Our Team

Trish Dryden, M.Ed., RMT, Associate Vice-President Research and Corporate Planning (on leave)
As Associate Vice-President for Research and Corporate Planning, Trish Dryden is the institutional and academic leader responsible for supporting and advancing applied research and innovation and corporate planning within Centennial College and with the broader community. Trish is exceptionally skilled at bringing together people, ideas and resources. As a research scientist, clinician and educator, Trish is a nationally recognized leader in integrative health care research and in inter-professional education and evaluation. She has many peer-reviewed publications to her credit and she lectures and conducts workshops internationally.

Taylan Tatli, CPA, CMA, Acting Associate Vice-President Research and Corporate Planning
Taylan holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Economics from Dokuz Eylul University in Turkey, a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) designation and is an active member of the Canadian Institutional Research and Planning Association (CIRPA). Taylan has over 20 years of management experience in the private and public sectors. He started at Centennial in 2004 and contributed extensively in the area of Financial Planning. Presently, as a Senior Leadership member at Centennial, Taylan is a trusted advisor overseeing multi-functional processes across the College that focus on financial planning, institutional research, applied research, innovation, entrepreneurship and external relations.

Deepak Gupta, DSc, Executive Director
Dr. Gupta is the Executive Director for Applied Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Services at Centennial College. Previously, Dr. Gupta has worked at NAIT, Pella Corporation, and at the University of South Florida. He has co-founded two companies, and advised several others.

Centennial College’s Board of Governors recognized Dr. Gupta as the 2014 recipient of the Awards for Excellence for Distinguished Administrative Employee and for Community Partnership (Team). Dr. Gupta is also the recipient of the IIT Alumni Canada Young Achiever Award for 2014. Dr. Gupta has been conferred the Eli Lilly Student Paper Award by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He is a recipient of Government of India’s National Talent Search Scholarship. Dr. Gupta has also been conferred the Prem International Award.

Dr. Gupta has a Bachelor of Technology (Honors) degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India. His masters’ and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering are from Washington University in St. Louis. He has co-authored 31 publications, including papers, technical reports, conference proceedings, and a book chapter. His research contributions range from composites processing to smart sensors to new control algorithms. Dr. Gupta is a professional engineer, and a member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (senior member status), Sigma Xi, Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers, and Tau Beta Pi. Dr. Gupta has volunteered through Centennial College, Futurpreneur Canada, Canadian Association of Research Administrators, IIT Alumni Canada, Upward Bound, Partners in Education, and Asha for Education.

Atul Tyagi, Finance and Administration Manager
Atul is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of ARIC as well as all external and internal applied research grant requirements. He helps to coordinate financial activities with other departments including Human Resources/ Payroll, Financial Services, Financial Planning, Corporate Planning and the academic schools and departments.

Eric Blaise, PhD, Innovation Program Manager (Aerospace)
Eric is an aerospace research and technology expert who completed his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, where he developed built-in damage detection systems for reusable launch applications. During this time he worked with various aerospace companies to develop damage detection systems for composite materials. After his studies, he worked in Montreal’s aerospace R&D industry, designing and certifying turbines for business jets. He then ventured into entrepreneurship and with a business partner developed a specialty fitness studio that used real-time power measurement to optimize the customer’s workouts. Eric recently completed a certificate in project management at the University of Toronto. He has joined Centennial College’s Applied Research and Innovation Centre to lead in writing research grant applications in the aerospace sector.

Jeziel Vidad, Manager, WIMTACH
Jeziel earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology, majoring in Industrial Microbiology from the University of the Philippines, his Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from Cagayan State University in the Philippines, and with a constant thirst for knowledge, completed his Bachelor of Science in Nursing, also in his native Philippines. Years later, Jeziel attended Centennial College in pursuit of the Project Management post-graduate certificate, where he landed his internship with the Applied Research and Innovation Centre. Currently, he works as a Project Manager for WIMTACH, where he facilitates communication and development of various projects with stakeholders to ensure projects stay on schedule, on budget and within their targeted scope.

Gabriella Zoltan-Johan, BEcon, MBA, APEC CBC, Research and Innovation Engagement Manager
Gabriella has over 30 years’ international experience in a variety of industries in Europe, US and Canada, including the educational sector, and agro-technology and electronics technology R&D companies. At Centennial College, Gabriella is working with faculty, staff, students, alumni, government and businesses, providing innovation and entrepreneurship support, and engaging all stakeholders to promote economic development through research, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Gabriella’s core strengths include research, business and strategic planning, marketing, and project and innovation management. She was the Senior Researcher and team lead for a Local Labour Market study examining the economic integration of newcomer women in East Toronto.

Gabriella has a BEcon from Corvinus University (Budapest) and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business (Toronto). She is an APEC Certified Business Counsellor and currently working on her Certificate in Research Management.

Jason Styles, Creative Media Project Analyst
Jason graduated from Humber College's Web Design, Development and Maintenance Program and has recently completed Centennial College's Project Management Program. He holds a certificate in Mobile Applications Development/Testing and PHP/MySQL programming. He is responsible for project management, support and execution of a wide range of creative media design initiatives related to applied research. His objectives include analysis, planning, design, production coordination and consultation with project teams in the areas of web/mobile design, instructional video production, graphic design, e-learning content management and other innovative projects.

Sujan Arulnesan, Finance and Administration Officer
Sujan is responsible for the daily processing for the budgetary requirements of the funded projects and administrative tasks associated with ARIC. He is a graduate of Centennial College's Business Administrative Accounting program and he has over 4 years of accounting experience at different companies. Sujan is currently enrolled in the CGA program.

Hooria Omar, Administrative Assistant
Hooria is the Administrative Assistant for the WIMTACH department. She is responsible for various administrative and client relations tasks, and she is the first point of contact at the department. She also participates in organizing various departmental events such as the annual ARIES Symposium. Hooria is a Centennial College graduate in the Office Administration program.

Pierre Ross, Marketing Assistant, Centre of Entrepreneurship
Pierre has extensive experience in the field of communications and marketing. He has taken on key roles for multiple privately-held companies and charitable causes, where he has managed social media platforms, has been responsible for web content creation and developed communications and marketing strategies.

Erika Oliveira, Project Coordinator – Aerospace Program
An experienced chemical engineer, Erika joined the ARIC team to provide research support and project coordination for the aerospace program. She earned post-graduate certificates in Project Management, and has experience planning greenfield, expansion and debottlenecking projects in her native Brazil.