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 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

Former Chairs

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

NSERC Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in The future Internet

NSERC Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Information Theory and Applications

NSERC Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Wireless Communication Networks

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

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