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Two Lassonde faculty members appointed York Research Chairs

York University has appointed ten faculty members as York Research Chairs, including two leading researchers from the Lassonde School of Engineering: Professors George Zhu and Zhen Ming (Jack) Jiang.

The York Research Chairs (YRC) program mirrors the federal government’s Canada Research Chairs program, which honours and supports the efforts of world-class researchers across the country.

YRCs are recognized as outstanding faculty members demonstrating leadership and excellence in their respective fields. This year’s appointed researchers belong to the 11th cohort of YRCs, carrying on a long-standing tradition that celebrates ingenuity and encourages innovation through institutional support.

The YRC program consists of two tiers: Tier 1, which recognizes established researchers at the rank of full professor, and Tier 2, acknowledging emerging leaders who are in the early stages of their academic career.

Learn more about this year’s YRCs from Lassonde.

George Zhu, professor, Tier 1 York Research Chair in Space Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

Professor Zhu is a leader in space research, with years of experience in the field. His innovative projects continue to push boundaries and test the limits of revolutionary ideas like space elevator systems and 3D printing in space. Through his YRC program, Professor Zhu aims to develop swarm robotics technology, which involves a collection of small satellites that work together to autonomously detect and remove space debris in Earth orbits.

Zhen Ming (Jack) Jiang, associate professor, Tier 2 York Research Chair in Foundation Model-powered Systems

Professor Jiang is an influential researcher focusing on software engineering, artificial intelligence and computer systems. His research debut commenced at BlackBerry, where he developed various tools to monitor and debug commercial software systems – tools that are still in use today.

Beyond his research expertise, Professor Jiang is dedicated to shaping leaders of tomorrow through student training and mentorship.

As a newly appointed YRC, Professor Jiang will help address one of the most important issues in technology, which is building trust in AI for safe integration into society. Specifically, his YRC program aims to develop advanced engineering tools and processes aimed at facilitating the construction and enhancing the quality and trustworthiness of various generative AI systems like ChatGPT and Copilot.

Learn more about this year’s appointed YRCs.