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Unified Mobility Summit 2019
Keynote Speakers

181104 Ross McKenzie headshot

Ross McKenzie

Ross McKenzie is the Managing Director of WatCAR, the University of Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research. WatCAR is a top 5 North American academic centre focused on automotive and mobility research.

Ross serves on the board of directors for Intelligent Transportation Systems Canada and is a co-founder of Open HD Maps, a precision mapping platform for autonomous vehicles.

In 2017 Ross received the Ontario Ministry of Transportation Partnership Award, recognizing significant contributions to road safety.



Jeffrey M. Casello, Ph.D., P.E

Associate Vice President Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs


School of Planning and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

University of Waterloo

Professor Casello’s interests lie in urban transportation systems and their impacts on healthy and economically viable urban areas.  As such, he conducts research on the planning, design and operation of systems that promote efficient, balanced transportation, enhances regional economic competitiveness and supports social mobility. 

He has written more than 60 articles and reports for both scholarly and professional audiences.  Dr. Casello is the lead author (with Vukan R. Vuchic) of Transit Planning for the Institute of Transportation Engineer’s (ITE) 3rd edition of the Transportation Planning Handbook.  In 2009, he co-authored a report for the Canadian Urban Transportation Association (CUTA) assessing the economic benefits of transit for Canada.  Jeff co-authored (with his student, Will Towns) the Urban chapter for Natural Resources Canada’s 2017 Climate Risk and Adaptation in the Transportation Sector.

In 2014, Jeff spoke to members of Canadian Parliament on the future of public transportation.  In 2016, he helped develop regional transportation policy for the Mayors of Southwestern Ontario. 

Professionally, Professor Casello has worked with many transit agencies and cities in the US, Canada and abroad. These include Singapore (Land Transport Authority), Washington DC (WMATA), Houston (METRO), Philadelphia (SEPTA), the Regional Municipality of Waterloo (GRT), the City of Kingston and Mexico City (DF).

Find out more about Jeff’s research here:



Bern Grush

Bern Grush

Bern Grush is the Chief Innovation Officer at Harmonize Mobility, Inc. An author, innovator, and entrepreneur in the fields of autonomous vehicles, parking reform, and road pricing, he is the principal author of the 2018 textbook “The End of Driving: Transportation Systems and Public Policy Planning for Autonomous Vehicles”. Bern was named 2017 Toronto Star Wheels’ Newsmaker of the Year for his RCCAO report “Ontario Must Prepare for Vehicle Automation: Automated vehicles can influence urban form, congestion, and infrastructure delivery” which Maclean’s magazine called “…fascinating and carefully argued…” He has been described by Gridlock Sam Schwartz as the top, current independent thinker on autonomous vehicle social deployment. Bern holds degrees in Human Factors and Systems Design Engineering from the Universities of Toronto and Waterloo and has published continuously on urban transportation issues since 2004.


Jay Pitter

Jay Pitter, MES, is an international placemaker and author whose practice mitigates growing divides in urban centres. She leads institutional city-building projects, rooted in neighbourhood knowledge, focused on cultural heritage interpretive planninggender-based mappinginclusive public engagementmobility equity, and healing fraught sites.

Creating more inclusive cities is not just a professional mission for Jay; it is personal. Her city-building values are informed by the long-term mentorship of her second-grade Irish Canadian teacher who modeled the power of reaching across social divides when she was a child growing up in public housing. As a result of her lived and professional experiences, Jay shapes urgent city-building conversations through media platforms such as the Agenda and Canadian Architect. She delivers keynotes and participatory lectures for institutions like UN Women, MIT, the Canadian Urban Transit Association, University of British Columbia, and her alma mater, York University. Also, Jay taught a graduate level urban planning course at Ryerson University using Subdivided, an anthology that she co‑edited and contributed to, as the core text. 

Recently, Jay consulted on Edmonton’s heritage plan; delivered a professional development process at UN Women headquarters in New York City; and led (RE)IMAGINING CHEAPSIDE, a Confederate monument placemaking process in Lexington, Kentucky, that was part of a submission granted the Creating a Healthy City for All Design Award. She is currently designing an inclusive placemaking and planning course, which she will teach at the University of Detroit Mercy’s School of Architecture. Jay has also been named the John Bousfield Distinguished Visitor in Planning by the University of Toronto—2019-2020 academic year. In the upcoming months, Jay’s HER City project will engage women in public space audits and play. Her forthcoming book, Where We Live, will be published by McClelland & Stewart in 2020.

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