About The Conference

IEEE Student Professional Awareness Conference (SPAC) is a formal dinner event that aims to bridge the gap between students and their career goals. SPAC offers students and employers a unique opportunity to network with one another in a professional environment along with professionals and academics representing the fields of Engineering and Computer Science.

Our attendees include 220 local students from the engineering and computer science streams at Carleton University, the University of Ottawa, and Algonquin College. Meet the brightest upcoming talent from Ottawa's leading schools.

For the last 9 years, IEEE SPAC has been organized by the IEEE Student Branches of Carleton University, University of Ottawa, and Algonquin College.

Click here to see photos of previous years


Sala San Marco Event & Conference Centre

215 Preston St, Ottawa, ON K1R 7R1


  • 5:30 - 6:30PM


  • 6:35 - 6:45PM

    Welcoming Remarks

  • 6:45 - 7:10PM

    Speaker #1: Tamimi Ahmad

  • 7:10 - 7:55PM


  • 8:00 - 8:25PM

    Speaker #2: Grant Courville

  • 8:25 - 8:40PM

    Closing Remarks & Prizes

  • 8:40 - 10:00PM



Grant Courville

Grant Courville


As Vice President, Product Management and Strategy at BlackBerry's QNX Software Systems, Grant is responsible for managing the company’s global product portfolio and strategy for the automotive and general embedded markets. Grant has over 25 years of experience in the embedded industry and is a recognized leader and spokesperson for connected and autonomous car technology and trends. In his 20+ years with QNX, he has held a variety of leadership roles in engineering, marketing and services. Grant also serves as a member of the Advisory Board for the Ontario Center of Excellence Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (OCE AVIN) and is member of the Invest Ottawa Global Expansion committee. Grant’s QNX experience is also complemented by leadership roles with Curtiss-Wright Controls and Tilcon Software.

Tamimi Ahmad

Tamimi Ahmad


Tamimi is a Developer Evangelist on the Developer Relations team at Qlik. He leads the design and building of the automation infrastructure for the new technical certification program. Apart from the technical impact, he plays an integral role with the Developer Relations team members to create an awesome developer Qlik community. Tamimi has been (and still is) actively involved in the community at Carleton University, and outside, and strongly believes in bridging connections. During his undergraduate career, he was the president of the Communications Engineering Society and valued the importance of giving back to the engineering student society and IEEE in year round events. As an alumnus, Tamimi aims to continue having a strong relations with Carleton University and play an important role in bridging connections. Tamimi holds a Bachelor’s of Engineering, in Communications Engineering.

Partner Patron

Blackberry QNX

For over the past 35 years, BlackBerry’s QNX software has become a big part of everyday life. People encounter BlackBerry QNX-controlled systems whenever they drive a car, watch TV, or use the Internet. The ultra-reliable nature of the software makes it the preferred choice for mission-critical systems such as cars, air traffic control systems, surgical robots and nuclear power plants. BlackBerry QNX automotive grade software platforms are deployed in In-Vehicle Infotainment, Cluster, Telematics, Acoustics and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. This mission critical software has ISO 26262 and is ASIL-D certifications. BlackBerry technologies including QNX’s mission critical software, Certicom’s elliptical curve cryptography and its Over the Air software update solution provides complete life cycle management capability for embedded software deployments. Global leaders like Cisco, Delphi, General Electric, Siemens, and Thales have discovered BlackBerry QNX and Certicom’s security solutions gives them the only software platform upon which to build reliable, scalable, secure and high-performance applications for markets such as automotive, medical, industrial automation, power generation and data networking. BlackBerry QNX’s embedded software market specialization and proven expertise, has made it the trusted partner to the world's largest device manufacturers and systems integrators. Developers rely on feature-rich QNX® Neutrino® RTOS and the highly-integrated QNX® Momentics® development suite to accelerate time to market. The broad range of engineering services such as, professional training, expert consulting, and custom engineering help customers speed every stage of their development cycle. BlackBerry QNX is a subsidiary of BlackBerry Ltd., a mobile-native company software and services company dedicated to securing the Enterprise of Things. BlackBerry QNX is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, with its products distributed in over 100 countries worldwide.

Gold Patrons

Communications Security Establishment

Communications Security Establishment (CSE) is one of Canada’s key security and intelligence organizations, focused on collecting foreign signals intelligence, and on helping protect the computer networks and information of greatest importance to Canada. We also provide assistance to federal law enforcement and security organizations in their legally authorized activities, when they may require our unique technical capabilities. Our work helps to ensure our nation’s security and stability; protecting against foreign-based terrorism and espionage, cyber-attacks, and other serious threats.


Qlik helps enterprises around the world move faster, work smarter, and lead the way forward with an end-to-end solution for getting value out of data. Our platform is the only one on the market that allows for open-ended, curiosity-driven exploration, giving everyone – at any skill level – the ability to make real discoveries that lead to real outcomes and transformative changes.

Carleton University Department of Systems and Computer Engineering

The Department of Systems and Computer Engineering at Carleton University is a recognized world-class institution in computer systems engineering, electrical engineering, software engineering, communications engineering, and biomedical engineering. We offer a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programs in these disciplines. Our faculty members are well-published leaders in their fields. We are well-equipped with advanced laboratories and facilities.


The Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) offers services, advocacy, and community for over 3,900 graduate students at Carleton University. We work to ensure graduate student representation throughout the university, and advocate at the municipal, provincial and federal levels on issues including affordable education, accessible public transit, research funding, academic freedom, and ending rape culture. Several of these campaigns, as well as lobbying, are done in partnership with other students’ unions across Canada through the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), a pan-Canadian student union representing over 500,000 students from over 80 universities and colleges.

IEEE Ottawa Section

The IEEE Ottawa Section is the second oldest ECC member, after Montreal, being founded in 1944. Being at the heart of Canada’s silicon valley, Ottawa hosts about 50% of the Council membership, thus making it the largest of the seven. The challenge of staying in touch with its members, has led to the launching of the IEEE Canada Electronic Newsletter. Through E-mail, this can reach out to all IEEE members across the country. With 19 technical Chapters, the Ottawa Section has been very active with education in the community and industry. A significant event for the Section, the city of Ottawa and indeed the country was when the IEEE designated the Alouette/IRIS Satellite Program as an International Milestone of Electrical Engineering.

Silver Patrons


Deloitte provides audit & assurance, consulting, artificial intelligence, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. Deloitte serves four out of five Fortune Global 500® companies through a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories bringing world-class capabilities, insights and service to address clients' most complex business challenges.

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, a division of Curtiss-Wright Corporation, is recognized around the world as one of the most innovative designer and manufacturer of rugged and secure mission-critical solutions for the defense and aerospace industries. We maintain a strong focus on quality and reliability in every aspect of our operations to deliver solutions that are on-spec, on-time, and on-budget. As a result, we’ve significantly reduced program risk for thousands of customers and countless programs. And we are trusted by defense departments, commercial avionics companies, and systems integrators worldwide to provide the expertise, innovation, and experience needed for mission success.

MindBridge Ai

MindBridge Ai revolutionizes financial analysis with the world’s first and only AI powered auditing platform. Our Ai Auditor platform provides lightning fast, risk-ranked analysis on 100% of transactions, with no scripting or training required, meaning that you can provide greater assurance than ever before, all while saving valuable time and resources. With Ai Auditor, cumbersome CAAT tools are a thing of the past, and with them go the associated risk of missing errors or fraud that may lurk in financial data.

Defense Research and Development Canada (DRDC)

Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) is the national leader in defence and security science and technology. As a civilian agency of Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND), DRDC provides DND, the Canadian Armed Forces and other government departments as well as the public safety and security communities with the knowledge and technologies needed to defend and protect Canada’s interests at home and abroad.

General Dynamics

As one of Canada’s largest, most established C4ISR defence and security companies, General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada is a dynamic force in the business community. With a worldwide reputation for excellence in the production of technology-based, integrated solutions for land, airborne, maritime and cyber applications, General Dynamics taps into the skills and resources of Canadian suppliers, while building Canada’s manufacturing base, working with small businesses, and supporting research and development. With state-of-the-art facilities in Ottawa, Calgary and Halifax, the company’s success is based on strong systems engineering experience and collaboration with military and commercial industry leaders. Ultimately, our employees – including more than 60 co-op students hired annually – care about our customers and have earned their confidence, ensuring they are Never Alone. Always Aware. Want to learn more? Visit: https://gdmissionsystems.ca.

Lumenera Corporation

As a global market leader Lumenera provides an extensive range of high quality digital cameras with unique combinations of speed, resolution and sensitivity to satisfy the demands of today's imaging applications. Lumenera also offers custom design services to OEM partners requiring specialized hardware and software features. Our core competencies include digital bus technologies such as USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Ethernet, HDMI and Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) as well as a complete command of digital imaging hardware and software built around CMOS and CCD based imagers. Our diversity provides our customers with the benefits of superior price-to-performance ratios and faster time-to-market. Lumenera’s commitment to high quality, cost-effective solutions is unparalleled. Lumenera provides customized design services, continuous innovation and licensing options to our partners and OEM customers. Lumenera’s custom cameras can be adapted to fit your application requirements whether simple or complex. Rely on Lumenera’s expertise for timely modifications, ranging from small hardware and software adjustments such as private-labelled enclosures, to complete made-to-spec solutions with alternate form-factors and unique mechanicals. Our commitment to innovation and customer service are unparalleled. We recognize that the success of Lumenera is highly dependent on our ability to satisfy our customers. Our goal is to provide our external and internal customers with services and experiences that exceed their expectations. Lumenera operates as a unit of Roper Technologies, Inc. [NYSE – ROP], a diversified growth company and a constituent of the S&P 500, Fortune 1000, and the Russell 1000 indices. Roper provides engineered products and solutions for global niche markets, including water, energy, transportation, medical, education, and SaaS-based information networks.

Carleton Faculty of Engineering And Design

The research-intensive Faculty of Engineering and Design at Carleton University is recognized as one of Canada’s leading institutions in the study and research of engineering, architecture, industrial design and information technology. Since the inception of engineering at Carleton in 1945, our experts have pushed the bounds of innovation and discovery. Today, we continue to anticipate the needs of industry and society, offering forward-thinking programs with real world application and producing research that is helping to shape our present and future.


Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions — underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network — Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With 469,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

Public Service Commission Canada

The Public Service Commission (PSC) is responsible for promoting and safeguarding a merit-based, representative and non-partisan public service that serves all Canadians, in collaboration with its stakeholders. It also manages the tools for public service recruitment, providing applicants and managers with a single portal to access all public service job opportunities. The PSC is a federal institution that reports independently to Parliament on its mandate.

Algonquin College

Bronze Patrons

Carleton School of Computer Science

Carleton University's School of Computer Science offers a variety of Undergraduate and Graduate degrees including specializations in areas such as Software Engineering, Computer Game Development, Computer and Internet Security, and Data Science. It has a large co-op program that takes advantage of the many employment opportunities provided by Ottawa’s strong hi-tech sector and the federal government.

Martello Technologies

Martello Technologies is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada with staff in Canada, the Netherlands, the United States and France. We offer solutions that deliver confidence in the performance of real-time services on cloud and enterprise networks. Our products include unified communications (UC) performance management software, IT systems visualization software and SD-WAN technology.

Carleton University Co-Op and Career Services

Career Services is Carleton University’s on-campus centre for career exploration and employment preparation. Our office provides career support, resources, and guidance to students and alumni across all disciplines and levels of study as they explore their career options, learn effective job search strategies, and find meaningful, degree-related jobs and career development opportunities that align with their interests and education. Career Services also offers a variety of convenient recruitment opportunities for employers to find candidates with the in-demand skills, talent, and knowledge needed to drive a business forward.

Scalian Inc.

Established in 1989, the Scalian Group has nearly 2,800 employees in 9 countries around the world. It is organized into 2 business lines specializing in Digital Systems and Operations Performance. The Digital Systems division brings together the expertise of the embedded and critical systems, testability, simulation, scientific computing, IoT, IS and digital solutions. As a result of the merger of Scalian Eurogiciel and Scalian Alyotech, it is operated by System & Software Engineering (SSE), Information Technology Services (ITS) and its new DScale entity, which specializes in Big Data. The Operations Performance division combines the expertise of Project Management, Industrial Engineering, quality and industrial performance. It is supported by Scalian Etop, specializing in Project Management consulting, by Scalian Equert, specializing in industrial performance, quality management and support functions related to industrial projects. Recently CMT+, a consulting firm specialized in Procurement Organization and Management Control, joined the division.

Ross Video

Ross Video powers live video productions for billions of global viewers daily with a full complement of smart production solutions – from acquisition and production, to distribution and delivery, to management and control systems. Ross makes it easy to create compelling news, weather and sports broadcasts, engaging material for sports stadium screens, legislative assemblies, entertainment shows and rock concerts, and inspiring content for houses of worship.


The Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) is an incorporated, not-for-profit, student-run organization. We are your undergraduate student government, your campus services, your clubs and societies, your student life, your community campaigns, your students’ association

Carleton Department of Electronics

The department of electronics, or DOE, is one of the largest and most research intensive departments in CAD for electronic circuit design, RF and microwave circuits, photonics and integrated circuit technology. The source of our success is due to our outstanding and internationally respected faculty members.

Bank Of Canada

We are Canada's central bank. We work to preserve the value of money by keeping inflation low and stable. Our work keeps the technical backbone of Canada’s complex financial systems operating smoothly and predictably day in and day out. We have unique business processes, systems and in-house applications that make every day challenging and interesting.

Promotional Patrons

Invest Ottawa