Team

Management Team

Jim Kor photo BW

Jim Kor | President & Project Leader

Jim graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from University of Manitoba in 1974. After a decade of designing farm machinery for Winnipeg manufacturers, including tractors, swathers, and combines (for Versatile and CI), Jim Kor started his own design firm. KOR Product Design is now an international design consultancy with clients in Canada, the USA, and Europe. KOR’s main thrust is combining Engineering and Industrial Design into a unified design. KOR has worked within various industries, including agricultural machinery, city and inter-city buses, commercial swimming pools, automotive, and aerospace. KOR’s designed products are mass-produced and reach world markets. KOR’s self-initiated research projects have been at the forefront of sustainable transportation and energy efficiency, and have been presented at conferences, schools, and universities in North America and Europe. KOR’s third vehicle project, an environmental car called Urbee, initiated the formation of a new company called KOR Ecologic, aimed at developing and commercializing this unique roadworthy vehicle, worldwide. Jim Kor was born in Amsterdam, lived in Indonesia, and moved to Canada when he was seven. He lives there now, is married, has two teenage boys, a dog, and 3 cats.

Bruce Sewart BIO Photo BW

Bruce Sewart | Project Manager

Bruce has a Masters degree in Computer Science and has been an independent consultant in computer systems analysis and programming for 30 years. Bruce is the owner of ManDesign Incorporated, co-founder and Treasurer of Kor Ecologic, and a project manager for the Urbee team. www.mts.net/~sewart/

Blaine McFarlane B&W

Blaine McFarlane | Mechanical Engineering Manager

Blaine is a Professional Engineer (mechanical) with 17 years experience in new product development. Blaine has been involved in hybrid vehicle designs ranging from transit buses to motorcycles. Currently the President of the engineering consulting company Solve Product Design Inc., Blaine lives in Winnipeg with his wife and two children.  He strives to live by the insightful words of Moses Henry Cass – We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.

John Vukelic - BIO Photo_BW

John Vukelic | Electrical Engineering Manager

John is an Electrical Engineer with 13 years experience in product design and testing. John has a background in off-highway heavy equipment design and manufacturing and is currently working for an MRO of aviation and power generation gas turbine engines. John also has a background in Zoology and Neurophysiology. He enjoys watching Sci-fi movies, reading comic books and absorbing textbooks. Always enthusiastic, John loves taking part in great adventures.

Bruce Sewart BIO Photo BW

Terry Halajko | Industrial Design Manager

Terry is an Industrial Designer with 20 years of product design experience in the transportation, agricultural, medical, and gaming industries. Terry manages the design of the exterior and interior vehicle components of Urbee.

Design Team

Bruce Sewart BIO Photo BW

Jack Slivinski | Mechanical Engineer

Jack is a Mechanical Engineer with 30 years experience in design, testing, maintenance and manufacturing of agricultural machines, aircraft, prosthetics, rehabilitation devices, office facilities, and electric and hybrid vehicles. Jack has optimized performance simulations of the Urbee drive train and has developed a stable rear wheel steering configuration. He continues to design and build mechanical components for the Urbee.

Bruce Sewart BIO Photo BW

Andrew Warren | Mechanical Engineering

Andrew graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from the Royal Military College of Canada in 1986. After 4 years as an Aerospace Engineering Officer in the Canadian Air Force, Andrew left the military and enjoyed jobs in the Aerospace, Agricultural, and Automotive industries, as well as working for Kor Product Design. He is currently an instructor of Math and Science at Red River College. Andrew was born and raised in Quebec and has lived at least briefly in 5 of Canada’s 10 provinces. He currently lives in Winnipeg, is married, and has three teenage daughters. He loves Jesus, sailing, cycling, singing, and creating small business ideas.

Juan Lopez bio BW

Juan Lopez | Mechanical Design Engineer

Juan is a professional engineer, having graduated from the University of Manitoba in 2006.  He has a deep passion in transportation design, exemplified in his early education by a winning entry in the “Michelin Challenge Design” contest in 1999, his involvement in the University of Manitoba Formula SAE competition, and his graduating thesis “Conceptual Design of a Human-Powered Hybrid-Electric Vehicle for Commuting Use”.  Juan began his career at a local Winnipeg company designing three-wheel on-road utility vehicles, thereby pushing the industry forward with innovative hybrid and electric powertrain technologies and suspension designs.  He later moved to Guelph, Ontario and partnered with General Motors to develop and certify the first-ever gasoline/CNG bi-fuel pick-up truck.  Juan is driven and committed to developing technologies that reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and improve the quality of our environment and lives.  He has found a perfect match volunteering for Urbee, where his desire to “be the change you want to see” has grown to new heights.  Juan is also a proud member of the “Transition Towns” movement and is involved in the steering committee for the “Fair Trade Guelph” campaign.  He dreams of one day starting his own company developing sustainable transportation technologies, such as personal rapid transit, power-assisted bicycles, and of course, Urbee.

Support Team

Rita Tull BW photo

Rita Tully | Accounting

Rita is a Certified General Accountant (CGA) and has been operating for over twenty years from a home based business.  She is a Simply Accounting Partner and a Quickbooks Pro-Advisor. Rita currently contributes to the Urbee project by offering accounting services. Her website is: www.ritatullycga.com

Bill Derksen

Bill Derksen | Sponsor Development and Heat Transfer Design

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Simon Burns | Sales and Marketing Development

Simon is a Finance student at the University of Manitoba with a passion for alternative energy innovation. In February 2013, Simon assembled experts in the fields of Venture Capital, Mechanical Engineering, hybrid electric propulsion and Industrial Design in an effort to solve one of the most poignant problem facing society, personal transportation. That startup, Elapse Electric, recently won the Wes Nicol Business Plan Competition and is preparing to move from the conceptual phase into the research phase following a funding round. Currently he is working as the Growth Hacker for the startup QuantConnect, aiming to democratize algorithmic model building and trading. Simon is working with the Urbee team to develop a crowdfunding campaign, web presence and marketing approach.

Andrew Gateson B&W

Andrew Gateson | CAD Designer and Student Lead

Andrew is a CAD Designer and student team lead within the URBEE2 Project. Andrew comes from a diverse background of studies and trades, having graduated from Culinary Arts Programs, and worked within the computer and information technologies sectors for nearly ten years.

Lida Shahbazi photo BW 200 x 300

Lida Shahbazi | CAD Designer

Lida is a creative and technically-adept CAD Designer with five years of experience in product research, development, and design. She has worked with C.C.I Cad Power, Acrylon Plastics and Farman Khodro Sepahan.  Lida has an academic background in computer software and design, and graduated from Red River College in Manufacturing Computer Aided Drafting. Originally from Persia, Lida moved to Canada in 2009. She believes affecting a positive chang in the world is possible by changing people’s point of view.

Raurie Sime photo BW

Raurie Sime | CAD Designer

Raurie has always been interested in and seen the need for, greener forms of energy. During his studies at Red River College, he met Jim Kor as an instructor, who shared the Urbee Project with his class.  When Raurie heard that KOR Ecologic was making a second Urbee, he was excited at the opportunity to participate.

 Dushyant Sarawat BIO photo

 Dushyant Saraswat | CAD Designer

Dushyant Is a Mechanical Engineer with 15 years experience. Currently he is working on sheet metal and HVAC systems.

 blake bio photo

 Blake W. Podaima, B.Sc (EE), M.Sc (CE), IPTCM|

Blake is an Engineer, Consultant, and Project Manager with over 25 years’ experience, holding a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, a Master’s of Science in Computer Engineering, and a Certificate in Intellectual Property and Technology Commercialization Management, from the University of Manitoba.

He is an Associate of the Department of Design Engineering, University of Manitoba, where he is responsible for promoting, developing, and fostering sustainable relationships, networks, and linkages – among a diverse set of stakeholders within industry, government, and academia – in the Province of Manitoba.  In this role, he is actively engaged in advancing technological innovation, and coordinating entrepreneurship activities and strategies among industry and across participating faculties;  he is also a lecturer of project management (Technical Communication for Engineers course).

Blake is concurrently the Executive Director of the Internet Innovation Centre, at the University of Manitoba, where he specializes in Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), wireless sensor networks, and smart-phone software application development;

Blake is also the Founder and Principal of Virtuistix Inc. (Winnipeg, Manitoba), a technology development and consulting company specializing in Systems Integration, intellectual property capture, and technology commercialization.

In the broader community, Blake provides entrepreneurship-mentorship, subject-matter expertise, and investigative research services for a variety of clients – including Startup companies – helping them leverage their existing technologies and intellectual property, and assisting those entering new markets with emerging technologies.

Blake has a devoted interest in participating in the “eco-friendly” technology movement – notably, by lending his diverse set of skills as engineer, project manager, and technology manager to help advance the Urbee initiative.

Krys Freeman bio photo BW

Krys Freeman | Website & Social Media Development

Krys Freeman is one of today’s rising entrepreneurs, technologists and visionaries.

Equal parts hacker, strategist and activist, Krys is affectionately known by colleagues as the “Chief Hactivist” or (Hacker in Residence) at GreenBiz Group headquarters (Oakland, CA). Considered a resource for everything from the best productivity apps to those that provide convenience through sharing, Krys is a firm believer in technology as a vehicle for radical change.

To that end, Krys seeks out projects that stretch our imagination. While many of us speak of technology as the “next” frontier, the little red pill that will make our biggest systems challenges disappear, Krys believes that technology is now – a system of means to multiple ends. The real innovation opportunities lie in design thinking; the compromises and hard decision making that should happen before an app or website is built. And she is committed to finding new ways to think of and use technology as a vehicle for tackling enterprise and civic challenges. Her website: www.khafra.co

Daniel de Diego Photo BW

E.Daniel de Diego Asensio | Graphic Designer

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Creative Director and audiovisual producer with over 15 years experience with major accounts in Spanish advertising agencies making tv spots, corporate video, branding and graphic design. Has worked with brands like Banco de Santander, Nokia, Motorola, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Danone, Saint Gobain, Schweppes, Cemex, Holcim, Repsol, Toyota, Opel, Porsche, Saab, Disney, J&B and Red Bull. A teamworking fan, professional and committed to everything he does. Likes challenges and is always open to new adventures that make him evolve as a person and as a professional.
Lives in Madrid (Spain), married, has a 5 year old son and expecting another soon.
His website: www.dediego.net

Karin  Roest

Karin Roest | Relationship Manager

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Karin has a Master’s degree from Columbia University and a long history of managing multi-million dollar projects and investment deals around the world in a variety of different industries. She has worked alongside some of the world’s most influential public figures and thought leaders and loves empowering people to live their absolute best life possible.
Her website: www.karinroest.com