Class of 2000 Biographies

Frédéric Bourgault

Frédéric was born in Montréal in 1973. He received his Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering with a specialization in Aeronautical Engineering from Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal in 1996. In addition, he spent one year in Toulouse, France, where he studied at Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace (SUPAERO). Until recently, Frédéric held a Research Assistant position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Space Systems Laboratory (SSL) where he earned his Master of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics. His research at MIT SSL involved developing modeling tools for the design and control of large flexible space structures such as the Space Interferometer Mission (SIM) and the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) of the NASA Origins program. During the summer of 1995, Frédéric worked at Bombardier Canadair on both performance predictions and the Pilot Manuel edition of the executive jet Challenger 604E. In 1996, he worked at Aérospatiale, Space and Defense Division, on structural modeling of the Etage Principal Cryotechnique (EPC) of the new rocket launcher Ariane 5. Frédéric also taught "Thermodynamics" and "Introduction to Aircraft Engines" for one semester at Ecole Nationale d'Aérotechnique (Saint Hubert, Canada) before joining his research team at MIT SSL in 1997. Frédéric holds power aircraft and scuba diving certifications. He also enjoys soaring and going out regularly for a run. As a "typical" Canadian, he plays ice hockey and heads to the slopes for downhill and cross-country skiing. Frédéric will pursue his doctoral studies in the field of autonomous space robotics, as he is particularly interested in the use of robotics for planetary exploration, in situ resource utilization, and space construction.

Barry Cayen

I'm Barry, yet another physician in training who's pumped to meet you all. I've got a graduate degree in cardiac rehabilitation and exercise sciences. I hope to apply some of that knowledge in the future to study wasting in the elderly using astronauts in microgravity as models. Enough shop talk. In my "spare" time I enjoy playing raquet sports and running. I like puppy dogs and long walks on the beach... Seriously though, it seems that we've got a very fun group and I'm looking forward to learning a lot from all of you.

Carol Chahine

Carol is currently pursuing a degree in Dentistry at McGill University. She previously attended Marianopolis College and obtained a DEC in Health Sciences. This past summer, Carol acted as one of nine Canadian delegates to the Space Generation Forum, the youth parallel conference to UNISPACE III, the United Nations conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. While at McGill, Carol collaborates in the organization of the annual McGill Model United Nations Conference, a forum for over 1000 youth worldwide. As well, she is co-founder and vice-president of the Association for the Development of Aerospace Medicine, (ADAM). Carol is the recipient of the McGill University Hugh-Brock Scholarship (1996-2001), Dean’s Honor List (1996-1999) and ranked second in her class. Carol plays piano and paints. She is an avid canoeist, kayaker and hockey player. Carol is fluent in French, is thoroughly conversational in Hebrew and has a working knowledge of Arabic and Spanish.

Liara Covert

Exploring links between human innovation and cultural and linguistic spaces, I have discovered that I thrive in foreign environments where effective interdisciplinary communication can facilitate international space relations. My undergraduate thesis (McGill) was a psychosocial analysis of multiple personality disorder (MPD) in North America. Here, critical approaches to cinema and text enabled me examine the evolution of public perceptions and also medical diagnosis and treatment of MPD. My master’s research (Sorbonne) between Canada and France linked diplomatic and commercial spaces as I interned in an embassy and also in the telecommunications sector. Currently a doctoral candidate (CEDS), I am analyzing ISS partner strategies of cultural internationalism on multilateral management in International Space Station (ISS). This pragmatic study into Space Agreements and negotiation studies cooperative partnerships evolving toward and beyond the execution of the Astronaut Code of Conduct (CoC).

Fahreen Dossa

Fahreen is currently enthralled with the study of international health and medicine at McMaster University. A chem grad of the University of British Columbia, Fahreen got hooked on space while working at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in Victoria. Having spent long hours on Earth working with molecular crystal structures, she has developed a certain appreciation for microgravity and space laboratory research. Fahreen hopes to pursue research and holistic healing in an international sphere. When not wandering the halls of Hamilton's community hospitals, the Vancouverite enjoys running, biking, and hiking through the city's well-hidden trails. Fahreen especially cherishes the year she spent abroad on exchange in Sweden, studying chemistry and chasing the tail of Comet Hale-Bopp at Lund University.

Rémi Duquette

Rémi is attending the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies as a full-time student completing a M.A.Sc. in Aerospace Science and Engineering. His thesis work is concerned with the analysis, design and multi-disciplinary optimization of the structural and thermal components of MOST, Canada's first microsatellite mission and Canada's first space telescope. He obtained a B.A.Sc. (Honors) Mechanical Engineering with Aeronautical Option at McGill University, Montreal, Canada in 1998. He gained substantial research experience through undergraduate thesis and research assistant work at McGill University and research assistant work at the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada. He is a short track speed skating provincial champion, member of team Canada at the first worldwide games of intercrosse, triathlon adept, cross-country runner, soccer player and coach, scuba diver, and was a pair dance figure skater.

Katia Dyrda

Katia obtained both B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Engineering Physics from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. During her undergraduate years, she participated in an exchange program with Leeds University in England. She then became involved with the Queen's Solar Vehicle Project where she led the composites team and traveled to Japan and Australia to compete in international solar car events. She cycled around Australia before returning to Queen's to enroll in a Masters program in Applied Solid State Physics. Her research focused on the mechanical properties of industrial ceramic coatings. She then worked with industry to implement her testing unit, and to obtain professional engineer status. Katia is currently studying Medicine at the University of Ottawa. She hopes to continue her engineering work within medicine to help bridge the gap between the two fields. Throughout her educational and professional training, Katia has been a dedicated rower and coach, and competes internationally.

Arif Janjua

I am currently completing my Second Year of an MD degree at the University of Alberta and am about to embark on my clinical clerkship. I have a background in biomechanics and completed a double major program in Physiology and Physics at McGill University. During my undergraduate and pre-clinical training, I have developed an interest in aviation and space medicine and have pursued this interest by exposing myself to several areas of space-related medical research. In my future, I hope to continue research into the physiological adaptations which occur during space travel and the ramifications that this may have on our life on Earth. Furthermore, I hope to obtain specialized post-graduate training in aviation and space medicine and become involved in the process of technological innovation made as a result of space life-science research conducted during space missions. In my leisure time I enjoy a variety of sports and also hold a glider pilot's and private pilot's license and maintain an interest in recreational aviation.

Raffi Kuyumjian

I am a Canadian of Armenian descent, raised in Lebanon, Cyprus, Greece, Germany and Montreal, Canada. I recently started working as a physician in a remote and isolated community in Quebec near the border with Labrador. I graduated from Collège Marie de France in 1988 with a French Baccalauréat in Natural Sciences and Mathematics, from the Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal in 1992 with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Structural) degree and from Laval University in 1997 with a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree. I completed my residency training last year, during which time I participated in aerospace medicine training programs at NASA-KSC and JSC. I enjoy flying, backpacking, traveling, sports (SCUBA diving, racket sports, soccer, hiking), music and reading.

Marius Ochisor

Mr. Ochisor joined the Canadian space program in 1993. He has been part of the Space Systems Operations Group and in 1994 he assumed responsibilities within the Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Training Group. Mr. Ochisor brings over 10 years of experience in fields such as aerospace and aeronautics, robotics operations, software design and development, and procurement of high-tech training systems. Mr. Ochisor’s involvement in the Canadian training program resulted in the development of over 10 hours of computer-based training for the Mobile Servicing System and delivery of several robotics training courses to International Space Station astronauts and cosmonauts, mission controllers and ground support personnel. Mr. Ochisor also represents the Canadian training organization in the international working group dealing with International Space Station on-board training. Mr. Ochisor holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautics Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest, Romania and a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Laura Sie

The one thing I love doing most is traveling. At some point, I would like to take a five-year hiatus, buy a round-the-world ticket, and venture to every corner of the globe. After my academic career, I intend to pursue international development work for a few years before getting involved with the Canadian space industry. I also have an ardent interest in languages. I am fluent in English, have a cursory knowledge of French, Indonesian and Malay, and have studied Spanish, Mandarin, and Japanese. Currently, I am looking to commence my post-secondary degree in engineering and would like to contribute to space research and development at the national level.