Engineering Research Office - Centres and Institutes

Many researchers in Engineering are organized into clusters that promote the key thrust areas for research promoted by the University and Faculty. Sanctioned by the University Senate, centres and institutes are established in areas where Waterloo has extraordinary research strengths, and anticipates extraordinary results.

Internally, centres co-ordinate infrastructure and resources, encourage collaboration, and integrate research from one end of a system to another. Externally, centres foster partnerships with industry and government, and raise the profile of Waterloo's research in strategic areas.

Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB)


Established in 2011, the Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology (CBB) is a catalyst for advancing bioengineering and biotechnology research and innovation through industry collaborations and partnerships. More than 80 faculty members, from every faculty on campus, are actively engaged with the centre, working in collaboration to provide a resource of varying expertise. CBB's mandate is to build healthy, active partnerships between centre researchers and corporate members through collaborative projects, mutual interest building, and networking events. CBB's Director is Catherine Burns.

Visit CBB website 

Climate Institute

The University of Waterloo Climate Institute brings together scientists and students to elevate and enhance the impact and excellence of innovative interdisciplinary research and education that empowers business, government and civil society to respond effectively to the climate crisis.

The University of Waterloo’s unique combination of strengths and depth of expertise allows us to deal head-on with the complexity and interconnectedness of social, political and technological dimensions of the climate crisis.

Visit the Climate Institute website

Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute (CPI)

Canada can be a world leader in cybersecurity and privacy, exploiting a growing need for solutions by exporting innovations in platforms, software and services to the world. Waterloo is Canada’s leader at turning information and communication technology (ICT) research into innovations that create economic advantage..

Visit the CPI website

Institute for Polymer Research (IPR)

The Institute carries out applied and fundamental research in areas that are of vital interest to the plastics, coatings, adhesives and elastomers industries. This includes work in such diverse fields as molecular weight characterization, thermal characterization, emulsion polymerization, polymer processing, polymerization kinetics, copolymerization, reactive extrusion, polymer-based catalysts, polymer photochemistry and development of new monomers and polymers.

Visit IPR website

Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC)

The Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) is a world-leading quantum institute at the University of Waterloo. IQC is advancing the field of quantum information at the highest international level to discover and develop powerful new quantum technologies that will drive future economies.

Visit IQC website

Water Institute

The Water Institute is an interdisciplinary hub that facilitates innovative research, education, and training. The Institute's activities focus on the sustainable use and management of water resources to support healthy and prosperous communities and ecosystems at the national and international scale. The executive director of the Water Institute is Prof. Roy Brouwer. 

Visit the Water Institute website


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the notion of machines that exhibit intelligence and mimic cognitive functions that are usually associated with humans, such as learning, reasoning, predicting, planning, recognizing, and problem solving. With the advent of big data driven by the explosion of computing capacity and speed, AI tools are being increasingly integrated in technological solutions that are central to our everyday life, business, society, and the environment.

Visit the Waterloo AI Institute website

Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research (WatCAR)

Established in 2004, WatCAR serves as the primary campus interface of Waterloo's automotive research capacity to the industry at large, including Assemblers, Automotive Parts Manufacturers (Tiers I-IV) and Materials suppliers.

More than 110 leading automotive researchers undertaking key technology enabling research across all six Engineering departments and in the Faculties of Applied Health Sciences, Environment, Mathematics and Science. WatCAR encompasses seven automotive student teams alongside the largest university-based automotive research activity in Canada.

WatCAR's research thrusts include Green Propulsion & PowertrainLightweighting & Fabrication, and Cognitive & Mechatronic Systems. Sebastian Fischmeister is the Executive Director of WatCAR.

Visit WatCAR website

Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research (WCMR)

The mandate of the Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research (WCMR) is to promote research and education in the application of microbiological principles and techniques to address environmental, industrial, economic and human health challenge.

Visit WCMR website

Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN)

Waterloo Institute for  Nanotechnology (WIN) logo

stablished in 2008, the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) membership spans 9 departments with 30 existing faculty, 21 new nanotechnology appointments, 42 graduate nanotechnology Fellowships, a state-of-the-art, $160M Quantum-Nano-Centre and Canada's largest co-operative nanotechnology engineering undergraduate program.

Research themes include Nano Material, Nano-Biosystems and Nanomedicine, Nano-Instrumentation, Quantum-Nano Photonics, Micro-Nano Fluidics, Nano-Electronics, Thin Films, OLEDS and Fabrication. The Executive Director of WIN is Sushanta Mitra.

Visit WIN website

Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE)

wise logo

WISE was established in April 2008 to promote multi-disciplinary development of innovative energy systems and policies to enhance social, economic and environmental performance for long term sustainability. More than 70 researchers working as teams across the faculties of Engineering, Science and Environment are involved in studies with utilities, private sector partners and government agencies to conduct and advance research in order to generate sustainable alternatives to existing energy production and delivery systems, and promote energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. The Executive Director of WISE is Jatin Nathwani.

Visit WISE website