Information and Communications Technology

As more of our information goes virtual, from bank accounts to smart energy meters, it becomes increasingly vital that we ensure our data is safe, secure and sustainable. U of T Engineering researchers are designing advanced solutions to global communication and technology challenges that ensure our personal data is protected, and highly efficient.

Learn more about some of the pioneering researchers at U of T Engineering:

Optimizing the Cloud

Professor Joyce Poon of The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering leads research that focuses on the creation and exploration of novel photonic devices, or devices that use radiant light for energy. While the most immediate application of these devices is reducing the energy requirements of data centres by replacing electronic signals with light signals, her breakthrough discoveries in optical switches and lasers could eventually lead to new kinds of computers which would run on optical rather than electrical systems.

As more and more services move towards cloud computing, the energy consumption of internet technologies becomes more costly, both to the environment and the economy. Professor Poon’s research is leading the way for more sustainable, efficient computing.

Maintaining Cyber Security

As a professor and researcher in The Edward S. Roger’s Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Deepa Kundur works with utilities and industrial partners to identify potential vulnerabilities – such as the possibility of a cyber attack – and applies that knowledge to prevent power grids from being compromised through a security breach.

The vulnerability of power grids to cyber attack is very real. Most of North America’s power flows through a small number of transformers and too much knowledge about this infrastructure in the wrong hands could have devastating consequences.

Improving Wireless Communication

Professor Wei Yu in the The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering tackles the design and optimization of wireless communication systems. He is currently investigating novel ways that base-stations and smartphones in a radio-access network may cooperatively transmit and receive information to and from each other, in order to enhance signal quality and to reduce interference for wireless data access. His discoveries have impact on the network architecture, transceiver design and network deployment for future generation wireless cellular services.

Professor Yu’s work is already hugely influential – in 2014 he was named to Thomson Reuters’ rankings of the most highly cited scientific researchers in the world. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and currently holds a Canada Research Chair in Information Theory and Wireless Communications.