Rene Alvarez, P.Eng., M.Eng.

Influencer | Entrepreneur | Visionary Innovator | Experienced Leader | Data Scientist | Expert in Advanced Analytics

Toronto, Canada Area
  • Rene is a passionate and enthusiastic business leader, with extensive knowledge and varied experience in analytics, business intelligence, consulting, engineering, energy, strategic planning, operations effectiveness, and change management. 
  • Rene brings his solid leadership experience from a number of leadership roles held in the private sector, and educational institutions (including C-Level positions), with a proven track record of adding value through his solid values, integrity, and evidence-based decision making approach.
  • Through his passion, enthusiasm, and ability to inspire, combined with his extensive experience in engineering, Rene has influenced multiple younger generations of future engineers through teaching in prestigious universities in Canada and Chile. He has taught Engineering Economics and Accounting and Systems Modelling and Simulation at the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, University of Toronto.
  • His demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and honestly with people, and to be decisive when required, have earned him respect and trust from C-Level executives, peers, team members, customers, and students.
  • Rene has successfully led numerous change initiatives and business improvement and change management projects. His strong engineering and technical background, along with his experience in business strategy, people management, and marketing, have been instrumental in achieving results beyond the established strategic goals.
  • As an innovative entrepreneur, through his small companies SmartSimulation and SkySail Analytics, Rene provides sound technical and business advice to a variety of companies resolving complex operational issues, improving productivity, and maximising return on  investments.
  • With vast experience and in-depth knowledge of continuous improvement techniques (e.g. Lean, Six Sigma, Theory of Constraints), Rene has trained multidisciplinary high-performance teams, led the developed new problem solving methodologies, and led successful strategic change initiatives.

Professional Experience

  • Manager, Business Intelligence, Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (2014-to date)
  • Sessional Lecturer, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, University of Toronto (2014-2021)
  • Senior Evaluation Specialist - Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (2013-2014)
  • Senior Policy Advisor - Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (2010-2012)
  • Patient Flow Redesign Specialist - St. Michael’s Hospital (2008-2010)
  • Senior Engineering Consultant - Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (2007-2008)
  • Director, Centre for Enterprise Development - Universidad del Desarrollo - Chile (2006-2007)
  • Director, School of Industrial Engineering - Universidad del Desarrollo - Chile (2005)
  • Professor, Faculty of Engineering - Universidad del Desarrollo - Chile (2004-2007)
  • General Manager - TPI S.A. (Manufacturing) (2002 - 2003)
  • General Manager - Transmarchilay S.A. (Maritime Transportation and Tourism) (2000-2001)
  • Commercial Director - AES Gener (1996-1999)
  • International Investments Project Manager - AES Gener (1994-1995)


  • Tànfani E., Testi A., Alvarez R. (2010), Operating room planning problem considering stochastic surgery durations. International Journal of Health Management and Information (IJHMI), Vol.1 No.2 2010.
  • Alvarez R., Bowry R., Carter M. (2010), Prediction of the Time to Complete a Series of Surgical Cases to Avoid Cardiac Operating Room Over-utilization. Canadian Journal of Anesthesia 57:973-979, 2010.
  • Alvarez R., Sandoval G., Carter M., Brown A. (2010), Allocating surgeries to a block time: a heuristic method to estimate the probability distribution of the total schedule duration by summing random surgical times. Proceedings of the XXXIV Operations Research applied to Health Services (ORAHS) July 2008, Toronto, Canada.
  • Alvarez R., Sandoval G., Quijada S., Brown A. (2009), A simulation study to analyze the impact of different emergency physician shift structures in an emergency department. Proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Operational Research Applied to Health Services (ORAHS), July 12-17, 2009, Leuven, Belgium.
  • Alvarez R. (2006), Energy: The solution is under our feet. Editorial article, La Segunda newspaper (Chile).
  • Alvarez R. (1999), Is the coal a viable energetic resource? Journal of the Chilean Mining Engineering Institute.
  • Alvarez R. (1995), Calibration of private transport networks: a comparison between the bi-level method and the Hooks & Jeeves method. Proceedings of the VII Chilean congress of transportation engineering (1995), Chile.
  • Alvarez R. and Ortuzar J D. (1993) Subjective Value of Time for Persons with Disabilities. Proceedings of the VI Chilean congress of transportation engineering (1993), Chile.

University Professor/Lecturer

Through his passion, enthusiasm and ability to inspire, combined with his extensive experience in engineering, Rene has influenced younger generations of future engineers through teaching in prestigious universities in Canada and Chile.

University of Toronto (2014-2021)

  • Taught Engineering Economics to mechanical and industrial engineering students in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering.
  • Taught Modeling and Computer Simulation to mechanical and industrial engineering students in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering.

Industrial Engineering School, Universidad del Desarrollo - Chile (2004–2007)

  • Taught courses in: Quality Improvement, Operations Research, Operations Management, Theory of Constraints, Statistical Process Control, Business Administration, Marketing, and Logistics.

Business Intelligence and Data Analytics Leader

  • In his current role, Rene leads a strategic unit composed of seven highly skilled data scientists. He is responsible for providing intelligence to senior leadership enabling the implementation of ServiceOntario's digital agenda and strategic plan.
  • With the use of GIS, specialised software, statistical tools and AI techniques, Rene leads and coordinates the provision of intelligence, complex analyses, business forecasting, and a range of corporate and operational reporting and performance measurement services.
  • Under his leadership, the Business Intelligence Unit has gained significant rapport and recognition among senior leaders for influencing business decisions contributing to achieve the established digital strategic goals in line with three core objectives: customer service excellence, cost savings, and program integrity.
  • Rene led the provision of evidence-based insights to the organisation’s management in direct support of the Digital First strategy, contributing to the generation of ambitious goals to deliver better services to customers and achieve high impact operational efficiencies. This was accomplished using state-of-the-art analytical methods and tools such as: Cognitive Artificial Intelligence AI, computer simulation, and advanced forecasting techniques to estimate the online uptake for a set of key applications, scenario modelling to estimate the overall ServiceOntario online uptake, and Inter-jurisdictional benchmarking analyses to learn best practises from world class leaders in e-Government service delivery.
  • Under his leadership, new methodologies have been developed to: i) Measure wait time performance in all ServiceOntario in-person offices (The new methodology was praised by the Auditor General of Ontario in the 2015 Report, page 676); ii) Analyse the effect of different office location placement strategies using Geographic Information Systems and census information to determine ‘catchment’ and ‘floating’ populations; iii) Understand the ‘Voice of the Customer’ using state-of-the-art Cognitive Artificial Intelligence and complex statistical techniques; iv) Set strategic online uptake goals through in-depth analyses and comprehensive benchmarking; and v) Analysis of different compensation structures for Service Providers.
  • Rene led the participation of the Business Intelligence Unit in the procurement process of a cloud-based queuing system for publicly-operated offices, such as reviewing procurement documents and providing support in analytics.
  • Rene has demonstrated relationship management abilities, good judgement, and political sensitivity when working with other divisions within the Ministry and also with other Ministries (e.g. MAG in support of Employee Engagement analyses and wait time samples, MOHLTC in relation to health card renewal audits).
  • Through his participation in the Council of Chief Data and Analytics Officers at the Conference Board of Canada, Rene has fostered active networks and partnerships with executives from different industries and provinces of Canada.

Results Driven and Inspiring Leader

  • Rene graduated first in his class (honour-graduated officer) at the Chilean Military Academy.
  • Rene led a multidisciplinary team of professionals that designed and managed the logistics and coal sales to the industrial sector in Chile. Under his leadership, coal sales grew by 500% in four years.
  • Under his leadership, the market share of an important maritime company increased from 21% to 33% in just one year.
  • Rene led various company acquisition and investment processes in the energy industry across Latin America.
  • As General Manager, Rene successfully re-organized the international operations of a manufacturing company. He led the negotiations to sell the Brazilian subsidiary to a local investor.
  • Rene led complex government projects aimed to develop policy options to reduce the number of patients waiting for placement in the Ontario post-acute healthcare sector, and improve ambulance transportation.
  • Rene led and coached multidisciplinary teams in complex process improvement projects in mining, healthcare, retail, forestry, and manufacturing industries.
  • Rene led the negotiations with the Norwegian company Hurtigruten to establish a joint-venture to operate cruises from Patagonia to Antarctica.

Experienced and Innovative Professional

  • Rene has led a number of engineering projects for the Chilean Government (e.g.: computer simulation model to improve maritime transportation services, impact of the economic growth in the maritime transportation system, design of a new method to calibrate transportation networks in urban simulation models, evaluation of urban transportation plans in large cities).
  • As a computer simulation expert, he has developed innovative computer simulation models for capacity planning in mining, transportation, and healthcare industries.
  • As a system dynamics expert, Rene developed the Government of Ontario’s technical specifications for the University of Toronto’s ‘Simulation Model of the Ontario Health System project. Rene led a number of engineering projects for important healthcare organisations (e.g. bed capacity planning in a major teaching hospital, operating room scheduling for large hospitals in Canada and Chile).
  • As a university professor, Rene has taught the following courses: Engineering Economics, Modelling and Computer Simulation, Operations Research, Operations Management, Logistics, Statistical Process Control, Business Administration, Process Improvement, and Marketing.
  • Rene has presented his research at international conferences in North America, South America and Europe, and published several papers in renowned journals.

Problem Solving Expert

  • Rene has successfully applied innovative problem solving and process improvement techniques (i.e. Theory of Constraints, Lean and Six Sigma) to identify and analyse large-scale procedural challenges and suggest solutions. Examples include:
    • As a Consultant in transportation and logistics, he demonstrated that no additional investments in port infrastructure was necessary to improve the flow in the most important maritime route in Chile. Rene proposed a simple but effective modification to the schedule, which saved millions to the taxpayers and dramatically improved service standards.
    • As a Consultant in mining operations, he demonstrated that the capacity of the crusher (rather than the design of the transportation network) was the real bottleneck in a large copper mine.
    • As Patient Flow Redesign Specialist, he developed the problem solving and process improvement methodologies used to reduce wait times at the Emergency Department of St. Michael’s Hospital. As a result, the number of patients waiting more than 24 hours was reduced from an average of 80 per week to an average of four. Due to this achievement, the hospital was awarded first place award at the 2009 HealthAchieve conference for innovations in healthcare, and first prize 2011 Ontario 3M Health Care Quality Team Awards.
  • Rene decisively contributed to the development of a ‘Policy Curriculum’ to improve policy development processes in the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.
  • Rene has successfully taught problem solving methodologies to multidisciplinary teams in Ontario and Chile.

Strategic Thinker

  • As a newly appointed General Manager of a maritime transportation company, Rene identified the value contribution of the different lines of business and strategically re-deployed resources in order to improve the strategic position of the company. As a result, the company generated positive results after many years of continuous losses.
  • As CEO and General Manager of different companies, Rene successfully led multiple strategic planning processes.
  • Rene identified innovative strategies to address Ontario's priorities for the health care system, including innovative strategies for increasing Ontario's hospital bed capacity by reducing non-acute days.
  • Rene was a key member of the team that developed the strategy map and balanced scorecard for the Ontario government’s Ageing at Home initiative (total funding of $1.1 B).

Experienced Engineering Consultant

As an engineering  consultant, Rene has led a number of projects in different fields and various industries:

  • Development of an optimised maintenance plan for an aviation and aerospace company in Canada.
  • Computer simulation model to improve the maritime connectivity in the South region of Chile.
  • Estimation of the number of trucks and shovels necessary to expand production in a copper mine.
  • New road design to reduce the likelihood of truck collisions in a copper mine.
  • Design of a new methodology to build the Master Production Plan in a manufacturing company.
  • New tool to schedule surgeries in the Operating Rooms.
  • Analysis of the impact of the Chilean salmon industry in the maritime transportation system.
  • Design of the logistic process to supply pet-coke to a new thermoelectric power plant.
  • Acquisition of shares of a coal mine in Colombia.
  • Design and programming of an algorithm to increase train frequencies in the Santiago city subway.
  • Design of a new method to calibrate private-vehicle transportation networks.
  • Evaluation of different transportation plans associated with urban development of Santiago de Chile.
  • Design and development of different computer programs to support the Planning Department of the international Chilean airline LAN Airlines S.A.

Effective Communicator

  • Rene successfully negotiated with international coal suppliers, logistics service providers, contractors, and customers to establish a new line of business of coal distribution to the industrial sector. As a result, the company’s market share in this new line of business reached 90% in only four years (70 pp increase).
  • Undergraduate and graduate students, ranked Rene among the top professors in the Faculty of Engineering for four consecutive years (Chile).
  • As General Manager of a company of 500+ professionals in the maritime transportation industry, Rene successfully managed negotiations and conflicts involving unions.