University of Calgary

New iCORE chair

September 30, 2009
Orly Yadid-Pecht
Orly Yadid-Pecht, a pioneer in sensor technology, has joined the Schulich School of Engineering to build a world-class facility and research team. / Photo: Ken Bendiktsen

Sensor pioneer to lead world-class lab

Sensors are everywhere: in medical devices, surveillance equipment, even in the camera in your cell phone. Advancements in sensory systems are improving quality of life for millions of people and saving time and energy in a seemingly endless range of applications.

Orly Yadid-Pecht, a pioneer in sensor technology, has joined the University of Calgary’s Schulich School of Engineering to establish a world-class facility and research team. She spent several years at Ben-Gurion University in Israel, where she founded and headed up the Very Large Scale Integration Systems Center (VLSI).

“A typical sensor is a simple data-gathering device that makes the data accessible to other systems or to end users,” explains Yadid-Pecht, iCORE Chair in Integrated Sensors and Intelligent Systems. “The goal of our research is to develop sensors with better performance and more integrated functionality.”

Yadid-Pecht’s work is an example of the high-calibre research that is contributing to the U of C’s strengths in the area of information and communications technology, says Elizabeth Cannon, dean of the Schulich School of Engineering.

“Yadid-Pecht works in an area that is considered a platform technology,” Cannon says. “She’ll be working with other researchers in areas such as security and biomedicine—her key research strengths—to develop sensors that will be able to measure and observe and provide data and knowledge to really move those fields forward.”

Yadid-Pecht is the 37th research chair at the Schulich School of Engineering. She and the Integrated Sensors and Intelligent Systems (ISIS) laboratory were brought to Alberta through a partnership between the Alberta government, the Informatics Circle of Research Excellence (iCORE), the University of Calgary and other government agencies and industry, which provided $8.9 million in funding over five years.

“Sensors, like those developed by Yadid-Pecht, can help us build on many local industries, as well as for the worldwide market. For example, we’ve already seen success in our GPS sector, an area where Alberta leads in Canadian exports,” says Doug Horner, Alberta’s Minister of Advanced Education and Technology. “We welcome Yadid-Pecht not only to Alberta, but to the new and enhanced innovation system that our government will officially launch later this year.”

Yadid-Pecht’s research will further the application of sensors in a wide range of areas: cell phone cameras, home video monitoring and security systems, diagnostic medical aids and space applications, remote sensing for forestry management and urban planning, and in vehicle collision avoidance systems.

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