Department Chairs



Professor Jit Sharma

Chair, Department of Civil Engineering

Professor Jit Sharma is the inaugural Chair of Civil Engineering. He arrives at Lassonde School of Engineering with a wealth of engineering experience from around the world, having held academic appointments in India, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

From 2001 till his appointment as Chair of Civil Engineering, Jit was a Professor of Geotechnical Engineering at University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, where he taught soil mechanics, foundation engineering and geotechnical modelling at undergraduate and graduate levels, was a lead investigator on several geotechnical engineering and inter-disciplinary research projects, and worked closely with the local industry as a specialist geotechnical engineering consultant.

Jit is a licensed professional engineer in the province of Saskatchewan. He also holds a Permission to Consult in Geotechnical Engineering in the province of Saskatchewan.

Jit’s research interests include critical state soil mechanics, waste mechanics, geosynthetics, ground improvement techniques, soil-structure interaction, unsaturated soil mechanics, centrifuge modelling, and numerical modelling. His work is funded by NSERC, industry, academia, and municipal, provincial and federal government agencies.

Jit is an Associate Editor of the Canadian Geotechnical Journal – one of the top three geotechnical engineering journals in the world.

Jit is well known for his passion for engineering education and has won several awards for teaching excellence. He is particularly interested in the use of web-based technologies to develop and deliver out-of-classroom learning tools so that classroom time can be devoted on engaging the students in group-based problem solving and discussions. His vision for revolutionizing the in-classroom experience of students exemplifies the Lassondian approach to learning.



Professor Regina Lee

Chair, Department of Earth & Space Science & Engineering

Professor Regina Lee is Chair of the Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering (ESSE) at Lassonde, as well as Associate Professor for Space Engineering.

She develops efficient systems and infrastructure for space flight, and directs the Communications and Operations Laboratory. Her current research involves developing nanosatellite technologies, and she was recently named the Canadian participant for the QB50 Mission where she will help an international team develop nanosatellites for an Earth Observation mission.

Among countless distinctions and funding, Professor Lee currently holds an NSERC Discovery Grant, a Collaborative Research and Development grant, a MITACS grant, and DRDC partnership support. She has also recently chaired several conferences including the India Canada Frontier, Canada Korea Workshop, and the Canadian Nanosatellite Workshop.

She is incredibly proud of her students’ achievements, including the work of the University Rover Team, which has won major international awards each year since 2007.

Professor Lee has a passion to engage youth from non-science, non-academic backgrounds, and young women in particular, to discover their potential through scientific problem solving and in turn enrich the diversity of ideas and perspectives within the engineering field.

To this end, she is part of many progressive initiatives, including Space Junk, a youth-at-risk workshop with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto, and Go Eng Girl, introducing girls in secondary school to engineering.



Professor Richard Wildes

Chair, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Professor Rick Wildes is Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS).

Prof. Wildes provides leadership and direction for numerous academic- and faculty-related matters including the coordination of programs, resources, opportunities, professional development and mentorship.

He plays an important role in shaping the policy framework that supports the complement planning work of the School’s senior executive. Prof. Wildes also guides the Department’s interdisciplinary research enterprise, and promotes industrial collaborations and academic partnerships.

Prof. Wildes is a prolific researcher, a superb teacher and a creative administrator. His research concerns both theoretical and applied aspects of computer vision with emphasis on stereo and motion analyses. His areas of particular interest include 3D estimation, human action recognition with application to visually guided robotics, video surveillance and image guided surgery.

Prof. Wildes received a PhD degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1989. Subsequently, he joined Sarnoff Corporation (Now SRI) in Princeton, New Jersey, as a Member of the Technical Staff in the Vision Technologies Group. In 2001, he joined the Department Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at York University (now part of the Lassonde School of Engineering) where he is an Associate Professor and a member of the Centre for Vision Research.

Prof. Wildes' honours include receiving a Sarnoff Corporation Technical Achievement Award, the IEEE D.G. Fink Prize Paper Award for his Proceedings of the IEEE publication “Iris Recognition: An Emerging Biometric Technology,” and twice giving invited presentations to the US National Academy of Sciences.



Professor Dan Zhang

Interim Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering


Dr. Dan Zhang is the interim Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

He is a Professor and Kaneff Research Chair in Advanced Robotics and Mechatronics in the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University.

From July 1 2004 to December 31 2015, Dr. Zhang was a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Advanced Robotics and Automation, was a founding Chair of the Department of Automotive, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Engineering with the Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science at University of Ontario Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Laval University, Canada, in June 2000.  Dr. Zhang’s contributions to and leadership within the field of robotic and automation have been recognized with several prestigious awards.

Dr. Zhang is a registered Professional Engineer of Canada, a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC), a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and a Fellow of (Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering) CSME, a Senior Member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a Senior Member of SME.