Kumaraswamy Ponnambalam


Contact InformationKumaraswamy Ponnambalam

Phone: 519-888-4567 x43282
Location: E7 6316


Biography Summary

Kumaraswamy Ponnambalam is a Professor in the Department of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo.

He has previously worked at several academic institutions including the College of Engineering in Madras, India; the University of Toronto, the University of Ottawa and the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands. In the past, Professor Ponnambalam has been a Research Assistant Professor and the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies in the Systems Design Engineering department at UWaterloo.

His research interests include design optimization under uncertainty, mainly pertaining to issues in civil, chemical, electrical and environmental engineering. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the many applications, much of the work has been done in collaboration with colleagues from both within and outside the university. In addition, Professor Ponnambalam is also working in the Application of Intelligent Systems to hydrology and water resources, health decision making, control of satellite communications, and fault detection analysis.

He has received research funding from the Communitech Database Grant, the FEDDEV Grant, NSERC Engage Grant, NSERC Discovery Grant, Ontario Research Fund, MITACS Doctoral Scholarship, and CITO Industrial Research Grant. As a result of his research work, Professor Ponnambalam has received numerous awards including the “Distinguished Performance in Research, Teaching, and Service, Faculty of Engineering Award”, from the University of Waterloo in 2006; and the “Best Student Paper Award” at the 2011 International Conference of Financial Engineering.

Research Interests

  • Design Optimization under Uncertainty
  • StoHigh-level Design of Software Structures
  • Systems Theory & Optimization
  • Software Engineering
  • Sustainable Development
  • Large Scale Optimization
  • Reliability Based Design of Large Systems
  • Sustainable Product Design
  • Societal & Environmental Systems
  • Modeling & Simulation
  • Application of Intelligent Systems
  • Water


  • 1987, Doctorate, Civil Engineering (Systems Analysis and Design), University of Toronto
  • 1981, Master's, Engineering Hydrology, University College, Galway - The National University of Ireland
  • 1979, Bachelor's, Civil Engineering, Madras University


  • SYDE 770 - Communication & Info Systems
    • Taught in 2016
  • SYDE 621 - Mathematics of Computation
    • Taught in 2018, 2019
  • SYDE 202 - Seminar
    • Taught in 2017, 2019, 2020
  • SYDE 531 - Design Opt Prob Uncertainty
    • Taught in 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020
  • SYDE 730 - Societal-Environmental Systems
    • Taught in 2020
  • SYDE 760 - Topics in Engineering Design
    • Taught in 2018, 2019, 2020
  • SYDE 262 - Eng. Economics of Design
    • Taught in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Mahootchi, M and Ponnambalam, K and Tizhoosh, HR, Response to the comments by Joodavi, A., and Mozafari, M. on “Operations optimization of multireservoir systems using storage moments equations” by M. Mahootchi, K. Ponnambalam, HR Tizhoosh [Adv. Water Resour. 33 (2010) 1150--1163], Advances in Water Resources, 2016
  • Hanafizadeh, Payam and Qahi, Amir Hossein Mortazavi and Ponnambalam, Kumaraswamy, Robust Option through Binomial Tree Method, International Journal of Strategic Decision Sciences (IJSDS), 6(4), 2015, 42 - 53
  • Mousavi, S Jamshid and Alizadeh, Hosein and Ponnambalam, Kumaraswamy, Storage-yield analysis of surface water reservoirs: the role of reliability constraints and operating policies, Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, 28(8), 2014, 2051 - 2061
  • Mahootchi, Masoud and Tizhoosh, Hamid R and Ponnambalam, Kumaraswamy, Oppositional extension of reinforcement learning techniques, Information Sciences, 275, 2014, 101 - 114
  • ADAMS, BJ and PONNAMBALAM, K, Closed-loop policies as available in stochastic dynamic programming (SDP) are, Stochastic and Statistical Methods in Hydrology and Environmental Engineering: Volume 4: Effective Environmental Management for Sustainable Development, 10, 2013

Graduate Studies