification Committee and Associate Editor of GEOMATICA in remote sensing.

In addition, he has been serving ISPRS Working Group chair/co-chair since 2004 and ICA Commission chair/vice chair since 2008. Dr. Li is currently serving as Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, and the editorial board of the International Journal of Cartography.

Dr. Li is recipient of over 20 prestigious awards from the international and national organizations in Canada, USA, China, and UK, including the Outstanding Achievement in Mobile Mapping Technology Awards in 2019 for his pioneering contributions in developing and promoting mobile LiDAR mapping technology and the ISPRS Samuel Gamble Award in 2020 for his significant contributions to the development, organization or professional activities of the photogrammetry, remote sensing, and spatial information sciences at national or international level.


Dr. Yang Gao is currently a Professor in Department of Geomatics Engineering at the University of Calgary (UC). Prior to joining UC as an Assistant Professor in 1998, his career comprised periods in government and industry sectors, including Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) where he was a NSERC post-doc fellow and Pulsearch Navigation Systems Inc. and Position Inc where he held positions of Research Scientist, Manager of GPS R&D and Manager of Asia-Pacific.

Dr. Gao’s research interests focus on the theoretical and practical aspects in global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and integration with other enabling sensors. He is an author of over 350 technical publications and has a sustained record of success in project leadership with funding sponsored by government and private industries. He has advised and mentored more than 100 HQPs (50+ PhD/MSc students, 20+ visiting PhD students, 20+ PDF and visiting scholars) as well as numerous undergraduate students. He is very active in technology transfer whose research results have been transferred to GNSS receiver manufacturers, system integrators and service providers, with direct impact on product development.

Dr. Gao has provided many years of distinguished service to international society and professional community such as International Association of Geodesy (IAG), US Institute of Navigation (ION), International Federation of Surveyors (FIG). He has served as Editor/Associate Editor for a number of international journals including IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, Journal of Geodesy, Sensors, Journal of Geodesy and Geoinformation Science, Journal of Geodesy and Geodynamics, etc.

Dr. Gao’s academic and leadership contributions have been recognized by major national and international awards. He received the prestigious Thurlow Award from the ION for significant and sustained contributions and leadership in the development and application of Precise Point Positioning (PPP) and high-precision GNSS technology. He received the Research Excellence Award from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta for conducting innovative research in engineering that has been successfully applied to improve economic and social well-being. He also received Intermap Award from the Canadian Institute of Geomatics (CIG). He is a Fellow of both ION and IAG.


Marlene McKinnonMarlene McKinnon is the GIS Specialist and Source Water Protection Program Manager for the Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority.  She has been in the information technology industry for the over thirty years.  Prior to joining the Conservation Authority, Marlene worked for the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre as a GIS Technician/Analyst.  Marlene’s work with the Township of Michipicoten saw the Municipal Groundwater Study Map 5 Quaternary Geology selected from Canadian submissions for the ESRI Map Gallery 2004 and was then selected from international submissions for the ESRI Map Book Vol. 19, published in July 2004.  She has been recertified in 2018 as a Certified Geomatics Specialist GIS/LIS with the Canadian Institute of Geomatics.

Working in the IT community as online support, technical liaison, information management and now as GIS Specialist.

Graduated from Sault College of Applied Arts and Technology with a Business Accounting Diploma and a Geographic Information System Application Specialist Post Graduate Certificate.  She currently sits on the Sault College of Applied Arts and Technology GIS Advisory Committee.

Possessing a GIS Application Specialist Post Graduate Certificate combined with accumulated experience in computer sciences, GIS technology and project management, Marlene can offer support in spatial data analysis, data management and mapping tasks.  During the past 20 years, she has expanded her experience with software including ESRI Arc Desktop software, Garmin GPS units, Microsoft Office 365, and customizing software.  Marlene’s key qualifications include but are not limited to GIS Application Design; Analysis and Development of methodology for Spatial Data acquisition; Spatial Data capture, loading, and manipulating; Spatial Data Analysis; Map production; and User Training.


Dr. Ruisheng Wang is an associate professor in the Department of Geomatics Engineering at the University of Calgary which he joined in 2012. Prior to that, he worked as an industrial researcher at the HERE Technologies (formerly NAVTEQ) in Chicago, USA since 2008. His primary research focus there was on mobile LiDAR data processing for next generation map making and navigation. Dr. Wang holds a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the McGill University, a Geomatics Engineering from the University of New Brunswick, and a B.Eng. in Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing from the Wuhan University, respectively.

He currently serves as Associate Editors for Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing and IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing (JSTARS). He serves as a vice chair in the International Cartographic Association (ICA) commission on sensor-driven mapping (2019-2023). He is a Professional Engineer registered in the Province of Alberta, member of the Canadian Institute of Geomatics (CIG) and Canadian Remote Sensing Society (CRSS), senior member of IEEE.



Desmond Power is Vice President of Remote Sensing at C-CORE and he manages a group of 50 individuals with expertise on geomatics, radar systems, earth observation and GIS. This groups represents one of the largest private sector organizations performing research and development in Canada on earth observation and geomatics. Desmond has over 30 years of professional experience, having started with C-CORE (St. John’s, NL) in 1991. In the first seven years of his career, he primarily worked on high frequency over the horizon radar. In 1998, he started work on microwave radar systems and satellite synthetic aperture radar. He has since branched out into work on earth observation (electro-optical and SAR) and geomatics, with a strong focus on research and applications development. The research performed by Desmond’s group includes iceberg and vessel detection, SAR-based winds, EO water quality and river ice monitoring, ice charting and sea ice thickness measurement, satellite and ground-based interferometric SAR (for ground deformation monitoring), vehicle detection and monitoring, wetlands monitoring and oil slick detection. To date, his group has completed several hundred individual projects on various applications of remote sensing and geomatics. In addition to Desmond’s work with CIG, he is an member at large of the executive of Canadian Remote Sensing Society, a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a P.Eng registered with Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador. Desmond holds a Bachelor and Master of Engineering Degrees from Memorial University of Newfoundland.


Robert obtained a BA in Geography and Atlantic Canada Studies from Saint Mary's University in Halifax in 2009. He completed his advanced diploma in GIS and finished valedictorian of his graduating class at NSCC - Centre of Geographic Sciences in 2010. Upon graduation he was hired as a geomatics analyst in the New Brunswick 911 bureau for the Government of New Brunswick and started to manage the Geomatics Unit in 2012. His unit oversees all geomatics services for the Department of Public Safety including maintaining the provincial e-911 database, civic addressing, the New Brunswick Road Network (NBRN), and emergency mapping services for 911 answering points, New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization, the Office of the Provincial Security Advisor, and others as needed. As well, he is part of a team which is working to define and modernize geomatics services for Next Generation 911 in Canada.



ACSG Montreal - photo Joanie Desgroseilliers



John Donner, PEng., is an employee of Natural Resources Canada working at the Centre for Topographic Information in Ottawa as a project manager. He is a graduate of the Geodetic Sciences program (1979) Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, and a graduate of the Surveying Engineering program (1984) at the University of New Brunswick. John has been a member of both the Toronto and Ottawa Branches of CIG and has been on the Ottawa Branch Executive since 1990. He is currently the Chair of the Ottawa Branch and was previously the Chair of the Branch from 1994 to 1997.


Brian Davies has been involved in Geomatics since 1976 where he began his career in the Geophysical Industry as a Surveyor working all over Canada and the world. Over the years he has worked in various Geomatics Disciplines such as Geophysics, Mining, Cadastral, GPS Networking, Hydrographic Surveys, and Photogrammetry as well as a Land Surveyor and in British Columbia where he is presently co-owner and Director of a multinational geospatial consulting company.

For the past twenty five years he has worked in various countries around the world as a resident Country Operations and Survey Manager supervising large geophysical projects on land and shallow water marine operations. During his time in South America he worked in most of the countries and especially the Amazon in Ecuador, Brazil and in the Andes Mountains and Amazon rivers. These areas presented many technical issues for surveyors however he enjoyed the challenge of providing accuracy in a jungle environment using GPS control and Total Station traversing for hundreds of kilometres. Brian completed several Hydrographic surveys in Brazil used for mapping coastal areas for navigating large drilling rigs as close to land as possible.

As a Regional Manager for East Africa for a couple of years he lived in Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania and supervised geophysical land and marine projects in the region. Following his tenure in Africa he moved to the United Arab Emirates where he managed a project on the Oman border which was the first shallow water marine and land seismic project in the Emirate of Ras al Khaimah. After spending time in the region visiting other countries such as Yemen, Oman and Qatar where he was marketing and scouting future geophysical projects.

After spending over a year in the Middle East he was relocated to Singapore where he worked in the far east region and spend 2 years in Bangladesh as a Country Manager looking after projects for large multinational organizations such as Chevron among others. In between projects in Bangladesh he completed a shallow water marine project in Suriname in South America.

But closer to home, and Geomatics as it relates to Canada, Brian works in the lower mainland of British Columbia in Maple Ridge where he has lived for many years. As a Certified Technician and Registered Site Improvement Surveyor, registered with Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC) where he is also a Council Director and has been a member there since the late eighties. During his years in British Columbia he has been co-owner of cadastral survey companies which provided many types of surveys in the Lower Mainland and Coastal regions.

Brian thoroughly enjoys Geomatics and all the diverse areas and regions and the variety of projects it presents. He has chosen Geomatics for its challenges and the satisfaction of working outdoors and with leading edge technologies. Over the years he has mentored many people in various areas of Geomatics who have since gone on to remain in the Geomatics Industry.



Dr. Julia Siemer is an Associate Professor of Cartography and Geographic Information Science with the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Before joining the University of Regina, she has held positions as cartographer in publishing houses in Germany and Switzerland and has been the map editor and chief cartographer of the GIS-based Demographic Atlas of Albania, a research project in the scope of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe by the German Exchange Service (DAAD). She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in cartography, GIS, and geography at University of Regina, University of Potsdam and University of Applied Sciences Berlin, Germany. Dr. Siemer has been the president of the Canadian Cartographic Association (CCA) from 2016 to 2018.

Her current research interests include cartographic visualization of population distribution and their characteristics, spatial analysis and visualization of food accessibility, atlas cartography, and thematic mapping techniques.


Costas Armenakis (Dipl Ing, MScE, PhD) is an Associate Professor of the Geomatics Engineering program, Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering, York University. Prior joining York University he was a Research Scientist with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). His research interests are in the areas of photogrammetric engineering and remote sensing mapping including robotic mapping using cost-effective unmanned vehicle systems, 3D mapping and tracking using image-sequences, 3D modelling using optical and lidar data and the integration of GIS and remote sensing methods and data for risk assessment and emergency response. He is an ISPRS Fellow and has served as President of the ISPRS Technical Commission IV on Digital Mapping and GeoDatabases (2000-2004). Currently he is Co-Chair of the ISPRS ICWG I/Vb Unmanned Vehicle Systems (UVS): Sensors and Applications. He is a Professional Engineer registered in the Province of Ontario and member of the Canadian Institute of Geomatics (CIG) and the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS).


Jean-Noël Lechasseur is a Quebec Land Surveyor (inactive) in Banff, Alberta, and active for various professional associations in Canada since 1999.
He graduated in surveying from Laval University, Quebec, in 1976 and received his right to practice land survey from the Order of Quebec Lands Surveyors the same year. In 1981, he obtained his Canada Lands Surveyors commission. He continued his studies and graduated in 1986 with a master’s degree in business, specializing in finance, at HEC, University of Montreal.
Like many of his classmates, Jean-Noël worked as a trainee for Beliveau-Couture Lands Surveyor, from 1971 to 1976, and then was responsible for topographical field surveys from 1976 to 1981. In 1975, he was a part-time teacher for the cartography department of Limoilou CEGEP in Quebec. In 1981, he joined Gendron Lefebvre Inc., as assistant director of the geomatics department, and, later the same year, became director of this department until 1992. From June 1992 to 1999, following a restructuring and amalgamation with the firm Tecsult, he worked as assistant director, projects manager at the national and international levels.
To summarize his para-professional activities during his career, Jean-Noël has been president of the Publication Committee of the Order of Quebec Lands Surveyors (1978–1982); president of the Cartographic Surveys Industry Council in Quebec (1983); president of the Technician and Technologist Committee of CIG (1985); president of the Association of Canada Lands Surveyors (1988–1990); member of the Board of Examiners for Canada Lands Surveyors (1991–1997 and 1999–2016); president of the Publication Committee of CIG (1995); co-chair of Geomatics Canada Scholarship Program Committee (1999–2008); co-chair of Hans Klinkenberg Memorial Scholarship Fund Committee for CIG (1999–today); chair of Geomatica Award (2017–today); member of David Thompson Awards Committee for Canada Lands Surveyors (2010–today); member of CIG (1976–today), member of CIG Montreal Branch (1981–today), chair of the Branch (1983) and president of CIG (1996–1997).
Involved in a field that fascinates him, Jean-Noël pursues his goals with enthusiasm. He has been commended for his good judgment in planning and for his sense of organization. He is concerned about continuing education and thrives for self-improvement through new challenges like photography and video editing on DVD, downhill skiing and golf.



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