NTCO AGM Week 2018


The second NTCO Annual General Meeting (AGM) was hosted by our partners at the Centre for Optics, Photonics and Laser (COPL), Université Laval, Quebec City from November 13-16, 2018. This event brought together NTCO students, faculty, and our partners from across the country. It was a great opportunity for our community to connect and share their latest research. There were many networking opportunities for students, as well as training opportunities and workshops on systems engineering and career development. Other highlights included a student social, the NTCO student poster session, a group dinner, and tours of the COPL labs.

We are very grateful to our partners at COPL for hosting this event. 







Guillaume Allain Université Laval

Session 2: Canadian Instruments

Spencer Bialek

University of Victoria

Session 6: Data Analysis & Machine Learning
Colin Bradley

University of Victoria

Session 2: Canadian Instruments
Scott Chapman Dalhousie, Saint Mary's Astronomy Session 2: Canadian Instruments
Olivier Daigle

Nuvu Cameras

Session 3: New Technologies

Laurent Drissen

Laval Session 2: Canadian Instruments
Farbod Jahandar University of Montreal Session 2: Canadian Instruments
Bryan Gaensler Dunlap Institute Session 6: Data Analysis & Machine Learning
Frederic Grandmont ABB Session 3: New Technologies
Amir Hadi Dynamic Structures Session 3: New Technologies
JJ Kavelaars NRC Herzberg Session 6: Data Analysis & Machine Learning
Thomas Martin Université Laval

Session 6: Data Analysis & Machine Learning

Brenda Matthews NRC Herzberg Session 3: New Technologies
David Naylor

University of Lethbridge

Session 3: New Technologies
Mathieu Ouellet

Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic (OMM)

Session 2: Canadian Instruments
Mireille Ouellet

Université Laval

COPL Lab tour
Deven Patel

Université Laval

Session 2: Canadian Instruments
Jeffrey Radwick

Gemini Observatory

Session 7: Systems Engineering
Laurie Rousseau-Nepton

Canada France Hawaii Telescope

Session 3: New Technologies
Neil Rowlands Honeywell Session 3: New Technologies
Stephen Se FLIR  Session 3: New Technologies
Luc Simard NRC Herzberg Session 1: Welcoming Remarks
Suresh Sivanandam Dunlap Institute Session 2: Canadian Instruments
Simon Thibault Université Laval Session 1: Welcoming Remarks
Kim Venn University of Victoria Session 1: Welcoming Remarks
Sonja Vrcic NRC Herzberg Session 7: Systems Engineering


Professional Skills Development Workshop

The AGM also featured a Career Development Workshop led by Alaina G. Levine which lasted two days and focused on the topics “Create Your Career and Get the Job” and “Keep the Job and Continue to Triumph”. Active engagement activities and real-time case studies provided participants with opportunities to conduct the intrinsic data collection, learn career advancement skills, and practice such skills. 

“Learn how to create your career and get the job! Most jobs are not advertised, and even if they are, there is usually a short-list of candidates already in mind. So how do you find out about and access the 90% of jobs that are "hidden"? In this workshop, we [focused] on strategies and tactics to understand what we can, could, and should be doing for careers, identify new opportunities, locate decision-makers within organizations, solidify your reputation in the minds of those who hire, and gain access to hidden jobs and career-changing opportunities. We will focus our time on specific tactics to enable you to create your own dream career and get you the job, such as marketing your value, interviewing skills, and having a polished social media presence.

Specific topics and case studies included:

  • Career exploration
  • Exploring your potential and catalyzing your passion
  • How to conduct intrinsic and Extrinsic data collection for career planning purposes
  • Becoming a career entrepreneur (the CEO of Me, Inc.)
  • Transitioning beyond academia
  • Understanding and marketing your value
  • Interviewing
  • Understanding, using, and leveraging social media
  • Networking
  • Evaluating a job offer
  • Negotiation
  • Communications, including:
    • The role of scientists in communications and public dissemination of research, discovery, and innovation
    • Working with journalists, the media, and your public information officers
    • Designing, presenting, and networking a poster
    • Public speaking techniques to build confidence
  • Conflict resolution
  • Management of personnel, projects, and budgets
  • Designing a healthy work-life balance
  • Managing the two-body challenge (or three-body challenge – Scientists and Engineers with Kids or Pets!)
  • I Heart Failure: Learning and triumphing from challenge and failure
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship: how to incorporate an innovation-focused mindset into everything you do for optimization of teams, projects, and careers, and advancement of mission and goals

Alaina G. Levine is an award-winning entrepreneur, STEM career consultant, science journalist, international professional speaker and corporate comedian. Her first book, Networking for Nerds, was published by Wiley, and beat out Einstein (really!) for the honour of being named one of the Top 5 Books of 2015 by Physics Today Magazine.


Laval campus, November 2018


NSERC logo