Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that offers research and training programs for Canadian undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Partnering with 60 universities, thousands of companies and both federal and provincial governments, they collaborate across all disciplines to foster industrial and social innovation.
“Mitacs has done a great job of growing Canada’s knowledge economy and making many young Canadians achieve their dreams of being leaders in their fields,” said Ben-Mrad. “I am looking forward to contributing to this great effort.”
Ben-Mrad is director of the Mechatronics and Microsystems Group at U of T’s Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. His recent research focuses on developing new types of sensors and actuators for extremely small devices that operate at the micro-scale — known as microsystems technologies.
For example, in the field of adaptive optics, Ben-Mrad is building the mechanisms behind enhanced image stabilization and auto focus for your smartphone camera. He is also developing micro-mirrors for display applications, including those used in “head-up displays” that use low-level lasers to flash warnings onto your car’s windshield when you’re driving.
Many of Ben-Mrad’s research projects involve industry partners, and they have led to a number of new inventions, including 10 Canadian, U.S., European and Chinese patents, in addition to more than 160 research publications.
Prior to joining U of T Engineering in 1997, Ben-Mrad held positions at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the Ford Research Laboratory in Dearborn, Michigan. He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1994.
“The University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, along with Mitacs, is focused on developing the next generation of innovators and strengthening partnerships with industry and government,” said Dean Cristina Amon, who is a member of the Mitacs Research Council. “We are honoured that Mitacs has chosen Professor Ridha Ben-Mrad to continue advancing innovation in Canada, and I congratulate him on this prestigious appointment.”