Speaker Series: April 28, 2022

Celebrating Women’s Contributions to the Local COVID Response
with Dr. Lesley James, Taylor Wilson, and Dr. Amy Hurford

Date: Thursday April 28, 2022
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Zoom

All are welcome to attend this free event. Registration is required.

Join WISE NL and our panelists as they share their experiences and
contributions with the local COVID response.

About the Speakers:

Dr. Lesley James, P. Eng.

Lesley is a professor in the Department of Process Engineering at Memorial University. Dr. James’ research focuses on sustainable offshore oil production by increasing oil recovery rates through enhanced oil recovery and production optimization; and carbon storage and sequestration. Efficient and sustainable oil production comes from optimizing the integrated process and creating a circular economy by re-injecting natural gas and generated CO2 – both greenhouse gases and useful solvents for oil recovery. Dr. James is interested in creating a viable and sustainable energy industry in the region.

COVID hit hard in March 2020 changing how we lived our lives. Stuck at home, anxiety started for many of us, not knowing what we do now nor what to do to help. Turns out engineers are useful in a health pandemic. A provincial task force was struck and I among many others answered the call. During this presentation, I will highlight the mobilization efforts, the goals, and where we helped in re-purposing our limited local production capacity and engineering skills to help ensure a supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) at the start of the pandemic. I will also highlight some of the many benefits of lending a helping hand. Engineering is caring too.

Taylor Wilson, M. Sc., B.Eng.

Taylor Wilson is a Healthcare Engineering Specialist with Granville Biomedical – a St. John’s based healthtech company specializing in the design of anatomical teaching tools and innovative medical devices. Beginning her career in the Ocean & Naval industry, Taylor’s true career passion was realized in 2020 upon the completion of her Masters degree with a focus in Epidemiology. Upon graduation, Taylor joined Granville Biomedical’s team where her skillsets were utilized towards the advancement of women’s healthcare products.Due to the critical demand for healthcare testing supplies during the peak of the pandemic, Granville’s women’s health research and development efforts were redirected towards the development of a novel nasopharyngeal swab (Granville SwabTM ). Taylor is extremely proud of her contribution towards Granville’s suite of teaching tools and medical devices, and is looking forward to sharing more about her unique career journey thus far.

Dr. Amy Hurford

Dr. Amy Hurford is a mathematical biologist specializing in population and disease ecology, and a former member of the Centre for Disease Modelling at York University. Dr. Hurford’s previous research includes modelling marine parasites, arctic rabies, species range shifts, antibiotic resistance, and the evolution of immune evasion. Dr. Hurford supports open software and data, and making coding and modelling training resources widely available.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Hurford provided modelling support to the pandemic response as a member of the provincial Predictive Analytics group and several national research networks. Dr. Hurford’s contributions include modelling the impact of travel restrictions, vaccine priority groups, the risk and size of community outbreaks for different variants and vaccination levels, and epidemiological forecasting during the Omicron wave. To date, Dr. Hurford has 3 peer-reviewed manuscripts, a book chapter, 4 technical reports, and numerous presentations and media appearances related to COVID-19.