Mitch Wilkie is an Advisor to Nia Technologies Inc. and is the Director of International Programs at cbm Canada where he strategically leads the selection, support, monitoring and evaluation of a portfolio of projects and programs. He is an experienced leader in functions of international business and development. Mitch’s 35-year career history includes management of: academic, municipal, provincial government and NGO programs and initiatives; engineering design/build power projects; manufacturing/process operations; and building power systems in industrial and institutional environments. He has authored and co-authored 21 publications on business planning, development and finance topics. Mitch is also a recipient of several economic and international development awards. He has lived in China and has worked on projects extensively there as well as in Eastern Europe, Central and South America and Africa. Mitch holds a Master of International Management degree from the University of St. Thomas, has three diplomas in the field of International Business Management and Trade, and is a certified power engineer.
Laurie Lowe is an Advisor to Nia Technologies Inc. and is the Manager of Partnership Development at cbm Canada. Prior to joining cbm, Laurie worked as a corporate strategic planner for a major Canadian financial institution and also owned and operated a consulting business. Laurie’s consulting and volunteer work has provided her the opportunity to work internationally helping both for-profit and charitable organizations build and execute strategy. Laurie’s team at cbm Canada is responsible for specific fundraising initiatives as well as sourcing medical equipment for cbm‘s Gift-in-Kind program.
Laurie has a BTh from the University of Saskatchewan and recently completed a program in community-based rehabilitation/international development at Queen’s University.
Ryan is a Research Scientist and head of the Design & Fabrication Group at Autodesk Research in Toronto, Canada. He is the creator of several novel 3D design tools, including Meshmixer, which was acquired by Autodesk in 2011. At Autodesk he has evolved Meshmixer into one of the standard tools for 3D printing, inventing novel techniques for design-to-print analysis, support structure generation, and geometry processing. In his current work he is exploring the new design workflows made possible by the fusion of 3D scanning, direct mesh modeling, and advanced digital fabrication. Ryan received his BSc and MSc at the University of Calgary, and his PhD at the University of Toronto.
International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO)
Dan Blocka is a Technical Advisor to Nia Technologies Inc. and Past President of the ISPO. Currently, he is the Assistant Chair of the ISPO Education Committee. He has been involved in over 30 ISPO evaluations and examination processes at various prosthetic and orthotic educational training programs worldwide, and he has developed education and professional standards and protocols for the ISPO. Dan is a Trustee of the UK-based charity Exceed (formerly Cambodia Trust) and recently served as Vice President of Orthotics Prosthetics Canada.
Dan is a Certified Orthotist with over 25 years of experience as a clinician and teacher. He is the founder and President of Boundless Biomechanical Bracing Inc., a large clinical service provider in orthotics in Toronto, as well as a professor and former coordinator of the George Brown College Prosthetic and Orthotic Educational Programs in Toronto, Canada.
Michiel Steenbeek is a Technical Advisor to Nia Technologies Inc. He is a Physiotherapist and Manual Therapist who lived and worked in Africa from the late 1980s until 2009. Presently he is based in the Netherlands and Germany, working with CBM as the Senior Advisor for Physical Impairment and Rehabilitation Programs.
He has 20 years of experience in the rehabilitation of children with physical impairments in Africa and beyond. During his time in Africa he initiated the setting up of several orthopaedic workshops as well as a rehabilitation hospital.
He has long-term experience in clubfoot rehabilitation and has been part of international faculty for (national) clubfoot programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. He designed the low-cost Steenbeek Foot Abduction Brace for maintaining correction of the treated clubfoot.
University of British Columbia, Branch for International Surgical Care
Dr. Penny is a Technical Advisor to Nia Technologies. He completed his medical degree at the University of Alberta in 1973 and qualified as an orthopaedic specialist in 1977. He then did postgraduate fellowship training in sports medicine at the Wellesley Hospital, University of Toronto; Children’s orthopedics and Sports Medicine at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Harvard University, Boston; and Children’s Orthopedics at the AI du Pont Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Wilmington Delaware. He has a paediatric orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine practice in Victoria, BC.
Dr. Penny has had a long term interest in international orthopedics. Early in his career he did several volunteer assignments in Africa. With his family, he then lived and worked full time for six years in Uganda setting up a country-wide children’s orthopedic rehabilitation program. Using this experience, he now consults in developing countries around the world and has a part-time position as Advisor in Physical Impairment issues for a non-governmental organization, CBM International, concerned with the problems disabled people face in some of the world’s poorest countries. He has been an advisor to the World Health Organization’s Disability and Rehabilitation Team. Among his clinical and research interests are Ponseti treatment for babies and children with clubfoot deformity, structural birth defects, chronic osteomyelitis, and prevention of childhood disability in developing countries. With CBM he has a research collaboration with the International Center for Evidence in Disability at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Dr. Penny is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia and is an active member of the Branch for International Surgery and the Canadian Network for International surgery. He is a member of the Order of Canada.
Boundless Biomechanical Bracing Inc.
Gordon Ruder is a Technical Advisor to Nia Technologies Inc. and Senior Clinician of Boundless Biomechanical Bracing Inc. He has extensive clinical experience as a practicing Certified Orthotist, with a particularly strong focus around the lower limb orthotic management of pediatric cases with developmental disorders.
Gordon is also the Coordinator of the Prosthetic and Orthotic educational programs at George Brown College in Toronto, Canada, and has been a program instructor for the past 25 years.
Gordon acquired his Masters of Science, Biomechanics, from the University of Waterloo in 1989, which resulted in several significant publications in the area of human gait and balance control.