RIM and NSERC invest in Queen's expertise

September 30, 2009

Kingston, ON - Queen's University expertise in systems and software engineering has attracted a $5-million investment from Research In Motion (RIM) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

The funding supports a new Industrial Research Chair in Software Engineering of Ultra Large Scale Systems, to be established at Queen's. Computing Professor Ahmed E. Hassan - a pioneer in the field - will be the chairholder. Dr. Hassan and his team will work with RIM, as well as industry and academic partners, to investigate software engineering techniques for extremely large data systems.

"This is wonderful news for Queen's and for Canada's high technology sector," says Queen's Principal Daniel Woolf. "We appreciate this important recognition of Dr. Hassan's excellent work. This investment from RIM and NSERC underscores the reputation of Queen's School of Computing as a national and international leader in software research."

"Finding ways to improve the reliability and quality of critical software applications is an important and challenging task, given the huge impact of the underlying data infrastructure systems on millions of people," says Dr. Hassan. "I'm excited to pursue these goals on a long-term basis at Queen's, collaborating with our industry partners and colleagues from other universities."

Pete Devenyi, BlackBerry VP (Enterprise Software) at Research In Motion, notes that exploring new avenues to enhance the efficiency and reliability of software integration across multiple systems is increasingly important for the information and communications technologies industry. "We are very pleased to be supporting this leading research in Canada with NSERC and look forward to collaborating with Dr. Hassan's reputable team at Queen's," he adds.

"NSERC believes this research collaboration will help the communications technology sector remain a vital part of the Canadian economy well into the future," says NSERC President Suzanne Fortier. "I am impressed by the exceptional contributions Dr. Hassan has already made to this sector as well as the confidence RIM has shown in their commitment to this partnership."

The new position will explore a variety of academic topics related to the complexities and implications of Ultra Large Scale (ULS) systems. It is Queen's first industrial chair in the Faculty of Arts and Science, and the fourth overall at the university. RIM and NSERC are also supporting research at Queen's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering under the direction of Professor Ying Zou.

Queen's University
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