Between physics and aesthetics, engineering and psychology, economics and art — it's in the tension and overlap among disciplines and expertise where we break new ground and solve problems in imaginative ways.

Robert Jan Van Pelt

If you listen, walls do talk.

A world-leading expert on the Holocaust, architecture professor Robert Jan van Pelt has spent much of his career examining the absolute worst of humanity.

In 2000, he helped disprove a Holocaust denier through analysis of blueprints and architectural remains to show how the Nazis had systematically killed European Jews in gas chambers. This work was highlighted in The Evidence Room, an exhibition at the 2017 Venice Biennale, which is now showing at the Royal Ontario Museum.


Na Kim Young

Big ideas about the very small.

Na Young Kim is fascinated by how nature works at its most fundamental level. At Waterloo's Institute for Quantum Computing, she studies particles — atoms and electrons — and their quantum behaviour to develop new technologies. Working at this small scale takes big thinking. You can check out some of this thinking at QUANTUM: The Exhibition, now showing at Canada Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa. 


Mihaela Vlasea

Sometimes the most disruptive innovations are the ones that cause the least disruption.

Thanks to the work of Mihaela Vlasea and Ehsan Toyserkani, professors in Waterloo’s Faculty of Engineering, surgeons and pathologists have a new approach to artificial bone replacements that drastically reduce complications for patients.


Su Yin Tan

Mapping new discoveries and discovering new maps.

The field of geography has always been about exploring our world. Tools linking our social world to the physical are opening a new wave of research and insight. University of Waterloo's Su-Yin Tan’s research and teaching reach well beyond institutional, international and gravitational boundaries.


Raymond Laflamme

Quantum will drive 21st century tech.

At 25, Raymond Laflamme changed Steven Hawking’s mind about the direction of time in a contracting universe. Today, by harnessing the quantum laws of nature, he is paving the way for new breakthroughs in technology, medicine, geological exploration and in areas yet to be discovered.


Team Waterloop

Waterloop is building a faster pod to reach speeds of 300+ km/hr

Imagine travelling from Toronto to Montreal, or from San Francisco to Los Angeles, in 30 minutes. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk threw down the Hyperloop challenge in 2015: Build a prototype that demonstrates the feasibility of travelling at a speed of 1,200 km/h in a pod that rides on a cushion of air in an enclosed track. More than 1,000 teams around the world originally answered the challenge and Waterloop was among the 23 that competed in 2017. Waterloo students from all 6 Faculties now prepare for the next phase of competition in 2018.

By the numbers

$183Min sponsored research
40+senate-approved research centres and institutes
#1comprehensive research university in Canada for ten years

Research Infosource, 2017

#1innovative university in Canada for 26 years

Maclean's, 2017