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Program Directors


Nicolas Ivanov
Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering

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Nicolas is a member of the PRISM lab at the Bloorview Research Institute and the University of Toronto. His research involves developing brain-computer interfaces that can be communication devices for children with disabilities. More specifically, he is interested in the application of machine learning, neuroscience, and instructional design to improve user training and reliability of these devices outside laboratory settings.

Nicolas has been a Discovery volunteer and mentor since beginning his graduate work in the Fall of 2018 and has led the development of Discovery Physics programming for several semesters. He is continuously excited to participate with Discovery and explore innovative approaches to impactful and accessible educational experiences. During his time volunteering with Discovery, he has continually been inspired by the creativity, innovation, and passion demonstrated by the students.


Nhien Tran-Nguyen
Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering

Nhien is a Master of Applied Science candidate in Biomedical Engineering, conducting research in the computational modeling of coronary artery bypass grafts under the supervision of Prof. Piero Triverio.


She holds a B.A.Sc. in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Biomedical Systems Engineering. Nhien has been a part of Discovery since Spring 2019 as a mentor and graduate student lead of Chemistry programming.


She is excited to lead the expansion of Discovery programming into the field of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).

Board of Directors


Dr. Locke Davenport Huyer
Strategic Advisor


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 Locke Davenport Huyer is a founder of the Discovery initiative, and serves as an Advisory Board member focused on program expansion and new partnerships. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Oral Sciences at Dalhousie University. He previously obtained a B.Eng. from Queen’s University, and a PhD in from the University of Toronto, both in Chemical Engineering, and completed postdoctoral studies at John’s Hopkins University. Dr. Davenport Huyer has pedagogical research interests in the efficacies of inquiry-based learning approaches on skill development. Locke has previously directed the logistics of program delivery, and will continue to support the growth of this novel learning community


Dr. Dawn


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Dawn Kilkenny is an Associate Professor, Teaching Stream in Biomedical Engineering with cross-appointment to the Institute for Studies in Transdisciplinary Engineering Education and Practice (ISTEP). The 2016 Wighton Fellow for excellence in development and teaching of laboratory-based courses in Canadian UG engineering programs, and a 2017 UofT Early Career Teaching Award recipient, Prof. Kilkenny’s research interests focus on teaching and learning in the practical environment. She has been the Faculty advisor for the Discovery Educational Program since inception in 2016, mentoring the development of student teaching within the context of BME and also in the design and execution of pedagogical research. 


Dr. Neal Callaghan

Strategic Advisor

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Neal Callaghan is an Advisory Board Member focusing on program expansion and strategic partnerships. He previously completed his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto and the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, and an MSc in Biochemistry at Mount Allison University, and is currently a medical student at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS. Neal was previously both a Logistics Director and a Programming Director at Discovery, and will be contributing to advance programming and sustainability aspects of Discovery.

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