About | Validere
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Our Team

We’re a startup on a mission to bring efficiency and innovation to oil & gas testing.
Above all, we’re a team who cares deeply about solving real problems & helping people.

Meet UsAdvisorsOur StoryJoin our Team

Dr. Ian Burgess


Ian is an interdisciplinary scientist whose inventions have been recognized with an R&D 100 Award and featured in Scientific American, Chemical & Engineering News, Nature Photonics, and Materials Today. He has a PhD in Applied Physics from Harvard and a Bachelor’s in Math and Physics from the University of Waterloo. Outside the lab, he enjoys spending time with his daughter and playing golf.


Nouman Ahmad


Nouman is an entrepreneur with a passion for solving complex industry problems. Previously, he led operations of a successful Toronto-based fintech startup which achieved market dominance in less than 2 years. He also advised technology companies with TD investment banking for over 7 years. Nouman has also built a leading Canadian political training incubator.


Ofer Vitner

Product Development

Ofer holds both engineering as well as MBA degrees, with more than 15 years experience in multi-disciplinary R&D hi-tech companies, both startups and global leaders. Ofer has held development positions like validation, project manager, R&D team leader, new technology researcher, as well as founded an Agtech startup. Ofer is dedicated to solve industry challenges through the use of disruptive technology and out-of-the-box approaches.


Jon DeCoste

Business Development

Jon has over 10 years of experience in the Oil & Gas industry within engineering and commercial roles of midstream and upstream businesses. He has managed commercialization of petrochemical solutions, developed specialty-drilling fluids for Canadian geology, and designed and constructed real-time NGL measurement solutions. Jon has also owned and operated a business consulting firm and co-founded a boutique mergers & acquisition start-up.


Sami Zakaria

Business Development

Sami obtained his degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto, and has 5 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. He has held Process Engineering positions at Suncor Energy, in addition to working with EPC firms such as The Shaw Group, Technip and Petrofac.He is now completing his MBA at the Rotman School of Management, and in his spare time, he loves to
fly planes, scuba dive and ski.


Elizabeth de Roode


Elizabeth came to Validere after completing her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto. She’s an innovator, entrepreneur, and avid dog lover. Born in a small town, Elizabeth’s fascination with business and marketing began after she completed an internship at Procter and Gamble after her second year. She began experimenting with more data-driven marketing efforts at ICF Olson as an analyst for 16 months before finishing her final year of university. The way to her heart is through food, especially pizza.


John Nguyen

Product Development

John is a mechatronics engineer, technophile and an obsessive tinkerer. He has extensive experience in the R&D, design and prototyping of biomedical diagnostic devices, wearables and instrumentation. He has a bachelor’s and masters degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto. On the side, he’s an avid fan of the Raptors, all things basketball and eating.


Jessika Harding

Product Development

Jessika has accumulated over 5 years experience in research & development and experimental testwork while working for SGS Canada Inc; the world’s leading testing and verification company for mining and minerals. She has an advanced diploma in Biotechnology from Loyalist College and is always looking to expand her knowledge. In her spare time she studies canine nutrition, canine conditioning and loves to standup paddle board and kayak with her to german shorthaired pointers.


Dr. Patrick Robinson

Data Science

Patrick is a data scientist and mathematician, holding a PhD and MSc in mathematics from the University of Toronto, as well as a Bachelor’s in Math and Physics.  He spent two and a half years as a data scientist and quantitative developer in the financial sector, primarily validating short-term trading strategies.  Patrick built an introductory data science course for BrainStation, for which is he currently the evening lead educator, and is an occasional lecturer at the University of Toronto.  Away from work, he enjoys indie games, cooking, mixology, and looking after his bunny.


Thiago Nichols

Product Development

Thiago holds a Chemical Engineering degree and two Postgraduate Certificates in Project Management and Upstream Process Engineering. He has 4 years experience working as Drilling Fluids Engineer for Halliburton in onshore/offshore drilling operations for different oil and gas companies. He is a sports enthusiast, especially regarding the Brazilian soccer Team (Botafogo F.R.) and in his spare time, he likes to be with his wife, kid and friends.


Ben Hu

Software Development

Ben completed a specialist in Computer Science at the University of Toronto.  As software developer eager to tackle any challenge that comes his way, Ben strives to make an impact with what he creates. Prior to joining Validere, Ben had completed a PEY term at IBM where he accrued a variety of experiences working with and building software systems.


Chung Kuang Lin

Software Development

Chung is an entrepreneur, innovator, and an indie game developer enthusiast! As an alumni of Management Engineering in the University of Waterloo, Chung always thrives to innovate and build software applications that enrich people’s lives. Before joining Validere, Chung had accumulated many valuable experiences building and designing software systems for companies including Rogers Communication, Hospital for SickKids, Zynga Inc and Royal Bank of Canada.


William Gelhar

Software Development

William graduated from the University of Toronto with a Computer Science Specialist degree, always striving to improve and not one to turn down a challenge. He came to Validere after working for several years in software development, tackling visualizations and application development. When he’s not working he enjoys floor hockey, baseball, and cooking

Advisory Board


Dr. Joanna Aizenberg

Co-Founder and Chair of Advisory Board

Joanna is the Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Materials Science and Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. She pursues a broad range of research interests that include biomimetics, self-assembly, smart materials, bio-nano interfaces, crystal engineering, surface chemistry, nanofabrication, biomineralization, biomechanics and biooptics. She is the Director of the Kavli Institute for Bionano Science and Technology at Harvard University and has served at the Board of Directors of numerous institutions. Joanna is also elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science; and is a Fellow of American Physical Society and Materials Research Society. She has also received numerous awards  including Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience, Ronald Breslow Award for the Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry, Arthur K. Doolittle Award in Polymeric Materials, ACS Industrial Innovation Award, and was recognized with two R&D 100 Awards for best innovations in 2012 and 2013.


Pierre Magnan


Pierre is a strategic risk manager, seasoned negotiator and an accomplished legal counselor with over 17 years of experience. Pierre holds his Bachelor of Law from the University of Ottawa and his Masters of Law from the University of Cambridge.


Neil Camarta


Mr. Neil Camarta is currently President & CEO of Field Upgrading Ltd. Prior to that, Mr. Camarta held the position of Executive Vice-President, Natural Gas for Suncor Energy Inc. Mr. Camarta sits on the boards of ENMAX, MindFuel (formerly the Science Alberta Foundation) and the FSHD Canada Foundation, as well as having previously served on the board of the Alberta Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS).

Mr. Camarta joined Shell Canada Limited in 1975 and held senior positions in Canada and abroad. Most notably, he led the successful development, construction, and start-up of Shell’s $6 billion Athabasca Oil Sands Project. Mr. Camarta retired from Shell in 2005 and worked as Senior Vice President of Petro-Canada’s Oil Sands business.

He was born in Edmonton, Alberta and holds a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Alberta.


George Whitesides


George is the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor at Harvard University. He received an A.B. degree from Harvard University in 1960 and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology (with J.D. Roberts) in 1964. He was a member of the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1963 to 1982. He joined the Department of Chemistry of Harvard University in 1982, and was Department Chairman from 1986-89, and Mallinckrodt Professor of Chemistry from 1982-2004. George is a prolific author and patent holder who has received many awards. He has co-founded numerous companies including Genzyme, GelTex, and Theravance. In 2011, he received the highest Hirsch index rating of all living chemists.


JS Cournoyer


JS is an entrepreneur at heart. When he is not taking care of his five children, he chooses to dedicate his life helping passionate entrepreneurs trying to change the world realize their vision and succeed in life and in business. JS likes to work with entrepreneurs who use A.I and blockchain technologies to improve human creativity, communication and happiness or to transform the pillars of our society (health, education, food, energy, government, finance, work, transportation).

Our Story