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University of Toronto - 2016

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Research Description

Research Description By Graduate Engineering Department

Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry

With more than 30 professors, 200 graduate students, and 220 undergraduates, the University of Toronto has one of the largest chemical engineering departments in the world. Research is being conducted in: applied organic chemistry; biochemical engineering; biomaterials; biomedical engineering; biotechnology; ceramics engineering; chemical analysis; chemical reactor design; combustion engineering; composite materials; electrochemical engineering; energy engineering; environmental engineering; fluid mechanics; food engineering; heat, mass and momentum transport; hydrometallurgy; polymer science and engineering; process control; process modelling and optimal control; pulp and paper; radiochemistry; separation processes; thermodynamics, kinetics and catalysis. For further information, students may refer to the department's website:

Department of Civil Engineering

The Department of Civil Engineering has a tradition of excellence dating back to 1873. It is the largest Civil Engineering program in Canada. With close ties to the profession and a strong research base, graduate programs are designed to develop students' capacity for research and innovation. Areas of research include: structural engineering, concrete, steel, and composite structures, materials engineering, building science, rehabilitation and restoration of structures, construction engineering and management; geomechanics; rock mechanics and engineering, soil mechanics, mining applications; transportation planning and engineering; intelligent infrastructure systems; environmental and water resource engineering; environmental remediation; environmental planning. For further information, students may refer to the department's website:

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto is one of the oldest materials departments in Canada and offers graduate programs at all levels in metallurgy and materials science.

Areas of research include: nonferrous pyrometallurgy; iron and steel making; process metallurgy; welding; phase transformations; mechanical properties; corrosion; ceramics; biomaterials; amorphous materials; composite materials, nuclear materials; electronic materials; microstructural science; nanotechnology. For further information, students should refer to the department's website:

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

The Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering has over 45 professors and 270 students engaged in M.A.Sc and Ph.D. programs. The department maintains close relations with industry and several government sponsored Centres of Excellence. Research is being conducted in: applied mechanics; biomedical engineering; computer-aided engineering; energy studies; fluid mechanics and hydraulics; human factors engineering; management information systems; management science; materials; manufacturing, operations research; robotics, automation and control; social impact of technology; systems design and optimization; surface science; thermodynamics and heat transfer; plasma processing; vibration; computational fluid dynamics; environmental engineering; coatings; finite element methods; internal combustion engines; spray-forming processes; laser photothermal and optoelectronic diagnostic science and instrumentation; ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation. For further information, students should refer to the department's website:

Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

With over 60 professors, close to 500 graduate students and over 1000 undergraduates, this is the largest department of its kind in Canada. The graduate department is organized into eight research groups which provide a home and research focus for graduate students. Research is being undertaken in:

digital signal processing; digital communications; communication networks; data compression; information theory and coding; satellite communications; image processing and retrieval; multimedia systems; spread spectrum systems; wireless communications; radio networks.

computer architecture; systems programming; computer networks; distributed systems; trusted systems; array processors; non-binary logic; digital circuits; computer-aided design; computer applications.

FPGA applications and systems

semiconductor device physics; integrated circuit design; network theory linear and digital circuits; transport and optical properties of semiconductors; VLSI design and technology; filters; computer-aided circuit design and testing; solid-state transducers.

Power devices and systems:
electric power systems; high-voltage phenomena; energy conversion; power modulators; power semiconductor systems; induction heating; electromagnetic field-fluid interaction; magnetic materials; linear motors; electric propulsion systems; machine systems stability; wave interactions; quasi-optics; microwave circuits; bioelectromagnetics.

Systems control:
foundations of control theory; control of multivariable systems; control of discrete-event systems; process modelling and identification; stochastic control; adaptive control; control of queuing systems; microprocessor control systems; large-scale system theory; optimization and simulation; metallurgical control; urban traffic control.

crystal optics; fiber sensors; solar cells; integrated optics; lightwave technology; optoelectronic devices; nonlinear optics; optical properties of semiconductors; semiconductor laser and optoelectronic devices; short-wavelength lasers.

For further information, students may refer to the department's website:

Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering

Faculty members of the Institute are drawn from a wide variety of disciplines in engineering, medicine and dentistry, including members of the extensive teaching hospitals network in Toronto. The Institute also provides undergraduate biomedical engineering through the Biomedical Option in the prestigious Engineering Science program as well as through the Biomedical Engineering Minor option. For further information on the Biomedical Engineering Minor, please see

Members of IBBME are conducting research in: metabolic control systems; biomaterials; vascular disease detection; microprocessors in medicine; nuclear medicine engineering; neurophysiology; hearing and acoustics; ultrasound; microcirculation; vision research; drug delivery devices and systems; orthopaedic implant design; bone-material interface; biodegradable implants; tissue mechanics; load-bearing biomaterials; microencapsulation of mammalian cells; biomechanics; tissue engineering; implants and tissue repair/regeneration; dental implant design; dental restorative materials; degradation of biomaterials; mechanical characteristics of biomaterials; blood-interfacing biomaterials; surface modification; composite biomaterials; metallic biomaterials; bioceramics; biopolymers; hydrogels; trace element analysis; processing and properties of biomaterials; neural grafts; cell-biomaterials interactions; implant-related bone remodeling; device retrieval and analysis; surface science. For further information, students may refer to the Institute's website:

University of Toronto, Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS)

The University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) has been a leading multidisciplinary research facility since the 1940s. In addition to graduate programs, the Institute provides undergraduate aerospace studies through the Aerospace Option in the prestigious Engineering Science program. Faculty members of UTIAS are involved in research in: dynamics and control of aircraft and spacecraft; space robotics; compressible flows and shock waves; combustion and propulsion; low-speed aerodynamics; mechanics of gases, plasmas, and molecular beams; ultrahigh vacuum technology; mechanics of solids and structures; air-cushion and air-bearing technology; fusion reactor materials and technology; smart structure and optical-fiber sensor technology; helicopter flight testing; man-machine systems; hypersonic and high-temperature gas dynamics; flight and ground vehicle simulators; computational fluid dynamics. For further information, students may refer to the UTIAS website:

Research Description By Engineering Research Center


BioZone’s mission is to advance and capitalize on the dramatic progress in recent years in biology, particularly in genome science and genome analysis tools. There is a vast untapped reservoir of biological diversity, primarily in the microbial world, that is ripe to be mined for useful products and processes. Unfortunately, applied and environmental microbiology are not the prime focus of any specific department on campus. BioZone fills a clear gap in this area, providing a means to connect microbiology research groups around campus and a clearinghouse for information in this area. Most importantly, BioZone fosters innovation at the interface of biology and engineering such that meaningful iterations from ideas to applications can be achieved in the context of technological, economic and public policy constraints.

Centre for Advanced Coating Technologies

The principal focus of research in the Centre for Advanced Coating Technologies is on thermal spray coatings--one of the most important and versatile surface modification technologies. Thermal spray coating is fueled by resurgence in the manufacture, overhaul, and maintenance of gas turbines, and is rapidly expanding into non-aircraft market sectors. The new applications of thermal spray coating technologies are in automotive systems, pulp and paper industry, boiler components, power generation equipment, chemical process equipment, bridges, steel mills, concrete reinforcements, orthopedics/dental, land based/marine turbines, and ships.

Thermal spray coatings are formed by heating, melting, and accelerating powdered material in a high temperature, high velocity gas and depositing them onto a substrate. Three main sources of heat and momentum are employed for particle melting and acceleration: a) dc plasmas, either at atmospheric pressure (APS) or under vacuum (VPS); b) radio-frequency inductively coupled plasma (rf-ICP); and, c) high velocity oxy-fuel (HVOF) jets. HVOF is a novel technique, introduced only in the last fifteen years, that has proved to be an excellent method of producing high-quality metallic and carbide coatings, particularly tungsten carbine. One of the most important emerging applications of HVOF spraying is in production of coatings that can be used to replace hard chrome, a material widely used to provide corrosion and wear resistant coatings on aircraft landing gear components. Due to environmental concerns, hard chrome electroplating is no longer commercially feasible.

This application is of special importance to Canadian companies, which control 60% of the landing gear market in North America, and are urgently trying to identify alternate technologies.

The Centre for Advanced Coating Technologies includes researchers in both Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and has major facilities for basic and applied research and development in thermal spray coating. The Centre has established very strong links with Canadian and US industries. The research includes: development of diagnostic equipment to characterize thermal sprays; improvement to the design of existing processes; use of computational techniques to simulate the coating process; coating property characterization.

Centre for Advanced Diffusion-Wave Technologies (CADIF)

For more than a quarter century, we have been researching the unique depth-profilometric diagnostic capabilities of diffusion waves which include a very wide range of physical fields and phenomena (thermal, electronic, photonic, atmospheric, to name a few) thus offering exceptionally wide trans-disciplinary research opportunities. Reflecting this realization, the CADIFT has emerged as a unique research center in Canada and in the world.

The CADIFT activities offer students and other researchers cross-fertilization opportunities in a uniquely wide spectrum of research including: the physics, mathematics, engineering, instrumental implementation and experimental applications of novel laser-based analytical inspection and monitoring techniques; high-precision measurement methodologies; environmental sensor device development; analytical, non-destructive and spectroscopic methodologies; signal processing and measurement science; imaging techniques for industrial and health sector applications.

The CADIFT is thus very adaptable to new fast-evolving scientific and technological challenges which ultimately benefit Canadian competitiveness on the international scale. Outstanding opportunities in the biomedical and dental sectors have also emerged for the CADIFT. They include building the scientific foundations of biothermophotonics, biophotoacoustic imaging and research in novel biosensor technologies for sub-surface probing of hard (dental) and soft tissues.

Centre for Advanced Nanotechnology

The Centre for Advanced Nanotechnology (ECAN) was established in 1977. It is based on a multidisciplinary team of faculty and researchers from various departments including both applied science and engineering, arts and sciences, and mathematics and applied mathematics. ECAN is Canada's first centre for nanotechnology research, and is closely tied to industry and other key research institutions in nanotechnology throughout the world.

Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary field (or set of technologies) for designing, fabricating, and applying nanometer-scale materials, structures and devices. In general, nanotechnology may involve such engineering disciplines as materials science, electrical, computer and mechanical engineering, as well as chemistry, physics, mathematics, and biotechnology. Specifically, in semiconductor applications, nanotechnology refers to the technology for fabricating electronic and photonic devices with feature sizes ranging from a few nanometers to the sub-micron range, and these fields are commonly termed nanoelectronics and nanophotonics, respectively. In addition, nanotechnology currently is also used to refer to the rapidly developing area of nanoelectro-mechanical systems (NEMS) which have only just began to show their promise for fields such as sensing, biotechnology, integrated opto-electronic and fiber assemblies.

Major efforts in the Centre are directed at both theoretical and experimental aspects of nanotechnology, related to applications in nanoelectronics, nanophotonics, and NEMS research.

Centre for Global Engineering


In the first half of 2008, the Dean’s Task Force on Globalization and Engineering recommended exploring the creation of a centre to focus the Faculty’s activities on global engineering issues. A working group consisting of Phil Byer, Yu-Ling Cheng, Bryan Karney and Murray Metcalfe was established to explore the concept of a centre.


The Centre will play a key role in both the education and research mission of the Faculty by promoting interdepartmental and interdivisional research and other scholarly activities related to engineering in a global environment.

The Centre's activities will be carried out by existing faculty, working with internal and external partners.

The Centre members will conduct research that is either:(1) discipline specific research projects with relevance to global issues, and/or (2) research in knowledge translation or diffusion of innovation in the engineering context.

The Centre will help to enhance the global experience of students.

Faculty affiliated with the centre will contribute to the education mission by: teaching courses, supervising design projects or undergraduate and graduate theses with international content, participating in the development of academic initiatives including undergraduate minors and graduate certificate programs, and serving as links to departments outside the Faculty who may be beneficial partners in the Faculty’s global programs.

The Centre will be the face of global engineering to both internal and external communities and will identify to potential external partners that research and educational activities on global issues exists within the Faculty, and will thus lead to collaborative opportunities.

Centre for Maintenance Optimization & Reliability Engineering (C-MORE)

C-MORE´s research is driven by close interactions with industry, in particular with MORE consortium members and with researchers at universities world-wide. The focus is on real-world research in engineering asset management in the areas of condition-based maintenance, spares management, protective devices, maintenance and repair contracts, and failure-finding intervals.

Centre for Managment of Technology and Entrepreneurship

The Research of CMTE members focuses on the Financial Services Industry and its technological needs. Most of the work is carried out in collaboration with the FSI firm which typically supplies the problem and the data for the studies. The staff of these firms take an active part in collaborative research with students and scientists working at the Centre.

Productivity and Efficiency in the Services Industry is the major focus of our research interests. This includes the examination of productivity measures for independent Decision Making Units (DMU) within an FSI organization. Such groups include software development teams, branch employees and management, loan portfolio lending teams, credit rating of corporate loans, etc. This area of research involves Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) methodologies and modelling of the DMU's in the FSI corporation. Other applications of DEA include modelling the efficiency and effectiveness of Bell Canada service provisioning teams in Ontario; temporal analysis of Canadian Schedule I Bank performance; the study of Credit Unions' economic performance in several Canadian Provinces. New theoretical approaches in DEA applications, user friendly GUI for use by practitioners designing DEA solutions, and computer programs to solve large and complex DEA models are also under development.

The research also involves the examination of economic returns on Information Technology investments. The FSI members spend as much as 1 billion dollars per annum in this area and their returns on this investment have never been accurately determined . Additional areas of interest include:

Mutual Fund Performance Evaluation using DEA
DEA-based Analysis of Corporate Failure
Internet Banking
Applications of DEA to Software Engineering Management
Credit Card Fraud Detection
Multimedia Banking Kiosks
Opportunities/Impediments of Information Technology systems in Canadian Schedule II Banks

Centre for Research in Healthcare Engineering

An initiative of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, the Centre for Research in Healthcare Engineering (CRHE) is a response to the immediate and compelling desire for efficiency and quality improvements in the Canadian health care system. The Centre will provide both theoretical and practical advice as well as support for many of today's most pressing problems. CHRE research is focused on the application of Industrial/Systems Engineering techniques in relation to demand and capacity modelling and resource allocation issues in the health care industry. Our goals include creating quantitative decision support tools to help policy makers and industry leaders make better informed decisions.

CRHE is committed to:

The Centre offers a wide variety of educational opportunities ranging from full time graduate programs to courses, workshops, and seminars. The exchange of ideas and experience through the networking opportunity in each of the educational events enhances the learning experience of all of those involved.

The Centre conducts multi-disciplinary applied research in all areas related to health care engineering, including but not limited to: operational management: information systems engineering: and ergonomics/human factors engineering. While our research questions are often motivated by challenges faced in member organizations, the findings advance the whole field of health care engineering and are beneficial to the academic society, as well as various healthcare institutions and policy making authorities. We are committed to disseminating our research findings by publishing in both peer-reviewed and established professional journals.

Centre for Research in Sustainable Aviation

With the help of a $1.65-million six-year grant from NSERC’s CREATE (Collaborative Research and Training Experience) program, a team of UTIAS professors, in collaboration with professors from other parts of the Faculty and University, will develop the next generation of aerospace engineers to take on the challenge of ensuring the industry is environmentally sustainable. Building on U of T’s reputation for research into ways to reduce aviation’s carbon footprint, the new Environmentally Sustainable Aviation certificate program will train more than 130 undergraduate and graduate students. They will learn about aerodynamics to reduce drag on airplanes, study lightweight options in aircraft construction and examine biofuel options.

Centre for Resilience of Critical Infrastructure

The Centre for the Resilience of Critical Infrastructure (RCI), launched in September 2011, is looking into the ability of buildings and utilities to withstand the onslaught of a disaster, whether it is a natural calamity or a terrorist threat. Today’s society requires structures that are resilient enough to withstand such pressures " the kinds of pressures never anticipated by traditional procedures of engineering design. RCI, based in Civil Engineering, is bringing together expertise in research and practice in academia, government and industry. It will be expanding the dialogue on infrastructure resilience through workshops and presentations.

Centre for Technology and Social Development

The Centre has built databases of preventive approaches in six areas of application: materials and production; energy; work; the built habitat; computer-based technologies; technology transfer for development.

Apart from developing this new frontier in engineering education and practice, the Centre encourages the introduction of preventive approaches into the core of the curricula of engineering, management science, business administration, accounting and public policy within the university, as well as into industry and government.

Emerging Communication Technology Institute

The Nortel Institute promotes, facilitates and conducts innovative, intensely collaborative research too long-range in scope for corporations or too large for even the best-equipped individual university research groups. The Institute is mandated both to pursue research that is long-term and exploratory, leading to advances and continued leadership in the future, as well as to engage in short-term development of technology to find specific solutions to problems faced by industry.

Telecommunications research is increasingly cross-disciplinary, encompassing and transcending such fields as satellites, microwaves, computing, electronics, optics advanced materials, management and sociology. The Institute is positioning itself at the focal point for the fusion of advances in disciplines including: physics; mathematics; chemistry; materials science; computer science; electrical and computer engineering. Institute researchers collaborate with colleagues from across the University of Toronto, sister institutions in Canada and around the world, and researchers from industry, in particular from the founding industry partner, Nortel Networks.

Researchers and scholars from the fields of management and languages are also contributing to the Institute's studies of technology trends, policy, regulation and impact. At present, there are five principal research thrusts in highly competitive areas: Novel Network Architectures and Management; Novel Microwave Technologies; Advanced Wireless/Mobility; All-Optical Networks Emerging Technologies / Device Prototyping; Organic and Polymer Photonic Materials and Devices.

The Nortel Institute's research and development program is designed to respond to and work towards the resolution of specific challenges.


The increasing global competition that has forced industry to retreat from long-term, exploratory research necessary to develop new technologies.

The very high cost to a national economy that must "catch up" in technological development and the significant rewards to an economy that achieves leadership.

The increasingly cross-disciplinary nature of advanced information technologies research.

The vital necessity of attracting and retaining top researchers.


Create a mutually beneficial three-way partnership among academia, industry and government to establish the resources for both long-term exploratory research and shorter-term research in support of industry.

Develop a comprehensive, focused research program, led by internationally recognized experts in their fields.

Develop first-class research infrastructure, structured for maximum flexibility and efficiency, fostering creative collaborations and attracting top researchers.


Accelerate the advance and convergence of information technologies through long-term exploratory research programs to gain and maintain technological competitive advantage.

Support the growth of Canadian industry both at home and internationally through collaborative research and development projects.

Contribute to future growth by providing the concepts and testing facilities for technological entrepreneurs to develop the new products and services arising from new technologies.

Identity, Privacy and Security Institute

In the spring of 2007, ECE Professor Dimitrios Hatzinakos and colleagues from the Faculty of Information and U of T Mississauga created a new initiative at U of T focusing on identity, privacy and security. This initiative was established to carry out a pioneering, interdisciplinary program of research, education, outreach, industry collaboration and technology transfer with emphasis on technology, policy and science. In May 2009, IPSI became an EDU-C and became the Identity, Privacy and Security Institute.


To advance the integration of the basic, social and engineering science research required to generate sustainable solutions to identity, integrity, privacy and security.

To assemble a cross-disciplinary community of researchers and community partners to create excellence in interdisciplinary research and education in the field of identity, privacy and security technologies, policies and sciences.

To provide interdisciplinary high level training in identity, privacy and security applications through state of the art educational programs and specializations that will bring together faculty and students from different disciplines to study and think together about identity, privacy and security and related technologies, policies and sciences.

To facilitate the commercialization of technologies through effective technology transfer mechanisms and industrial partnerships.

To work with policymakers and regulatory agencies to inform their judgment of identity, privacy and security realities with evidence-based considerations of the scientific, ethical, legal and social issues involved.

ILead - The Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering

The Institute is the first of its kind in the Canadian engineering landscape, and positions the University of Toronto Engineering to lead the way in empowering engineering students to succeed as leaders in their profession and beyond. The Institute creates a recognizable hub for student leadership education activities and programming, and for faculty who seek to teach, and conduct research on engineering leadership. The Institute creates visibility with funders for supporting engineering leadership education. It promotes the building of resources and recognition of engineering leadership theory and practice at the University of Toronto and beyond.

The function of the Institute is threefold: teaching, research and outreach in the realm of engineering leadership development. The Institute provides focus and resources for a leadership curriculum planning committee. Co-curricular and extra-curricular leadership development activities continue to be led by the Engineering Leaders of Tomorrow program operating under the umbrella of the Institute. The Institute facilitates research and scholarly work on leadership pedagogy and engages with others around the world doing this kind of work.

Institute for Multidisciplinary Design and Innovation

Launched within MIE in January 2012, the University of Toronto Institute for Multidisciplinary Design & Innovation (UT-IMDI) teams students with clients to work on design and development challenges facing industry. A senior engineer in the client’s organization and a faculty member supervise the specially designed projects, running primarily from May to August. Projects are open to all U of T Engineering undergraduates, with plans to expand the program to include M.Eng students.

Led by Professor Kamran Behdinan (MIE) " who was appointed NSERC Chair in Multidisciplinary Engineering Design in 2012 " UT-IMDI’s emphasis is on the multidisciplinary nature of design and evolving technology. For students, it builds on design experience already gained through their coursework, including the capstone design course. UT-IMDI projects bring together design initiatives from across the Faculty, encouraging collaboration and innovation on both national and international scales. Projects also help our students and faculty forge even stronger links within industry.

Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics

The main objective of the Institute is to coordinate the large number of academic and research activities underway within the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto and facilitate the development of large teaching and research initiatives in the areas of Mechatronics and Robotics. Specifically:

To assemble a number of research groups in the areas of Robotics and Mechatronics in order to enhance cross-disciplinary research and lead cross-disciplinary research programs and initiatives.

To facilitate the commercialization of technology through proper technology transfer mechanisms and industrial collaborations.

To lead the establishment of high caliber teaching programs focused on Robotics and Mechatronics at the undergraduate and graduate levels and establish the necessary infrastructure to deliver such programs.

To enhance the visibility of research and teaching programs within the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto nationally and internationally.

To provide outreach to high schools and community, so as to promote engineering and attract students to the field.

Institute for Sustainable Energy

The University of Toronto Institute for Sustainable Energy is an inclusive, multidisciplinary centre designed to bring together researchers, students, and teachers from across the university, together with partners from industry and government, with the goal of increasing energy efficiency and reducing the environmental impact of energy use and conversion.

By bringing together information about energy-related pursuits throughout the university in one central location and by organizing seminars and events with an energy-related theme, the Centre will facilitate the formation of connections between researchers, students, and teachers interested in energy issues. These connections can lead to the formation of multidisciplinary research or project teams to solve complex problems related to energy systems or to research advanced technologies that enable cleaner and more sustainable use, conversion, storage, and distribution of energy. An interdisciplinary approach to the solution of complex energy problems will allow synergies between different energy sources and technologies to be identified and utilized to design more effective larger-scale energy systems that can improve on the separate performance of the individual components. The centre will also serve as a source of information for students and faculty members regarding scholarships, research opportunities, course offerings, thesis projects, funding opportunities, seminars, and opportunities for collaboration, all with a specific energy-related focus. " See more at: Institute for Sustainable Energy

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Centre and Testbed

At the University of Toronto, our definition of ITS is broad and inclusive. It involves applying information technology and other advanced methods and techniques to improve transportation system performance and to increase these systems contribution to our economic and social well-being.

Addressing transportation problems involves: a complex interplay between technology; human perception; cognition and behavior; social, economic, and political systems. So, transportation research is inherently multi- and interdisciplinary.

ITS Centre and Testbed

The ITS Centre and Testbed provides an instrumented, multijurisdictional, multiagency transportation operations environment linked to university laboratories for real-world development, testing, and evaluation of ITS technologies and applications. It is also a meeting ground or melting pot for public, academic, and private practitioners and researchers to explore new approaches to transportation system management. It offers a site for private industry to demonstrate and evaluate its prototype technologies under live traffic conditions and an ongoing testing ground for Canadian ITS efforts.

Lassonde Institute of Mining

The Lassonde Institute of Mining is an interdisciplinary research institute within the University of Toronto created to be at the forefront of leading edge research in Engineering Geoscience. It is an international center of excellence in Engineering Geoscience encompassing engineers, geophysicists, geologists, geochemists, materials scientists and environmental scientists who are interested in research that crosses disciplines and traditional boundaries. Engineering Geoscience is the science of human interaction with the earth. The earth is a dynamic planet and the goal of Engineering Geoscience is to pursue fundamental understanding of the earth’s response to human activities. Graduate research at the Lassonde Institute seeks to further that understanding.

Through the Lassonde Institute, the University of Toronto is positioned as an international centre of excellence in Engineering Geoscience, with research groups performing fundamental and critical science at the interface of engineering, geology and geophysics. The Lassonde Institute is charged with solving first-order scientific problems in support of future development efforts that will fundamentally change the way companies in the minerals and energy sectors work with and exploit the earth’s crust. The Institute is composed of several research groups and laboratories within the University covering the fields of rock physics, rock fracture dynamics, seismology, computational geomechanics, mineral engineering, and soil and rock mechanics. Research groups collaborate with each other, with other international research groups and with industrial partners in extensive multi-disciplinary research projects. This leads to a unique synergy contributing to world-class research and the development of exciting new technologies.

Pulp and Paper Centre

The Pulp & Paper Centre (PPC) at the University of Toronto, which exists within the umbrella of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, was founded in 1987. Although the Centre has grown and changed with the challenges that face the industry, its mission has remained the same: it continues to facilitate partnerships between the University and the pulp and paper industry in order to provide excellence in education, research, and information transfer.

Embracing the new biological and hi-tech tools in a multidisciplinary approach, the Centre has broadened its activities to include biorefinery research projects which seek to convert forest biomass and mill effluents into alternative sources of energy, including methane and bio-ethanol.

Research within the Pulp & Paper Centre is organized around five groups: Environment, led by Professor Grant Allen; Energy and Chemical Recovery, led by Professor Hongi Tran; Lignocellulosic Fibres, led by Professor Mohini Sain; Surface Science of Paper, led by Professors Ramin Farnood and Doug Reeve; and Biotechnology, led by Professor Emma Master . Cutting-edge projects are carried out with the support of three industrial consortia and various grants. In the past year alone, a total of $3.2 million in research funding was provided by NSERC and over 30 pulp and paper related companies in Canada, the United States, Finland, Sweden, Japan, Brazil, and New Zealand.

In addition to working with industry partners, the Centre has collaborated with numerous universities and research institutions, both domestic and international. It also actively participates in the Canadian Forest Biorefinery Network established by Pulp and Paper Innovation in Education and Research (PAPIER), an organization consisting of industry sponsored PAPRICAN and the seven pulp and paper centres in Canadian universities. PAPIER allows its members to combine industry experience and research on a national scale to “get the best out of the forest.”

The Pulp & Paper Centre encourages extensive student involvement at both the graduate and the undergraduate level, drawing upon an impressive pool of talent: 51 graduate students, 28 undergraduate students, 25 associated staff, and 46 faculty from several departments within the University of Toronto. The graduate student training and professional development programs are a core activity. Students have enthusiastically participated in the Industrial Internship program, which allows selected candidates to work in a pulp and paper mill for two months in their research areas. They have also organized many technology tours, both within Canada and to the United States, Scandinavia, Japan, and Brazil, and they are planning a tour to China this summer. The vibrant program mounted by TISCUT enables students to develop outstanding research and leadership skills so that they become active members of the pulp and paper community.

In recent years, the Centre and its faculty have received broad recognition, winning a 2003 NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation with ERCO Worldwide. In addition, Professor David Goring was inducted into the Pulp and Paper Industry Hall of Fame in 2006, Professor Honghi Tran, recently appointed to the Frank Dottori Chair in Pulp & Paper Engineering, was the recipient of the prestigious TAPPI Beloit Engineering Award (2006), and Professor Doug Reeve was awarded the 2007 John S. Bates Memorial Award, the highest honour bestowed on an individual by the Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada.

On July 1, 2012, the PPC celebrated a milestone: 25 years of self-supporting operation. The Centre will continue to make flexibility its major operating principle in order to keep up with the challenges of a post-Kyoto world and help transform the pulp and paper industry into a sustainable industry of the future.

Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research (SOCAAR)

The vision of the Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research (SOCAAR) is:

A world class centre for environmental research. SOCAAR is comprised of exceptional people and state-of-the-art facilities. The centre is committed to innovative thinking and high quality results so as to produce a broad, trans-disciplinary and actionable understanding of the origins, characteristics, environmental impact, and human health consequences of atmospheric aerosols.

SOCAAR will:
Advance the thinking and understanding of aerosol science.

Energize and support its members in the pursuit of aerosol research.

Promote collaboration, collegiality and community, and foster sustained interdisciplinary partnerships.

Promote linkages between academia, government, industry and the public.

Attract and produce top students, post-doctoral fellows, and other researchers.

Provide trans-disciplinary training of future environmental science and technology professionals.

Generate knowledge that supports short and long-term decision-making and the development, implementation, or compliance with policies and regulations.

Be recognized for its contributions and excellence.

Be respected for providing an unbiased and accurate perspective.

so as to improve air quality and human health, and reduce the adverse ecological and climatic influences of aerosols on the environment.

Toronto Institute of Advanced Manufacturing (TIAM)

The Toronto Institute of Advanced Manufacturing (TIAM) is an Urban Transportation Think Tank for Policy Analysis & System Design

The mandate of TIAM is to provide innovation and leadership in advanced manufacturing through research and development, training and education in Ontario, Canada, and worldwide.

University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute (UTTRI)

The University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute (UTTRI) is a new initiative that brings the considerable depth and breadth of University of Toronto research to bear on real-world urban transportation problems from perspectives of engineering, humanities and science.


Is a solution-oriented think tank that fills a critical gap between traditional academic basic research, professional consulting and public sector transportation planning and operations.

Seeks solutions to pressing problems facing our cities, such as: cost-effective suburban transit systems; politically acceptable road pricing systems for network performance optimization; dynamic real-time control of road and transit systems for capacity maximization; improved urban logistics systems for goods movements; improved urban and street design for walking and cycling; etc.

Provides the coordination and integration needed to support large-scale, high-impact research, to provide the foundation for a comprehensive central hub for transportation-related research at the University of Toronto.

Supports research partnerships the University of Toronto establishes with other institutions around the world.