McGill Engine Team

Benoit Boulet Profile PictureBenoit Boulet

P.Eng., Ph.D., SMIEEE

Benoit is the Director of the McGill Engine, the Associate Vice-Principal of Innovation and Partnerships at McGill's Office of the Vice-Principal of Research and Innovation, and a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Professor Boulet obtained a Bachelor's degree from Université Laval in 1990, a Master of Engineering degree from McGill University in 1992, and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Toronto in 1996, all in electrical engineering. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the province of Québec. Professor Boulet's research areas include the design and control of electric vehicles and green energy systems, robust control of biomedical systems, and robust industrial control.

Katya Marc Profile PictureKatya Marc

M.Eng., MBA
Associate Director

Katya oversees the strategic direction, management, and operations of the McGill Engine Centre. She manages the Engine team and leads the strategic planning of all Engine programs, ensuring quality, designing new programs, and increasing awareness of the programs to stakeholders. She works closely with students and faculty members in advancing their technologically-based ideas and research and in their skills development, through advising, coaching, mentorship, teaching, and connections to other resources. She co-designed and developed the Engine programs with the overarching goal of helping build the entrepreneurial mindset and skills of McGill students and professors in order to drive innovation.  She has been working at McGill for over 23 years, across multiple faculties servicing their research/service contract and intellectual property commercialization needs via connections and contract negotiations with industry and funding agencies, and intellectual property protection and licensing to existing companies and to McGill spin-offs. Prior to joining McGill, Katya was an industrial technology advisor with the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC’s IRAP), and before that worked for Eastman Chemical Company in Canada, USA, and Malaysia for over six years in multiple areas: technical sales, process and development control, production, and technical service. A three-time McGill graduate, Katya earned her B.Eng. and M.Eng. degrees in Chemical Engineering, and her MBA from McGill.

Vivian Diniz Profile PictureVivian Diniz

Ph.D., Eng.

Business Development Officer

Vivian helps foster R&D collaborations and transfer of knowledge between faculty and industry partners. Her academic background includes a PhD in Chemical Engineering from McGill. Prior to joining the Engine, she worked as a process engineer for several years at multinational engineering firms in Canada, Brazil and Australia, and has acted as a technical patent advisor for a Montreal legal firm. Her mix of academic and industry expertise is ideally suited to achieve the goals of all involved with the McGill Engine Centre, the Innovation and Partnerships Office, and industry.

Elizabeth Lallemand Profile PictureElizabeth Lallemand 

B.Com., Marketing

Programs Associate 

Elizabeth manages the Engine programs along with events such as the John D. Thompson Entrepreneurial Development Seminar, the Entrepreneurship-in-Action Speaker Series, the TechAccel Showcase and the Annual Celebration of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Prior to joining the Engine, she was involved with the startup ecosystem working as a Sales Team Lead for the Montreal startup   

Xiangmin Kong Profile PhotoXiangmin Kong


Community and Communications Associate

Xiangmin handles the community outreach and engagement activities including website and social media. She is the first contact in the Engine Centre. Prior to joining the Engine, she worked as a Program Advisor at the Montreal College of Information Technology, where she interacted with students extensively.

Michael Avedesian Profile PictureMichael M. Avedesian


Dr. Avedesian has over 33 years of operations, technology and business management experience in the corporate sector. He holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in Chemical Engineering from McGill University, and a Ph.D. in Engineering from Cambridge University.
Dr. Avedesian then had three start-up companies for which two he was the founding CEO. Two of them were successful and one went IPO on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors of TM4, a company which designs and manufactures electromechanical drive train systems for hybrid and electric vehicles. Michael is a member of Ordre des ingenieurs du Quebec, Professional Engineers of Ontario, and the C.S.Ch.E. (for which he was President in 1992–1993). He was elected Fellow of the CIC in 1993. In 1998 he was inducted as a Fellow in the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Andrew Csinger Profile PictureDr. Andrew Csinger


Dr. Csinger served as Executive Vice President of Product Strategy and Development at Dategrity Corporation. He served as Senior Vice President of Systems Services of GT Group Telecom Inc. He served as Senior Vice President and CIO of Group Telecom from 1998 to 2002. Dr. Csinger served as President of Xcert Software Inc., which he founded in 1996 to develop the emerging public key infrastructure product. Dr. Csinger served as Advisor at Spark Integration Technologies Inc. Dr. Csinger was founding President of InterSpect Systems Consulting, successfully implementing many Internet security projects for clients including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Government of Canada. He served as Advisor at Distrix Networks Ltd. Dr. Csinger was a mentor of the SFU Technology Business Mentorship Program and has been both mentor and reviewer for the New Ventures BC business plan competition since 2007. He was NSERC PostDoctoral Fellow at Simon Fraser University and a visiting scholar at the German Center for Artificial Intelligence in Saarbrucken.  Dr. Csinger served as Director of a2b Fiber Inc. since July 30, 2008 until November 2013. Dr. Csinger holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from McGill University.

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