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If you are interested in learning more about applied research collaborative opportunities at Seneca College, please contact for assistance.

Vanessa Williamson, Dean, Applied Research & Innovation

Vanessa brings a wealth of experience in applied research, cross-sector partnerships and research commercialization to the Applied Research and Innovation office. Throughout her career, she has led strategic partnerships with universities, hospitals, and small and mid-sized companies assisting these organizations to leverage the resources of colleges and government funding to innovate, develop products and create jobs. Vanessa joins Seneca from the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) where she was the Regional Director (Central ON) of Business Development and Commercialization since 2013. She previously worked as the Executive Director at the Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation (CONII). In both of these roles Vanessa has worked extensively with applied research leaders across the Ontario college sector gaining an in-depth understanding of applied research practices at Ontario's colleges. In addition, Vanessa brings extensive experience from the university sector from her time at the University of Guelph and the University of Prince Edward Island along with private sector experience in the pharmaceutical sector at NPS Pharmaceuticals. Vanessa holds a B.Sc., Chemistry and Biochemistry from University of Guelph, an M.Sc., Medical Science from McMaster University, and an MBA from the Ivey School of Business, Western University.  

As Seneca’s Dean, Applied Research and Innovation, Vanessa has responsibility for a range of applied research and innovation initiatives including: engaging students, faculty, staff and employers in applied research, securing and managing funding, administering research policies, providing effective support services, fostering public and private sector partnerships and promoting Seneca’s applied research capabilities and services to the broader community.

T: 416-491-5050 ext. 77901
A: Markham Campus, 10th Floor, room M1010

Brian Gordon, Director, Applied Research

T: 416-491-5050 ext. 77904
A: Markham Campus, 10th Floor, room M1012

Maria Khan, Manager, Finance and Operations 

As the Manager of Finance and Operations in the Applied Research and Innovation department, Maria is responsible for project accounting and financial reporting of applied research projects funded by government grants. Maria is responsible for project budget planning, claims submission, and financial reporting duties relating to the department as well as externally funded 'research-related projects or initiatives' that are managed by the Applied Research & Innovation department.

T: 416-491-5050 ext. 77906
A: Markham Campus, 10th Floor

Ralph Lisak, PhD, PMP, Research Project Manager

Ralph provides Project Management expertise to Applied Research projects at Seneca. He primarily focuses on the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering Technology (FASET) where he works with Seneca students, faculty members and industry partners on developing and bringing to completion applied research projects. He also dedicates his time to supporting industry partners in their grant application process required to secure project funding. Ralph brings over 20 years of managerial and project experience in hi-tech industries and academia where he had successfully led many projects with significant levels of complexity, uncertainty, and risk. Ralph holds a Ph.D. in Microelectronics and PMP designation and is a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI). He volunteers his time at PMI Lakeshore Chapter.

T: 416-491-5050 ext. 33023
A: Seneca@York Campus, Room T1025/ Markham Campus, 10th Floor

Tina Perricone, Research Project Manager

Tina supports faculty engagement and applied research project activities in the Faculty of Communication, Art and Design (FCAD). She previously managed the $2.3-million multi-year NSERC Innovation Enhancement grant ‘Innovation through Simulation: Enhancing Canada's Next Generation of Pilots’ - 16 projects with a primary focus in aviation training. Tina’s responsibilities included management of industry partner relationships, planning project budgets, project reporting, reconciling research expenditures, researcher contracts, and progress tracking. Her work experience includes project management, research accounting, recruitment and selection, event planning and coordination, marketing coordination and social media. Tina holds a diploma in Creative Advertising from the Ontario College of Art & Design and completed an Advanced Project Management Certificate at Seneca. She is currently working on her PMP designation.

T: 416-491-5050 ext. 77917
A: Seneca@York Campus

Geraldine Lyn-Piluso, Ed. D., Research Coordinator – FAAHS

Geraldine is a faculty member in the School of Early Childhood Education's Bachelor of Child Development program, currently seconded to Applied Research and Innovation. Her role as Research Coordinator is to support faculty and external partners conceptualizing, securing funding, and executing applied research projects in the Faculty of Applied Arts and Health Sciences. She serves as the Vice-Chair of Seneca College's Research Ethics Board. Geraldine earned her doctorate degree at OISE-University of Toronto. In addition to her work at Seneca College she advises undergraduate and graduate students at a progressive, Deweyan College.

T: 416-491-5050 ext. 55594
A: King Campus, Room GH1129

Adam Cornwall, ARI & Research Ethics Board (REB) Coordinator

Adam is responsible for performing a wide variety of administrative duties in support of the department. He is accountable for overall administrative support for the Applied Research & Innovation (ARI) department, and serves as one of the first lines of contact for ARI to staff, faculty, students, and the external community. Adam is also responsible for coordinating the functions associated with Seneca’s Research Ethics Board (REB).

T: 416-491-5050 ext. 77900
A: Markham Campus, 10th Floor

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