New research chair named for vice-president (research)

Apr 18th, 2016

By Jeff Green

Dr. Richard Marceau
New research chair named for vice-president (research)

A new research chair in Quebec has been named after Memorial’s vice-president (research).

The Dr. Richard J. Marceau Chair on Wireless IP Technology for Developing Countries was announced last week by the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), a post-secondary engineering school in Montreal.

ÉTS is part of the Université du Québec system. Dr. François Gagnon, professor in electrical engineering at ÉTS, is the inaugural chair holder.

Astonishingly 58 per cent of the world’s population is still not connected to the Internet, a critical piece of technology many of us cannot live without.

Connecting developing countries

The new chair will undertake research intent on helping people in developing countries and isolated regions gain access to the Internet through existing infrastructure.

“Dr. Louis Lagassé, the philanthropist behind this chair, is really the person we should all be celebrating,” said Dr. Marceau. “His hope of bringing the Internet to those who have no access—the vast majority of humanity—is truly visionary.”

According to ÉTS, the school chose Dr. Marceau as way of honouring “the creativity and dynamism of this great man, who has contributed so much to our universities.”

‘Humbled and honoured’

For his part, Dr. Marceau is humble about the praise and says he’s thrilled to have a research chair in his name.

“I never imagined that a research chair would ever bear my name,” he said. “I am deeply touched by this initiative spearheaded by Dr. Lagassé and ÉTS.”

Expanding Internet access can have a positive impact on communities around the world—from medical services to online education and everything in between. Dr. Gagnon will collaborate with researchers in Ecuador on the initial stages of his research.

“Dr. Gagnon is one of the most gifted researchers I have ever known,” noted Dr. Marceau. “His research could impact the lives of billions of people and I have no doubt that he will be successful. It is truly an honour to be associated with his work.”