Research Chairs

It takes the best to attract the best.

As part of building our vibrant research community, the Faculty of Engineering partners with government, industry, and other supporters to create faculty positions called Research Chairs. Research Chair positions provide funding to attract and retain the best engineering researchers from around the world.

Our Faculty attracts more than $60 million in sponsored research funding from external sources annually, that directly impacts our more than 200 professors and 1,400 to 1,600 graduate students. The Faculty is one of the most successful in attracting Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) funding and is a leader in securing NSERC Industrial Research Chairs (IRCs).

The Faculty of Engineering currently hosts:

  • 16 NSERC Industrial Research Chairs—more than any engineering faculty in Canada
  • 16 Canada Research Chairs
  • 16 Endowed Chairs and Professorships
  • 2 Foundation-Supported Chairs
  • 1 Canada Excellence Research Chair Laureate

NSERC Industrial Research Chairs (IRCs)

The NSERC Industrial Research Chairs Program aims to create collaborations between universities and partners in industry and the public sector. These grants are funded jointly by the IRC program and the partner organization.

Amit Kumar
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Energy and Environmental Systems Engineering

Partners: Cenovus Energy Inc., Alberta Innovates, Suncor Energy Inc., Natural Resources Canada/Ressources naturelles Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Pedram Mousavi
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Intelligent Integrated Sensors and Antennas

Partners: Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF), TELUS, ITS Electronic Inc., Pason Systems Corporation, Titan Logix Corporation, EMSCAN Corporation, InfoChip Systems Inc., Testforce System Inc., TRTeCh

Aminah Robinson Fayek
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Strategic Construction

Partners: Aecon Industrial, Building Trades of Alberta, Capital Power Corporation, Christian Labour Association of Canada, Construction Owners Association of Alberta (COAA), Merit Contractors Association, Progressive Contractors Association of Canada, Suncor Energy

Derek Martin
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Railway Geomechanics

Partners: Canadian National Railway/Compagnie des chemins de fer nationaux du Canada, Canadian Pacific Railway/Chemin de fer Canadien Pacifique Limitée, Transportation Technology Centre, Inc., Transport Canada/Transports Canada, National Research Council Canada/Conseil national de recherches Canada

Ward Wilson
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Oil Sands Tailings Geotechnique

Partners: Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), Tailings Environmental Priority Area (EPA), Alberta Innovates - Energy and Environment Solutions

Sean Sanders
Professor, Chemical and Materials Engineering
Pipeline Transport Processes
Partners: Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Fort Hills Energy L.P. – Petro Canada, Nexen Canada Ltd., Saskatchewan Research Council, Shell Canada – Albian Sands Energy Inc., Syncrude Canada Ltd., Total E&P Canada Ltd., University of Alberta

Wilsun Xu
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Power Quality

Partners: Informatics Circle of Research Excellence of Alberta (iCORE), AESO Alberta Electric System Operator, ALTALINK, L.P. Management Ltd., ATCO Electric Ltd., EPCOR Distribution & Transmission Inc., FortisAlberta Inc.

Bioa Huang
Professor, Chemical and Materials Engineering
Control of Oil Sands Processes

Partners: Syncrude Canada Ltd., Suncor Energy Inc.

Mohamed Gamal El-Din
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Oil Sands Tailings Water Treatment

Partners: Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), Syncrude Canada Ltd., Suncor Energy Inc., Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Imperial Oil Ltd, Teck Resources Limited, EPCOR Water Services Inc., Alberta Innovates, Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP)

Tayfun Babadagli
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Unconventional Oil Recovery
Partners: Schlumberger of Canada Limited, CNRL/Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Suncor Energy Inc., Petrobank, Sherritt International, APEX Engineering, PEMEX

Mohamed Al-Hussein
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Industrialization of Building Construction

Partners: All Weather Windows, Cormode & Dickson Construction, Canada Green Building Council (Alberta Chapter)/Conseil du bâtiment durable du Canada (chapitre de l'Alberta), Igloo Prebuilt Homes, Integrated Management & Realty, Landmark Group of Builders, Modular Building Institute, Northern Crane Services, P.Kruger Concrete Products, The Urban Development Institute of Greater Edmonton

Arno de Klerk
Professor, Chemical and Materials Engineering
Field Upgrading and Asphaltenes Processing

Partners: Nexen Energy ULC and Alberta Innovates

David Zhu
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Urban Drainage

Partners: City of Edmonton, City of Calgary, Stantec Consulting Ltd.

Yang Lui
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Sustainable Urban Water Development

Partners: EPCOR Utilities Inc., Alberta Innovates, WaterWerx

Alireza Bayat
Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Underground Trenchless Construction

Partners: TELUS, The Crossing Company, Evolution Energy Services, INROCK, BGC Engineering

Ying Hei Chui
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Engineered Wood and Building Systems

Partners: Landmark Homes, Rothoblaas, Western Archrib, Nordic Structures, Pink Wood, AcqBuilt Inc., MyTiCon, SNC Lavalin, FP Innovations, InnoTech, Canadian Wood Council

Canada Research Chairs (CRCs)

The Canada Research Chairs Program aims to achieve research excellence in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences. They invest approximately $265 million per year to attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds.

Simaan AbouRizk
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Operations Simulation

Mojgan Daneshmand
Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Radio Frequency Microsystems for Communication and Sensing

Clayton Deutsch
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Natural Resources Uncertainty Management

Janet Elliott
Professor, Chemical and Materials Engineering
Thermodynamics

Witold Pedrycz
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Computational Intelligence

João Soares
Professor, Chemical and Materials Engineering
Advanced Polymer Reaction Engineering

Tongwen Chen
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Intelligent Monitoring and Control

Tian Tang
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Nano-biomolecular Hybrid Materials

Peichun (Amy) Tsai
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Fluids and Interfaces

Hongbo Zeng
Professor, Chemical and Materials Engineering
Intermolecular Forces and Interfacial Science

Aminah Robinson Fayek
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Fuzzy Hybrid Decision Support Systems for Construction

Warren Finlay
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Aerosol Mechanics

Christopher Dennison
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Biomedical Instrumentation

Tony Qiu
Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Cooperative Transportation Systems

Yang Liu
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Future Water Services

Hao Liang
Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Intelligent Energy Systems

Endowed Chairs and Professorships

Rick Chalaturnyk
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Foundation CMG Chair in Reservoir Geomechanics

J.J. Roger Cheng
Civil & Environmental Engineering
C.W. Carry Chair in Steel Structures

John Cocchio
Chemical & Materials Engineering
Conoco Phillips Industrial Professor in Engineering Safety & Risk Management

Arno De Klerk
Chemical & Materials Engineering
Nexen Professor of Catalytic Reaction Engineering

Clayton Deutsch
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Alberta Chamber of Resources Industry Chair in Mining Engineering

Karim El-Basyouny
Civil & Environmental Engineering
City of Edmonton Assistant Professor in Urban Traffic Safety

Witold Krzymien
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Rohit Sharma Professor in Communications Signal Processing

Amit Kumar
Mechanical Engineering
Cenovus Energy Endowed Chair in Environmental Engineering

Qi Liu
Chemical & Materials Engineering
Ron Nolan/Hatch Professor in Sustainable Energy and Mineral Process Technologies

Michael Lipsett
Mechanical Engineering
Ernest and Gertrude Poole Chair in Management for Engineers

Patricio Mendez
Chemical & Materials Engineering
Weldco-Beales/Industry Chair in Welding and Joining

Aminah Robinson Fayek
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Ledcor Professor in Construction Engineering and Management

Reinhard Vehring
Mechanical Engineering
George Ford Chair in Materials Engineering

Gord Winkel
Chemical & Materials Engineering
Industrial Professor of Safety and Risk Management

Zhenghe Xu
Chemical & Materials Engineering
Teck Professor in Mineral Process Systems

Foundation-Supported Chairs

M. Yaman Boluk
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Nanofibre Chair in Forest Products

João Soares
Chemical & Materials Engineering
Campus Alberta Innovates Program Chair in Interfacial Polymer Engineering for Oilsands Processing

Canada Excellence Research Chairs

The Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) Program awards universities up to $10 million over seven years to support world‑renowned researchers and their teams to establish ambitious research programs at Canadian universities.

Thomas Thundat
Chemical & Materials Engineering
Canada Excellence Research Chair Laureate in Oil Sands Molecular Engineering