EPIC Operations

Dr. Francine Schlosser

Executive Director, EPICentre
In her roles as Professor and Executive Director of the University of Windsor’s Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre), Dr. Schlosser has worked collaboratively to establish a multi-disciplinary entrepreneurial culture. For more than 10 years she has engaged students with the business community through multi-disciplinary venture teams and consulting projects, and has established 3 successive entrepreneurship centres on campus. She holds the University of Windsor’s Golden Jubilee Professorship at the Odette School of Business, awarded for research excellence, most recently in career transition and entrepreneurial readiness. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce and Workforce Windsor Essex. She was previously Board Secretary, Canadian Council of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and is on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

More info: http://www1.uwindsor.ca/odette/francine-schlosser


Wen Teoh

Venture Start Director & COO, EPICentre
Wen is the Venture Start Director and COO at EPICentre where she manages the operation and financials of EPICentre. Wen started her career with the University of Windsor as a Research Commercialization Associate in 2012 after obtaining her MBA from the Odette School of Business. Prior to her career at UWindsor, Wen has co-founded an international gas distribution company in Malaysia and has also started a high-pressure cylinder distribution company in the U.S. Currently, Wen is also a sessional instructor at the Odette School of Business, and a Board member at the WindsorEssex Community Foundation.

Nicole Anderson

Program Director, EPICentre Instructor, Odette School of Business
Nicole graduated with her Honours in Business Administration from Brock University and continued her education at Ryerson University. There, she obtained her MBA and worked in the Provost office to aid in the development of its Digital Media Zone. In 2010, she moved back to Windsor, Ontario and continued her work in her family’s engineering firm as Marketing and Human Resources Manager. Nicole has taught at Western University and Fanshawe College on the topics of HR and Marketing. She recently completed her term as a Board Member for the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation and is now a member of the Board of Directors for WEtech Alliance. Currently, Nicole oversees the activities, programs and events for EPICentre and teaches at the Odette School of Business.

Sydney Thompson

EPIC Program Lead
Sydney is a Honours graduate from the University of Windsor in Business Administration. She also holds a three-year college diploma for Human Resource Management from St. Clair College. Sydney has a strong passion for social initiatives, social causes and social entrepreneurship! She hopes to one day pursue a career that helps drive social impact and social innovation. She has previously worked with the St. Clair College EPIC Genesis Entrepreneurial Centre as a Program Coordinator. Currently, Sydney oversees the activities, programs and events for EPICentre as the Program Lead.

Layan Barakat

Marketing Assistant, EPICentre
Layan Barakat is a graduate of B.A. Communication, Media and Film Studies at the University of Windsor. She also holds a two year College Diploma from St.Clair College in Converged Journalism and was part of the first graduating class out of the downtown Mediaplex. Throughout her studies and in her professional career, Layan has gained experience in advertising, print journalism, broadcast journalism, event planning and public relations. Layan has recently jointed the EPICentre team at the University of Windsor as a Marketing Assistant. She will be working closely with the EPICentre team to help plan and promote exciting initiatives.


Lynda Sollazzo
Lynda Sollazzo

Administrative Assistant, EPICentre
Lynda graduated in 2015 from University of Windsor with a B.A. Psychology (Hons). She has over 30 years of university administrative experience, working 15 years at Western University and starting at University of Windsor in 2002. Since 2002, Lynda has worked in many different faculties across campus which has provided a breadth of knowledge and experience in student and faculty concerns.

Anushree Dave

Social Innovation Program Lead
Prior to joining the EPICentre team, Anushree completed her master’s at McGill University under a Canadian Institutes of Health Research funded grant focusing on disaster research and humanitarian health ethics. During this time, Anushree also had the opportunity to conduct research in Australia at the Bureau of Health Information as a Queen Elizabeth Scholar, and developed an international eLearning course through a funded internship at the World Health Organization in Switzerland. In 2017, Anushree was selected as one of 25 emerging young leaders in Ontario and awarded the Studio [Y] fellowship for design and systems thinking at MaRS Innovation Hub in Toronto. Anushree holds an honours bachelor’s in health science from Western University and focused primarily on health innovation and research before her current role as social innovation program lead.


Nicolas De Cosson

Makerspace Lead
Nicolas de Cosson is an Integrated Media Artist, Quality Engineer and DIY Enthusiast, to which, over the past two years Nicolas has been running the 3D Printing club at the University of Windsor with direct support from EPICentre. He received his Masters of Fine Arts (Visual Arts – Integrated Media) from the University of Windsor in 2013 and a BFA from the University of Lethbridge, Alberta. His art practice mainly focuses on creating projection-based sculptural works that are designed to support time-based digital constructions and has always had a passion in including innovative technologies such as 3D printing, CNC milling, Laser cutting, as well as creative programming with LEDs to enhance current and upcoming projects. Most recently, Nicolas created a dynamic light sculpture which can be seen on the riverfront as the centrepiece for the new Centennial Rotary Park. Nicolas currently resides in Windsor, Ont. and works at Jesse Garant Metrology Centre and the University of Windsor.


James Atkinson

EPIC Maker’s Base  Student Lead
Coming from a three year college diploma to a University Bachelor’s of Engineering Technology program, James has knowledge in both the practical and the theoretical. Beginning his career in the technical space as a robotics and electronics tutor James gained experience in teaching, rapid prototyping and parametric modeling before joining the EPICentre team as a Maker’s Base leader. You can find him there tinkering on some of his own projects or assisting anyone who needs a little design insight.



Amandeep Singh

EPIC Maker’s Base Student Lead
Completed my bachelors in mechanical and currently doing my masters in mechanical in UWOF. Developed and fabricated my 1st 3d printer in my second year of bachelors, was a part of SAE BAJA team as a designer. Have a good knowledge of Automation, electronics and basic knowledge of programming. Current working to make PCB Milling machine in Epic makers base.



EPIC Strategic Researchers

Myra Tawfik

Acting Dean of Law, Professor of Law and EPICentre Professor of IP Commercialization & Strategy
Professor Tawfik is a professor at the Faculty of Law with expertise in intellectual property law including comparative and international aspects of IP as well as IP strategy. She has founded and led a number of intellectual property clinical initiatives at the University of Windsor, starting with the Intellectual Property Legal Information Network (IPLIN) in 2004. In 2016, she was appointed EPICentre Professor of IP Commercialization & Strategy to continue her research, teaching and IP outreach activities. Professor Tawfik is also a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).

Dr. Gerry Kerr

EPICentre Research and Outreach Director, Entrepreneurial Growth and Transition Strategies
Dr. Gerry Kerr received a Ph.D. in Strategic Management from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto, Canada. Gerry has taught full-time since 2001, when he joined the Odette School of Business, and his specialties include Strategy and Entrepreneurship. Since then, Dr. Kerr has gratefully received multiple teaching awards from undergraduate, graduate, and executive students. Dr. Kerr’s research in entrepreneurship includes examination of resource development and performance in small firms, as well as projects focused on aspects of ethnic/immigrant and older entrepreneurs. Gerry has also served as M.B.A. Program Director and as Area Chair, Strategy & Entrepreneurship at the Odette School of Business.

EPIC Champions

Dr. K.W. Michael Siu

Vice-President, Research and Innovation
Dr. K.W. Michael Siu is Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Vice-President, Research and Innovation, at the University of Windsor. He was Distinguished Research Professor and NSERC / AB SCIEX Senior Industrial Research Chair in Analytical Mass Spectrometry at York University prior to his relocation to UWindsor in 2012. Siu also served at York University as Associate Vice-President Research, Science & Technology, 2005-2011, and the Founding Director of York’s Centre for Research in Mass Spectrometry. Siu’s research interests span from fundamentals of mass spectrometry and ion chemistry, to next-generation mass spectrometry equipment, and to applications in proteomics and cancer biomarker discovery and verification. He has published over 260 scientific papers and 7 peer-reviewed book chapters, co-edited two books, and given over 470 presentations, of which 50% were invited, keynote or plenary. Oral cancer biomarkers identified by Siu and his collaborators have been commercialized by Proteocyte Diagnostics into a prognostic test to assess a particular oral lesion’s probability of malignant transformation.

More info: http://www1.uwindsor.ca/vpri/about-the-vice-president-research

Dr. Mitch Fields
Dr. Mitch Fields

Acting Dean, Odette School of Business
Effective July 1, 2016, Dr. Mitchell Fields was appointed for a two year term as the Acting Dean of the Odette School of Business. Prior to this appointment, Mitch was serving as the Executive Director of the Co-op, Career and Employment Services at the University of Windsor. In addition, Dr. Fields was previously responsible for the start-up and served as the first Executive Director of the Centre for Executive Education (now the Centre for Executive and Professional Education). Dr. Fields has been a Professor of Business Administration at the University of Windsor since 1985. Over the course of his career, Mitch has taught at six universities in the U.S., Canada and Australia. In addition to his academic and administrative qualifications, Mitch has extensive international consulting experience in executive education, employee surveys, teams and teamwork, global strategic planning and organizational change and development.

EPIC University Advisors

Heather Pratt

Executive Director, Research and Innovation
With close to 20 years of experience in progressive research administration, Heather has played a leading role in the development of the University of Windsor’s research enterprise and expansion. During her tenure, the University’s research funding levels have nearly doubled and its research mandate has broadened significantly to sustain increasing support for technology transfer, research partnerships, knowledge mobilization and entrepreneurship. Heather is a founding Director of the University of Windsor’s EPICentre. Heather recently was on secondment at the Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority in the role of Director, Project Delivery where she engaged with a wide variety of stakeholders in the planning and development of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project. Previous to joining the University of Windsor, Heather worked in the local automotive manufacturing industry with a focus on the Plastics and Tool & Die sector, with a focus on financial administration and operations management.