Women in Engineering Panel

Panel Discussion I : Cyber Security Landscape and Today’s Virtual World!

Friday, October 22: 12:00 -1:00 pm


  1. Utpal Mangla, IBM, Toronto

Utpal Mangla ( MBA, PEng, CMC, ITCP, PMP, ITIL, CSM ) is a Vice President and Senior Partner in IBM. He is the Global Leader of IBM’s Telecommunications, Media and  Entertainment (TME) Industry’s Center of Competency. In addition, he leads the ‘Innovation Competency’ focusing on AI, 5G EDGE, Hybrid Cloud and Blockchain Innovations for TME clients worldwide. In his role as senior executive in  the business and thought leader in emerging technologies, Utpal’s mission is  to fuel growth by building, selling and implementing differentiated competitive market service solution offerings  to meeting critical business imperatives of our customers.

2) Dr. Alexander Ferworn, Professor, Ryerson University, Toronto

Dr. Ferworn is a Professor of Computer Science. He earned his PhD from the U of Waterloo, his MSc from the U of Guelph and his B. Tech from Ryerson. He serves as the Graduate Program Director (GPD) of The Master of Digital Media program and the GPD of the graduate programs in the Department of Computer Science where he is also an Associate Chair.  He is the creator of over 30 Certificate and other programs in the Chang School. Previous roles are varied and include; progressively senior roles in telecommunication companies, service as a police auxiliary and as an infantry Company Commander in the Canadian Forces Reserve. His research focuses on “Computational Public Safety”. He seeks out collaborations with individuals and groups in fields as varied as Archaeology, Law Enforcement, Physics, Disaster Management, Fire Protection, English, Early Childhood Education, Performance and Fashion.  In 2019 his work in finding lost people living with dementia was featured at the CRAM Festival.

3) Amit Kumar Tiwari, Director, Behavioral Analytics & Insider Threat, Data Protection at RBC, Toronto

Amit Kumar Tiwari  is leading behavioral analytics services and methods for insider threat and data protection at RBC. His background in Analytics has enabled services in several key areas within Cyber Security, Fraud, Identity, AML etc. He is focused on value driven analytics as a means of achieving security, protection and privacy. He specialized in Big Data systems with MSc in computing Science from Simon Fraser University.

4) Moderator: Dr. Fatima Hussain, Manager, Event Management and Analytics, Global Cyber Security at RBC, Toronto

Adjunct Professor, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

Dr. Fatima is working as a ManagerEvent Management and Analytics in “Behaviour Analytics and Insider Threat” team, Global Cyber Security,  Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Toronto, Canada. She is responsible for employee risk profiling and detection of insider threats, by establishing baseline behaviours. She applies cutting edge analytical tools and techniques to detect the malicious insiders and mitigate the potential risk to the organisation.  

She is also an Adjunct Professor at Ryerson University; Toronto and her role includes the supervision of graduate research projects. Dr Hussain’s background includes a number of distinguished professorships at Ryerson University and University of Guelph, where she has been awarded for her research, teaching and course development accomplishments within Wireless Telecommunication, Internet of Things, Cyber Security, Insider Threat, API Security and Machine Learning. She is a prolific author with various books, conference and journal publications to her credit. She is editor of IEEE Newsletter Toronto. Dr Hussain has delivered many technical talks in the realm of Internet of Things and API Security, in top research/ industrial venues; such as IEEE PIMRC, IEEE-Toronto research forum, RBC International Expo, IEEE FIT etc.  Dr. Hussain holds Doctorate and Master of Science degrees in Electrical & Computer Engineering, from Ryerson University, Toronto. Upon graduation she joined the Network-Centric Applied Research Team (N-CART) as a postdoctoral fellow where she worked on various NSERC-funded projects in the realm of the Internet of Things.

Panel Discussion II: Recent Trends in Product and Technical Innovation in the Financial Domain

Friday, October 22: 3:00 -4:00 pm

We will  discuss how to develop great innovative products for financial services .  Our focus will be on product innovation, testing criteria of technology solutions  and new ways to engage clients in the market.   Discussion will be about the various  applications, products available in the market, the solutions they provide for people and how they also drive client engagement within the financial domain.    These applications are usually built on AWS, leveraging a common pipeline and pattern.   We will also talk about how to leverage re-use, build cross application capabilities and help teams innovate faster.  As a use case, we will discuss Mydoh, which is an application helping kids learn the value of money through real-world experience. 

We will also share our career stories, career experiences, and answer any questions from the audience.   Women in tech are still in a minority – and we want to help other people along their career path. We are looking forward to a lively discussion!

Katherine Kurtz, Senior Director, RBC Ventures

Katherine is a technology leader, currently the lead for Principal Engineering at RBC Ventures.   RBC Ventures is looking at new ways to innovate – both for product and technology, to go beyond banking to solve problems and transform the way you live your life.   Prior to joining RBC Ventures, Kate was the head of architecture governance for Personal and Commercial Banking at RBC, driving the evolution and oversight of all strategies, decisions and technical debt for 50+ architects.

Prior to joining RBC, Katherine also worked as part of IBM, leading a globally dispersed cross-functional development & architecture team responsible for the deployment of the IBM Bluemix Private and Hybrid Cloud.   Hybrid Cloud solutions were delivered to to over 25 top 500 companies worldwide, generating $1MM in monthly recurring revenues. Transformation and Agile leader, successfully implementing the squads-tribes- chapter agile practice in the new IBM Private Cloud team.

On a personal note…

I have 3 kids, 2 dogs and a really noisy house.    During COVID I have tried new hobbies – sourdough bread (complete fail), golfing (learning) and my vegetable garden (so far successful).    For rest and relaxation, I love to be outside – hiking, canoeing and camping. 

Megha Sharma, Head of Technology, RBC Ventures

She leads a high-performing team of software engineers to solve exciting and complex problems in the world of fintech and payments. In this role, Megha defines Mydoh’s technical roadmap, manages stakeholder relationships, and provides technical direction and expertise. Prior to joining RBC, Megha has worked at TD Bank as an microservices architect, building a public API platform to support Open Banking. She has also worked as a developer in the start-up ecosystem for companies such as the DMZ at Ryerson, Sensibill, Magnet Today, and Crowdbabble. Megha is passionate about payments technology, systems architecture and design, diversity in recruitment, and effective team building. Megha is a graduate of Ryerson University and holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Engineering.