More accessible and industry-relevant than ever before, APEGA’s annual professional development conference launches virtually this year under a new banner: the APEGA Nexus Conference.
The conference runs from June 9-10 and features two keynote presentations, 30 sessions, a virtual poster showcase, and themed networking rooms—everything you need to brush up on industry innovation, technical competence, and regulation in Alberta.
Customize your APEGA Nexus experience
Sessions fall into five different streams and focus on building and improving diversity, your career, your business knowledge, and you as an APEGA member. Tailor your experience by choosing the sessions and networking rooms that support your interests and learn from some of the most innovative presenters our fields offer.
Stay current and earn continuing professional development hours from anywhere in the world!
Janelle Beblow, APEGA’s professional development officer, says there’s something for everyone. “Our new virtual platform allows you to curate your conference experience to best build your network and support your development goals. Sessions not only cover technological competence and regulatory topics, but also expand your knowledge in business and diversity, and will help build skills to move you forward in your career.”
Additionally, attending the conference can earn you up to 15 continuing professional development hours.
Growing skin on LEGO and body parts from plants: how diverse teams fuel creativity
The new virtual conference platform will host two exciting keynote speakers, Dr. Andrew E. Pelling and Dr. Wendy Okolo. Each will be speaking on innovation, but from different views.
Dr. Pelling, the Canada research chair in experimental cell mechanics at the University of Ottawa and chief technical officer of Spiderwort, is no stranger to forward thinking. Founding and directing his own curiosity-driven research lab at the University of Ottawa, he connects artists, scientists, social scientists, and engineers and fosters their creativity to deliver out-of-the-box results. From creating human body parts from plants, to growing skin on LEGO, to inventing more-affordable commercial biomaterials, his interdisciplinary team is the definition of trailblazing.
“Dr. Pelling explains that innovation comes from the cross-pollination of different disciplines working together on the same problem, driving new ideas,” says Beblow.
NASA engineer blasts the glass ceiling straight to outer space
According to Beblow, there is no better person than Dr. Okolo, an aerospace engineering researcher with NASA, to inspire conference attendees to lead innovation by creating a more diverse workplace.
The first Black woman to earn a PhD in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington, Dr. Okolo leads the team advancing NASA’s navigation technology for precision landing in outer space. She also leads women’s rights in the workplace by serving as the special emphasis programs manager for women at NASA.
“Dr. Okolo is a champion of changing the narrative of under-representation in science, technology, engineering, and math, especially for girls, women, and people of colour,” says Beblow. “And she’s from NASA—it doesn’t get better than that!”