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Memorial University engineering professor named new chair in harsh environments research

Ref. No. 106

DATE:     Feb. 16, 2001
SUBJECT:     Memorial University engineering professor named new chair in harsh environments research

If Newfoundlanders know about anything, it's harsh environments. And Memorial University now has an official expert in the area - Dr. Ray Gosine of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

Speaking at the Harsh Environments Conference at C-CORE this afternoon, Memorial President Dr. Axel Meisen announced that Dr. Gosine will hold the new, C-CORE sponsored Dr. J.I. Clark Chair for Operations in Harsh Environments at Memorial's Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, effective March 2001. Dr. Gosine is a professor in electrical and mechanical engineering at Memorial who has pursued research and development in intelligent systems in collaboration with C-CORE and its industry partners since 1994. Intelligent systems include computers, robots and sensors that perceive, reason and act in ways similar in function to humans. Advances in intelligent systems support industrial development in harsh environments and in applications where it is not feasible for humans to manufacture products or process materials.

In making the announcement, Dr. Meisen expressed his appreciation for Dr. Gosine's collaborative style, which, he said, created several mutually-profitable opportunities for the university, C-CORE, and local industry. "Dr. Gosine's work has laid the groundwork for future successes in research and development, with significant applications for our region's mining, aquaculture, fisheries, forestry, and oil and gas industries." The president added, "He is uniquely qualified, surpassingly talented, and an excellent choice for this new chair."

The J.I. Clark Chair for Operations in Harsh Environments honours the continuing achievement of Dr. J.I. (Jack) Clark, an accomplished contributor to the field of geotechnical engineering who, during his time as C-CORE president (1984-1997), originated the Harsh Environments Initiative and the Intelligent Systems group. In collaboration with the C-CORE junior chair to be established within the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, this position will reinforce Memorial University and C-CORE as leaders in intelligent systems research and development while providing support to the growing number of Newfoundland technology companies that actively develop intelligent systems technologies.

Responding to the announcement, Dr. Gosine expressed his appreciation for the new role and explained what he intends to do with it. "My work as chair will be to provide a basis for undergraduate and graduate students to become involved in exciting international research activities and to develop interests and expertise that lead into opportunities for exciting technology careers, including a growing number of opportunities at home," he said. "In view of his exceptional commitment to the growth of the technology sector in Newfoundland, it is an honour to hold a chair bearing Jack Clark's name."

"We've been acutely aware of Ray's abilities from the time he was a student here, and of course we are immensely proud of his achievements," said Dr. R. Seshadri, dean of Memorial's engineering faculty. "His selection for this chair will have a genuinely positive impact on research and development in the harsh environments area, and beyond that, I'm confident his work will facilitate important new directions and discoveries that will be of lasting benefit."

The individual after whom the chair is named, Dr. Clark, indicated his pleasure with the selection, too. "I'm very pleased that Dr. Gosine will be the inaugural holder of this chair," he said. "I have followed his career with great pride and interest, and I'm confident that he'll bring credit to the university and to C-CORE through this appointment."

A Memorial alumnus (B.Eng 1986), Dr. Gosine holds a PhD from Cambridge University in England (1989). His research in telerobotics, machine vision and pattern recognition for applications in the resource industries (i.e., mining, oil and gas, aquaculture and fisheries, and forestry), has led to an extensive range of collaborative projects with industry. Dr. Gosine's work has been recognized by a President's Award for Outstanding Research, a Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award, and an Early Achievement Award from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland.


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