Research chairs, awards and honours

Research Chairs

Canada 150 Research Chair

Kerstin Dautenhahn

Robots are increasingly used beyond traditional manufacturing. Professor Dautenhahn has taken on one of the most challenging areas in robotics: developing robots that interact with, and work naturally, alongside people to help them in their daily lives. Creating robots that behave socially and intelligently is essential to their acceptance and successful use. New adaptive and interactive robotic technologies will impact several areas, including education, therapy and care for the aging population. Dautenhahn’s research program integrates artificial intelligence to advance interdisciplinary approaches for creating intelligent and assistive robots.

Canada 150 Research Chairs website

Cisco Research Chair

Catherine Rosenberg

Professor Rosenberg leads a multidisciplinary team of experts helping industry leader, Cisco, in networking prepare for the introduction of 5G. The next generation of wireless systems, 5G is a family of technologies, including new frequency bands, that will enable faster data transfer and reduced delays for greatly improved wireless service. It is expected to power the Internet of Things, allow streaming to mobile devices even when users are travelling at high speeds, and provide reliable service for critical applications such as remote surgery and autonomous vehicles.

Ripple - University Blockchain Research Initative Chair

Anwar Hasan

Anwar Hasan

The University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI), supports academic research, technical development, and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments. In addition to financial resources, Ripple has committed to collaborating with university partners by providing strategic guidance and technical resources as needed. The University of Waterloo is the only Canadian participant in the initiative.

Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Multimedia Quality-of-Experience

Zhou Wang

Zhou Wang

The amount of multimedia digital content at our disposal (such as videos, images and audio) has exploded in recent years. It is constantly streamed to millions of TVs, tablets, laptops and smartphones around the world. In fact, multimedia content is what shapes the Internet as we know it. A key challenge facing both the research community and industry is how to provide innovative solutions that will enrich and enhance human experiences when we consume this content.

Since human perceptual systems (such as our visual and auditory systems) ultimately determine how we react to and experience such content, designing multimedia creation, distribution and presentation systems that optimize the perceptual quality-of-experience for users is critical. As Canada Research Chair in Multimedia Quality-of-Experience, Dr. Zhou Wang is developing computational models that can automatically predict and optimize human visual quality-of-experience when consuming multimedia content.

Wang has already helped invent the Structural Similarity Index (SSIM), which assesses perceptual visual quality. It has been widely used in the broadcasting and telecommunications industry to monitor and optimize the quality of video delivered to millions of users on a daily basis.

Now, Wang and his research team are using revolutionary, biologically inspired perceptual modelling and viewer intelligence approaches to develop new theories and technologies for end-to-end multimedia quality-of-experience measurement, optimization and intelligence solutions. These have the potential to reshape how multimedia content is processed, distributed and presented over communication networks. Ultimately, they will also improve individuals’ everyday perceptual experiences.

Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Micro and Nano Integrated RF Systems

Rafaat Mansour

picture of Raafat Mansour

Building on his innovative research work in RF engineering and microsystems, Dr. Mansour embarks to develop the next generation of nano-scale RF devices and systems. His research program will introduce a new class of RF systems and instrumentations that leverage the benefits of integrating RF, Micro and Nano technologies on a single-chip. This unique chip-scaled technology platform will enable the development of highly advanced RF systems for use in applications such as wireless communication, biomedical and nano-instrumentations.

Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in the Future Internet

Catherine Rosenberg

Catherine Rosenberg, Canada Research Chair in the Future Internet, is contributing to this worldwide effort and helping Canada maintain a leading role in this area. Her research team will investigate several new directions for the future of the Internet, particularly related to wireless networks, quality of service, social networks and user incentives.

Rosenberg’s goal is to help answer some of the questions at the frontier of technology, economy, and policy. Her work, for example, deals with the idea of network neutrality—the absence of restrictions by Internet service providers and governments on the content of the websites that can be visited.

Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Information Theory and Applications

En-Hui Yang


Dr. En-hui Yang is co-developer of the Yang-Kieffer algorithm, a numerical set of rules employing grammar-based coding to achieve lossless compression of text and image files. Compression programs applying this technique can take the "air" out of "data balloons" and then "re-inflate" them to their exact original size and shape - that's essentially what lossless compression and de-compression is all about. The process outperforms all other existing methods by several orders of magnitude. Dr. Yang's outstanding and novel contribution to the field of data compression and information theory is being recognized by his appointment to a Canada Research Chair. The next phase of Dr.Yang's research is aimed, in part, at developing ways to compress huge multimedia files with as high efficiency as possible. As demand soars for seamless, error-free storage and transmission of sound and video files, new compression technologies are essential, and Dr. Yang's work goes a long way toward meeting this need.

Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Wireless Communication Networks

Weihua Zhuang

Weihua Zhuang

Cars come equipped with a variety of features designed to make long-distance rides more enjoyable. We can listen to the radio or CDs, watch movies and get driving directions. However, accessing the Internet (or other wireless networks) has proven more difficult. Access is restricted by user mobility and speed and requires specialized and often expensive devices, such as cellular or satellite network-access devices. Now, thanks to research by Weihua Zhuang, Canada Research Chair in Wireless Communication Networks, accessing wireless networks from your car is becoming a reality. Through “vehicular ad hoc communication networks,” it will be possible for vehicles to communicate with each other while on the road without heavily relying on fixed infrastructures. Zhuang is developing algorithms for radio resource allocation and networking protocols for vehicular ad hoc communications. Her goal is to provide efficient and reliable wireless information transmission between nearby vehicles as well as between vehicles and nearby roadside units. Through her research, she hopes to understand how a large number of vehicles on the road and high vehicle speed can impact network stability and performance. This research will help push the frontier of terrestrial wireless communications to a new level. Ad hoc networking environments that allow high user movement speeds will improve road safety, facilitate intelligent transportation, provide mobile Internet access and support location-dependent information services.

Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Autonomous Systems

Stephen Smith

Dr. Stephen L. Smith, Canada Research Chair in Autonomous Systems, is working to develop the intelligence and planning algorithms that will power this next generation of robots.

His research tackles some of the fundamental challenges in creating robots that can seamlessly operate in human-centric environments.

Smith’s research seeks to create robots that possess several key capabilities. They should be capable of reacting to unexpected changes in the environment without delay.

They should improve their performance over time, leveraging their experience to predict future changes and re-optimize their plans. And, they should be able to communicate with users, understand the task they have been assigned, and even ask questions when more information is needed.

The goal of this research is to create robots that can be integrated directly into the current infrastructure, without requiring custom facilities. This would greatly expand the range of industries where autonomous systems can be deployed, enabling applications in agriculture, self-driving vehicles, flexible manufacturing and beyond.

Hydro One Research Endowed Chair

Claudio Canizares

Professor Canizares holds a Research Endowed Chair in support of Hydro One activities, particularly in the areas of Smart Networks and Emerging Industry Infrastructure.

Loblaws Research Chair in Artificial Intelligence

Loblaws is a major sponsor and contributor to the Waterloo Artificial Intelligence Institute; the Research Chair in artificial intelligence is an integral part of their support for the Institute. The holder of the Loblaws Research Chair in AI is the current co-director of the Waterloo AI Institute, Professor Fakhri Karray. He is teaming up with a number of professors and researchers at the University of Waterloo to support Loblaws in its quest to become a world leader in applying Artificial Intelligence to inventory control, planning, purchasing and supply chain management.

NSERC/Ciena Industrial Research Chair

Amir Khandani

Amir Keyvan Khandani

Ciena and NSERC have established an Advanced Telecommunications Technology Research Chair at the University of Waterloo. This research relationship has been key in supporting Ciena’s advancement in increasing the speed in transatlantic internet connections. Professor Amir Khandani's graduate students have been key hires for Ciena over many years.

University Research Chairs

Previous Chairs

NSERC Associate Industrial Research Chair in Radio Frequency Micro Electro Mechanical Systems

NSERC/Bank of Nova Scotia Industrial Research Chair

NSERC/DALSA Industrial Research Chair

Ontario Research Chair in Renewable Energy Technologies and Health

University of Waterloo Endowed Chair in Nanotechnology

University Research Chairs

Val O'Donovan Endowed Chair

  • Sujeet Chaudhuri, 2004

Research awards and honours

Asia-Pacific Artificial Intelligence Association

The main mission of Asia-Pacific Artificial Intelligence Association (AAIA) is to enhance the development and application of artificial intelligence by scientists in the field of artificial intelligence and other fields around the world through academic research, academic exchanges, science education, science exhibitions, academic conferences, academic publications, summer/winter camps and other activities.


  • Ravi Mazumdar


  • En-Hui Yang

Early Researcher Award Recipients

The Ontario government's Early Researcher Award goes to Ontario's most promising researchers in the first five years of their academic careers. The Early Researcher Award program is a successor to the Premier's Research Excellence Award program.







  • Lin Tan









En-hui Yang Engineering Research Innovation Award

The En-hui Yang Engineering Research Innovation Award is one award per year and it is awarded to an outstanding full-time faculty member in the Faculty of Engineering. This award is made possible by Professor En-hui Yang who has donated proceeds of the 2007 Ontario Premier's Catalyst Award For Innovator of the Year through SlipStream Data Inc., to encourage and support research and innovation by Waterloo Engineering faculty.

2022 - William Wong

2014 - Safieddin Safavi-Naeini

Engineering Research Excellence Award (EREA)

The Engineering Research Excellence Awards are presented each year to tenure or tenured track faculty members in the Faculty of Engineering in recognition of outstanding research accomplishments. Three awards (one per rank) are presented annually at the Dean's Awards Dinner for Faculty and Staff. Recent recipients of the awards are listed below. For eligibility and other information about the award, please click here.

Professor Category

2022 - Omar Ramahi

2019 - Alfred Yu

2017 - Zhou Wang

2015 - Guang Gong

2014 - Magdy Salama

Associate Professor Category

2022 - Vijay Ganesh

2018 - Patrick Mitran

2016 - Simarjeet Saini

2013 - Slim Boumaiza

2012 - Dayan Ban

2011 - Hany Aziz

Assistant Professor Category

2023 - Mahla Poudineh

2014 - Bo Cui

2013 - Dana Kulic

2009 - Karim Karim

NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship

NSERC’s E.W.R Steacie Memorial Fellowships honour the memory of Dr. Edgar William Richard Steacie, an outstanding chemist and research leader who made major contributions to the development of science in Canada during, and immediately following, World War II.

Every year, NSERC awards up to six Steacie Fellowships that are held for a two-year period. Successful fellows are relieved of teaching and administrative duties, so that they can devote all their time and energy to research. The Fellowships are held at a Canadian university or affiliated research institution.

2021 - Alfred Yu

2014 - Zhou Wang