CrossTalk #2- Digital Tools

Heavy conversations about light metals

As the Light metals industry modernizes, the importance of digital tools and software continues to increase. Come and learn about this intersection between software, materials, and manufacturing.

Is there a career there for you?

In these discussions, you will hear from experts at different career stages about current challenges and new opportunities related to light metals and materials software. Learn about the skills and experiences that will help you thrive in the industry.

CrossTalk #2

This session took place on January 26, 2022.

Watch the video recording of the panel discussion on our YouTube channel.

Theme: Digital tools for light metals development and process optimization

  • Personal: what it takes to succeed in this industry (education, skills, gaps)
  • Sector: What career paths are available in this sector (how large, what industries served, emerging sectors) Employment-related (what employers, jobs)
  • Technologies: What categories of technologies are used in the industry (computer/automation/chemical/material)

Target audience

  • Anyone interested in digital tools or making a career in the light metals industry
  • Undergrads
  • Recent graduates
  • People looking to change career paths

The panel discussion will involve invited speakers who will have an open conversation with attendees about the industry, competition, challenges, etc.

Panel topics covered

  • What’s it like to work in the software industry
  • How products are developed and brought to market
  • Industry trends
  • What skills will help you to succeed in this industry


Christopher Kohar

  • Christopher Kohar, Sr. Crash Structures Engineer at Rivian
    Dr. Christopher Kohar is a Sr. Crash Structures Engineer at Rivian Automotive. Christopher has over 10 years of experience developing advanced CAE simulations and tools in the automotive and manufacturing sectors. He completed his PhD in Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, focusing on multi-scale modeling and optimization techniques, using artificial intelligence for enhancing energy absorption characteristics of lightweight automotive structures. Dr. Kohar was awarded an Early Career Research Award from the scientific committee at the International Conference on Aluminium Alloys (2020) for his contributions to computational materials engineering and design with aluminum. In his current role, Christopher is responsible for and leads the development of various structures used in electric adventure vehicles and delivery vans, emphasizing lightweighting and safety.

Nicolas Poulain 

  • Nicolas Poulain, Director of Sales and Technology at Transvalor Americas
    With more than 15 years of experience in the field of Finite Element Method simulation, Nicolas has expanded his expertise in multiple industries including automotive, aerospace, and energy. With a background in material science, Nicolas has worked his way up from pre-sales engineer to Director of Sales and Technology at Transvalor Americas Corp. Nicolas is passionate about helping his clients get what they need to serve their business best, and succeed no matter what their marketplace is. 

Matt Reid

  • Matt Reid, Software Engineer at Liburdi Automation Inc
    Matt Reid is the Software Engineering Manager for the Liburdi Automation Welding Systems (LAWS) Division at Liburdi Automation Inc. Matt has spent the last 15 years designing and developing software to automate the specialized welding processes provided to customers in the nuclear, aerospace and medical industries. Currently, he leads a team that provides advanced and innovative tools to allow for the development of welding processes that repeatedly deposit high quality welds to a wide variety of new and in-service components. Matt has an Honours B.Sc. Degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo.



This session is organized by the Emerging Professionals from the Metsoc Light Metals section.

  • Jessica Hiscocks, Kingston Process Metallurgy
  • Abdallah Elsayed, University of Guelph
  • Michael Benoit, The University of British Columbia

Special thanks to:

  • Sumanth Shankar, Light Metals Chair
  • Georges Houlachi, Membership Services Chair
METSOC is a constituent society of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM).
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