By Jane van den Dries
Carleton University’s Qijun Zhang was recently appointed as a Chancellor’s Professor, a prestigious rank reserved for highly esteemed faculty members whose research activities have been, and continue to be, of outstanding merit with substantial international impact.
“It’s a great honour to be awarded Chancellor’s Professor and I thank the university and the provost for giving me this award,” he said.
“I feel very fortunate that I get to work in a very stimulating research environment at Carleton, where I have the very valuable freedom to define my research direction and to be able to research exactly what I would like.”
Since he was a child, Zhang dreamed of working in electronics. “I have always loved working with electronics and figuring out how to make them work more efficiently,” he said.
Zhang never lost his passion for the field. He went on to pursue degrees in China and Canada before joining Carleton in 1990 as the BNR/NSERC Junior Chair in Computer Aided Engineering, an industry research chair opportunity that sparked his interest in an academic career.
“That position attracted me because it was perfectly aligned with my research interests,” he said.
Zhang researches high-frequency electronic and electromagnetic modelling and design and is developing new techniques for modelling electronics.
A prolific researcher, Zhang pioneered the application of artificial neural networks for electromagnetic and microwave circuit design, has produced various benchmark research results and has published 24 papers on the topic in scientific journals during the last five years.
Zhang currently supervises five PhD students and one postdoctoral fellow. He says that having the opportunity to supervise graduate students as part of a research team has been a fulfilling part of his career.
“Working with graduate students makes this profession very rewarding and inspires and motivates me to keep researching,” he said.
Along with four colleagues from the United States and Europe, Zhang founded the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society’s annual conference on Numerical Electromagnetic Modelling and Optimization in 2014. In 2015, he became a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.
Jerry Tomberlin, provost and interim vice-president (Academic), said Zhang’s research record and commitment to Carleton are impressive.
“We are thrilled to honour Qijun’s exceptional research contributions to his field with this prestigious appointment,” he said.
The rank of Chancellor’s Professor is effective for a five-year period.
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