Do you have an Engineering Safety and Risk Management project, which would benefit from short or long term access to grad students.  Our students have training in process safety and risk management principles and, in many cases, related industry experience.  To add further value, we encourage students to acquire additional work experience during the course of their studies.

Please contact Dr. Lefsrud to discuss your internship project.

Hadis Ebrahimi was born in Tehran, Iran. She was studying Chemical Engineering at Isfahan University of Technology, and in 2014, she began her Master in Chemical Engineering at Amirkabir University of Technology.

After B.Sc., she was offered the scholarship for talented elite students in order to study the M.Sc., and she decided to continue her education at Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran polytechnic) which is one of the top three technical universities in Iran.

To clearly express her goals, she ideates that the time has come for her to narrow her research activity by starting the journey of Ph.D. studies. she was applying to University of Alberta in order to fulfill her dream of pursuing excellence in research, as well as to pursue a career in Academia after graduation . It is her deep belief that imagination can become reality if we challenge ourselves enough to make it happen. According to her experience in Catalysis area, earning some skills which seem useful such as ability to work on a team and standard writing and also her motivation and excitement for learning new things, she is confident to meet high standards of Alberta University and be successful there.

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Nafiseh Esmaeeli is a chemical engineer with specialization in biotechnology, graduated from Isfahan University of Technology, Iran. Doing her internship at Isfahan waste water treatment plant and working on biotechnological projects provided her with various laboratory work experiences. During her undergraduate program, she glorified among top 10% students of chemical engineering at her university. Moving to Canada, she collaborated with the Ingenuity Laboratory at the University of Alberta, on a study titled “Non-surgical Cataract treatment” and further improved her research skills.

Nafiseh has joined Dr. Lefsrud’s research team on April 2017. As a research assistant, she has been evaluating safety maturity of the members of construction owners’ association of Alberta (COAA). Nafiseh is currently involved with research on providing recommendations for risk tolerability strategies of rail transportation in Canada, with emphasize on the transportation of dangerous goods.

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Vivian Giang is pursuing interdisciplinary doctoral studies (Anthropology & Engineering) through the University of Alberta’s Future Energy Systems research initiative as a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS-D Scholar. Her doctoral research aims to inform and develop equitable community engagement processes and communication frameworks for approaching renewable energy development responsibly and sustainably, while respecting Indigenous rights. Vivian currently serves as the United Nations Association in Canada (UNA-Canada) Prairies Regional Director and President of the UNA-Canada Edmonton Branch. Vivian previously studied at MacEwan University (Alberta), Royal Roads University (British Columbia), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (Germany) and Kyushu Women’s University (Japan).

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Daniel Kurian is a Chemical Engineer E.I.T who completed his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Alberta in 2016. Through internships and the co-operative program, he has worked with many companies in a variety of faculties – risk management with Canadian Engineering and Inspection Ltd., cost engineering with NOVA Chemicals and Enbridge, and quality control on construction sites with J.R. Paine & Associates Ltd. He is a well-rounded individual who balances research, working as a teaching assistant and part-time tutor, and volunteering with multiple organizations while maintaining an active lifestyle. Daniel is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science by modelling pipeline risk using fuzzy Bayesian Belief Networks (F-BBNs) and credal sets.

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Kabir Nadkarni is an Engineering Physics student at the University of Alberta with dual certificates inSustainability and Leadership, Kabir has deep interests in technology management, policy analysis, and corporate strategy related to energy transitions. He previously worked with an off-grid solar energy developer called SunSaluter in Malawi, interned at the Pembina Institute(Canada’s leading environmental think tank), and was contracted to develop distributed solar electricity generation policy for the Government of Alberta. Kabir has also conducted electricity economics research and geothermal business risk modelling with Future Energy Systems at theUniversity of Alberta, consulted Paul First Nation on their relationship with the nearby coal industry, and researched the sociology of oil-to-geothermal technology transitions with the Lefsrud Lab along with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich). For his professional accomplishments and community leadership, Kabir has been honoured as a LoranScholar, is an inaugural recipient of the William Muir Edwards Citizenship Prize, is aSustainability Leadership Award winner, and was named as one of Alberta’s Top 30 Under 30 in 2016.

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Michelle Naef. I graduated from the U of A Faculty of Engineering in 2006 and worked in the oil industry as a static equipment engineer and project manager for 12 years.  I returned to study Process Safety with Dr. Lefsrud in 2019 – a fantastic opportunity to finish the “project” that had been forming in my head for several years!  My research is around integrated information systems and human cognition, in particular, the way our information systems affect the development of risk heuristics.  I am seeking an industrial partner to test this idea with a design project involving qualitative research methods.  I am interested in demonstrating that information systems and equipment are accessible and relatively inexpensive, but augmenting the value of knowledge and experience in the workplace is a design problem that few organizations have successfully cracked.

I am married with two young sons, we live on a small farm with a menagerie of animals who don’t work very hard.  If I have time, I enjoy participating in the sport of Carriage Driving with my pony, Henry.

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Fereshteh Sattari obtained her PhD from the University of Alberta in Chemical & Materials Engineering-Process Control. Her area of research was in optimization and simulation of biomass conversion process. This research described the reactions in the compounds of the biocrude provided from hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass as a renewable resource of energy. Different spectroscopic techniques were used to analyze the products, and a data fusion technique was used to combine the acquired datasets. A variety of machine learning approaches such as Bayesian Hierarchical Clustering (BHC), Bayesian network learning concept (BN), and a chemometric model based on self-modeling multivariate curve resolution (SMCR-ALS) were employed to create a reaction network. The purpose of these networks was to develop an algorithm for online monitoring and controlling of species conversion in a complex reaction over time. Hence, integrating these findings with a suitable control strategy could help to adjust process conditions to maximize the yield of desired products for online monitoring of a multi-species process such as biomass conversion.

In her current role as a post doctorate fellow in Engineering Safety and Risk Management at the University of Alberta, she supervises and manages different research projects. In one of these researches, her responsibility is to apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to incident analysis work for petrochemical operations. The objective is to create a system that will automatically categorize and evaluate the risk when an incident is reported. This will create a consistent system to identify trends and leading indicators within incident reports, across an entire industry. She also helps develop graduate course material. She is also in charge of developing research and engagement proposals. She, also, works as a post doctorate fellow representative in the Academic Women’s Association at the University of Alberta. This role gives her an opportunity to use her experience from working in the educational system and industry to encourage and empower emerging leaders to succeed and raise awareness among her peers or students.

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Daniel Schiffner spent 10 years working as a radiation therapist in Calgary, AB providing treatment and support to cancer patients.  During this time, he also attended the University of Calgary part-time and earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Risk Management.  After a year working abroad in New Zealand, Dan returned to Canada and attended the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) where he obtained a diploma in Petroleum Engineering Technology.  While at SAIT, Dan received several scholarships for academic performance and served as Treasurer of the SAIT Student Petroleum Society.

After graduating with his diploma, Dan spent four years with petroleum producer TAQA North working as a reserves analyst; maintaining and updating the database estimating company reserves and values.  While at TAQA, he developed and wrote the company manual for managing the reserves database and oversaw the implementation of upgraded reserves software.  He also enjoyed working on long-term strategic planning exercises determining optimal economic strategy for development of key oil fields.

Currently, Dan is working on a Master of Science degree in the Risk and Community Resilience department of Agriculture, Life, and Environmental Sciences (ALES).  His primary research interest, working with Lianne Lefsrud and principal investigator Jonathan Banks at the University of Alberta, is in the policy and economic feasibility of converting mature end-of-life oil and gas wells into wells producing geothermal energy.

After a day of investigating how to create energy Dan enjoys expending his own energy running, cycling, curling or reading a Neil Gaiman novel.

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Amanda Sistilli is a Sr. Risk Engineer at Enbridge Gas Inc. She joined Enbridge in October 2019, after an 8-year tenure at ERCO Worldwide where she started her career. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Toronto in 2011. Amanda worked as a process EIT from 2011–2014 and then transitioned to Process Safety Management (PSM) in 2014. Spending two years working at plants during her time at ERCO gave her a strong appreciation for practical operational safety and risk management. In January 2019, Amanda also started an MSc at the University of Alberta to study how Process Safety Management performance can be improved in a business through the use of Integrated Management Systems.

Since 2015, Amanda has been actively involved with the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (CSChE) Process Safety Management Division (PSMD). In her spare time, she coaches a Dragonboat Team in Toronto and volunteers as a tutor with the Children’s Aid Society. She also enjoys hiking, trying new restaurants and playing the violin.

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Dr. Lianne Lefsrud, Ph.D, P.Eng.

Engineering Safety and Risk Management, Faculty of Engineering
12-287 Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering 9211 116 Street, Edmonton, T6G 1H9

Phone: 780.492.8351 (office) | 780.951.3455 (mobile)  |  LinkedIn |  Twitter


My Monday, where I get to be the chef AND taster of an interesting and delicious mix. It started with @egosnet inspiration, now teaching, then Chair selection, new research on risk management, page proof review, presenting findings to a regulator, then more teaching #FundayMonday

Abusive bosses are even more catastrophic than you imagine. This study of NBA players shows that those with abusive coaches early in their career had more technical fouls & lower performance a decade later! (And the 2nd paper shows 17%-33% of college coaches use abusive styles)

Inspiring keynote from Renate Meyer on publishing, hosted by @johnamis6 @uoebusiness for Org Studies @egosnet. A lit review must create continuity & development, acceptance & critique, and accumulate knowledge; there must be some cheese, not just holes... 🧀 @OS4Future @ProfJarz