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Thunder Clash Classic


Saturday, Sept 16 | 230pm-4pm


Contemporary Calgary
701 11 St SW
Calgary, AB

Welcome to the electrifying world of the Thunder Clash Classic, an exhilarating academic showdown taking place at Beakerhead! Think of the Thunder Clash Classic as the Crowchild Classic: research edition.

This captivating competition brings together the brightest minds from Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary in a friendly competition to showcase their research prowess. Prepare to be amazed as these all stars present groundbreaking ideas, captivating audiences with innovative research projects, in under 5 minutes. Join us for an unforgettable event where intellectual sparks fly, knowledge collides, and the future comes to life in a thrilling clash of the minds. It’s Cougars vs Dinos, Beakerhead style. One institution will take home the title of Thunder Clash Champion!

Meet Your Judges

Avnish Mehta:

Avnish Mehta’s diverse career trajectory is a testament to his commitment to helping others, ranging from his days trading currency and commodities in Singapore to his pivotal role in the development of the Calgary Refugee Health Clinic. Throughout his professional journey, his unwavering commitment has always been directed towards propelling organizations forward.

With over 25 years of volunteer experience to his name, including his current board positions with the Calgary Public Library and Calgary Public Library Foundation, Avnish Mehta has cultivated a profound understanding of board governance, strategic planning, and effective leadership.

As a partner at Stand and Command, Avnish leverages this distinctive viewpoint to empower individuals and organizations to reach their full potential. Through the application of expansive visionary thinking and practical tools, he adeptly uncovers the optimal solutions tailored to the needs of his clients.

Ellen Parker:

Ellen Parker is a distinguished female leader, recognized for her outstanding contributions and extensive volunteer service on numerous Boards and Committees. Her remarkable achievements include receiving the Lieutenant Governor’s Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal for her dedicated volunteer work, being named one of Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40, and receiving the Mayors’ Excellence Award.

As the founder and CEO of PARKER PR and PARKER Media, both headquartered in Calgary and serving clients nationwide, Ellen has demonstrated her prowess in leadership and her ability to drive business success by crafting and executing thoughtful communication strategies.

Before establishing PARKER PR, Ellen gained valuable experience in New York City, where she worked for the Institute for Children and Poverty, as well as boutique PR firms. Her professional journey has also encompassed roles with the Alberta Government, Word Fest: Banff Calgary International Writers Festival, the Calgary Food Bank, and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ellen currently holds key positions such as Chair of the Hillhurst Community School Council Board of Directors, Director on the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Foundation Board of Trustees, Corporate Board Director for CH Financial, and Board Director for the Ranchmen’s Club. Additionally, she actively contributes as a Committee Member for the Mount Royal University Public Relations Advisory and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Society’s Ad Astra Campaign.

Rahim Sajan:

Rahim is a multifaceted professional, serving as a teacher, community organizer, speaker, and coach. He specializes in empowering thought leaders to effectively communicate complex ideas and is closely affiliated with the Beakerhead initiative, which aligns with his mission through Progress Engines.

With a rich and diverse background that encompasses roles as a Teacher, Curator, Founder, and Co-founder, Rahim is particularly renowned for co-founding TEDxCalgary in 2009. As an immigrant who has called Canada his beloved home for three decades, his work primarily centers on the Canadian context.

Rahim possesses extensive experience in both remote and urban education, where he coordinates off-campus programs within a public alternative high school setting. He is highly skilled in decision-making, storytelling, and leadership, and he actively advises and participates in various projects, with a strong emphasis on community empowerment.

Recognized for his commitment to impactful communication, Rahim has been honored with a University of Calgary Arch Award. His dedication is evident in initiatives such as Progress Engines, Dean’s Talks, and the Resourceful Human Project.

In his roles as a TEDx Organizer, Curator, and Teacher, Rahim’s speaking and speaker coaching draw from his comprehensive multidisciplinary experience, sparking profound contemplation through discussions on leadership, citizenship, and education.

With academic qualifications from the University of Calgary, Rahim’s contributions have earned him recognition, including the prestigious designation of being named among the Top 40 under 40 achievers.

Supported by: Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Calgary, Hexagon, Government of Alberta, City of Calgary, Suncor, Funded by the Government of Canada