Our Team

A core of team of professionals is employed locally, to conduct research, network, acquire land, license technology and grow the business

Executive Team

Chairman and CEO

Grant Strem

Mr. Strem spent a number of years working with upstream oil and gas sector before moving into reserves evaluation and banking. His general interest in science and space propulsion system led him towards physics heavy understanding of extreme oxidation processes.

During his engineering Master’s degree, He was a former student of Dr. Ian Gates and has remained close friends for the last 12 years

Seta 500x500
Chief Operating Officer

Seta Afshordi

Seta Afshordi believes that a new clean energy era is overdue, and that this change should come from inside the oil and gas industry. Seta began her career with Schlumberger as a field engineer and explosives officer, working in Scotland and Oman. She moved to Calgary in 2008 where she worked on a variety of heavy oil projects for Husky, CNRL, Athabasca, and Murphy Oil. Project types include SAGD, CSS, polymer flooding, THAI, and now Hygenic Earth Energy (hydrogen). Seta has a Master’s Degree from Chalmer’s University of Technology in Sweden on Environmentally Sustainable Process Technologies, and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from prestigious Sharif University in Tehran. Seta spent 10 years as a National Badminton Champion for both Iran and Sweden.

Miss Afshordi began working for Proton mid-2017 as Operations Manager and rose to become COO of Proton Technologies Canada Inc., whose corporate vision of worldwide transition from fossil energy to clean energy aligns with hers.

Head Of Commercial

Calvin Johnson

Calvin Johnson is President of KE Risk Group. Prior to founding KE Risk, Calvin was deeply involved in Transalta’s trading business, and CIBC’s Energy Derivatives business. Calvin has been assisting Proton since late 2018, and believes that Proton will play a critical role in North American hydrogen supply

Advisory Board

Co-Founder of Proton and Co-Inventor

Dr. Ian Gates

Ian Gates joined the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Calgary in 2004 after working a total of 7 years in industry. He is a registered professional engineer (P.Eng.) in the province of Alberta and has been a consultant for many small and large energy companies both in Canada and internationally.

Dr. Gates’ current research interests are in heavy oil and oil sands recovery process design and optimization, thermal (SAGD and CSS) and thermal-solvent (ES-SAGD, SA-CSS) oil recovery processes, cold production of heavy oil with sand (CHOPS) and follow-up process design, reservoir engineering and simulation, reservoir process optimization, reactive reservoir processes and simulation, heat and mass transfer, fluid mechanics, biofilm evolution in porous media, and bioreactor design (think of the reservoir as a bioreactor).

His previous work includes: design of thermal and thermal-solvent recovery processes, thermal and compositional reservoir simulation, automated optimization of recovery processes, analysis of steam and steam-solvent transport in depletion chambers in oil sands processes, thermal-solvent gravity drainage oil recovery processes (simulation and physical model experiments), steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), solvent-enhanced steam-assisted gravity drainage (ES-SAGD), cyclic steam stimulation (CSS), optimization of steam scheduling, genetic algorithms, simulated annealing, modeling and experimentation of coating flows, analysis of free surface flows by using the Galerkin/finite element method, linear stability analysis of free surface flow and coating flow.


Department Head & Professor, Petroleum & Chemical Engineering
Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary B.Sc. with Distinction, Chemical Engineering, University of Calgary
M.A.Sc. Chemical Engineering, University of British Columbia
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering (Minor in Mathematics), University of Minnesota

Co-Founder of Proton and Co-Inventor

Jingyi (Jack) Wang

Jingyi (Jacky) Wang P. Eng., is a research engineer in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Calgary, specializing in unconventional resource recovery process design and numerical simulation. He holds a BSc degree in chemical engineering from East China University of Science and Technology and M.Eng degree in reservoir engineering from the University of Calgary.

Mr. Wang has more than 10 years of combined chemical engineering and reservoir engineering experience working with industry and research, with expertise in the areas of thermal recovery, cold production, VAPEX, CO2 sequestration, hydrate recovery, reactive numerical modeling, EOR, and production optimization. The majority of Jacky’s career has been with unconventional oil and gas development and he brings that experience with him to Proton Technologies. He is a professional member with APEGA and SPE.

Jacky is the co-inventor of the Hygenerator patent.


Research Engineer, Petroleum & Chemical Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary
B.Sc. Chemical Engineering, East China University of Science & Technology

Caralyn Bennett

A widely lauded straightshooter, Ms. Bennett’s day job is Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of GLJ, where she specializes in reserves and resource governance, emerging technology, energy diversification, business collaboration and strategy. She is also President of the Canadian Heavy Oil Association and Co-Chair of the Canadian Society of Unconventional Resources.

Caralyn is a member of the Petroleum Advisory Committee to the Alberta Securities Commission, and the Industrial Curricular Advisory Board. She is also a director of a publicly traded company.

Caralyn is active, awesome, articulate, and willing to don her new metaphorical Proton cape and tights, to help us tackle our mandate which is to Supply 10% of the World’s Energy by 2040.

Proton Technologies has the path for hydrogen production that is lowest cost, lowest carbon intensity, and smallest ecological disturbance.

Dr. Harrie Vredenburg

Dr. Harrie Vredenburg is Professor and Suncor Chair in Strategy & Sustainability at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business. He also holds an appointment as a Research Fellow at the University’s School of Public Policy and as an International Research Fellow at the Saïd Business School at Oxford University.
He is a leading scholar of innovation, competitive strategy, sustainable development and corporate governance in the global energy industry. He was one of the founders of Haskayne’s Global Energy Executive MBA and served as its Academic Director from 2010 to 2018. He has authored or coauthored more than 50 frequently cited articles in leading international academic journals and has coauthored government reports on innovation, industry regulation and competitiveness.
He has served as a non-executive member of the boards of directors of several publicly traded and private Canadian and international energy companies since 2006. Born in the Netherlands, he holds both Canadian and Dutch (European Union) nationalities.


BA (Honours, History), University of Toronto
MBA (International Business & Finance), McMaster University
PhD (Strategic Management), University of Western Ontario
ICD.D, Institute of Corporate Directors

John Howard

John spent 13 years at CNRL retiring as Production Vice President, managing assets up to 100,000 bbl/d production and budgets up to $400 million per year. Prior to joining CNRL, John held executive positions with Verdant Energy and Numac Energy and held management and technical positions at Shell Canada. John is a Senator of the University of Calgary, an Advisory Board Member of Acceleware Ltd. and a Director of Autism Calgary and the Society for Treatment of Autism. He is excited to be a part of Proton as it transforms the energy sector.


Professional Engineer, Province of Alberta
B.Sc. Electrical Engineering, University of Alberta, MBA University of Calgary
Institute of Corporate Directors, ICD.D

Brian Harschnitz

Brian recently retired after more than 36 years in the oil and gas industry, the last 26 of which was focused on development of Alberta’s immense oil sands resource. He has extensive experience with SAGD, starting with roles on the technical and management committees for AOSTRA’s UTF, and culminating with a lead role as Executive Vice President for Japan Canada Oil Sands Limited (JACOS) in the successful development of the Hangingstone Expansion Project. Prior to his 17 plus years with JACOS, he held positions in corporate planning, operations, joint ventures and projects with Imperial Oil.

He is currently a Director of JACOS


Professional Engineer province of Alberta
B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering, University of Western Ontario MBA Queen’s University

Mark Bishop

Mark Bishop is well known by industry as a solid project manager and facility/process design engineering expert. Mark’s career included time with CNRL, Athabasca Oil Sands, and Mark was a co-founder of Prosper Petroleum. Mark has been assisting Proton since Spring 2018.