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National recognition

Professors inducted as fellows of Engineering Institute of Canada


By Jackey Locke

Two members of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science were among 20 engineers inducted as fellows of the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC) recently for their exceptional contributions to the profession.

The institute annually recognizes outstanding engineers among its academic- and industry-based member societies for their excellence in engineering and their services to the profession and to society.

Dr. Octavia A. Dobre

Dr. Octavia A. Dobre joined Memorial University in 2005. She is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Research Chair in Subsea Communications. In 2013 she was a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Memorial, she was a Fulbright Scholar and a U.K. Royal Society Scholar.

“I am thrilled to be inducted as a fellow of this prestigious institute,” said Dr. Dobre. “I would like to thank my colleagues, collaborators and students with whom I have worked and who contributed to this success. I would also like to thank my family, especially my husband, Adrian Dobre, for their continuous support.”

Since joining Memorial, Dr. Dobre has been instrumental in establishing new wireless and optical communications laboratories in the faculty. She has secured more than $7 million in research funding and made significant research contributions in the field of communications, specifically enabling technologies for 5G wireless networks, Internet-of-Things and optical and underwater communications.

Her research findings have been disseminated through more than 230 referred international journal and conference papers and more than 30 technical reports for industry and two patents.

Dr. Dobre is editor-in-chief of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Communications Letters. She was an editor for IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, guest editor for IEEE Communications Magazine and other prestigious journals.

She is the recipient of Memorial’s President’s Award for Outstanding Research, the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research and the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision. Dr. Dobre was the first chair of the IEEE ComSoc Women in Communications Engineering standing committee and a member of the administrative committee of the IEEE I&M Society. She also serves with different IEEE technical and awards committees.

Dr. Faisal Khan

Dr. Khan is head of the Department of Process Engineering and the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Offshore Safety and Risk Engineering.

“I’m delighted to receive this distinguished recognition,” said Dr. Khan. “It is a great honour to be recognized by my peers and inducted as a fellow of the EIC.”

Since joining Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science in 2002 as an associate professor, Dr. Khan has conducted research on safety and risk engineering and applied these risk-engineering concepts to safety, asset integrity management, pollution prevention and renewable energy. His research contributions have received more than 15,000 citations in the technical literature.

Dr. Khan has developed new advanced risk-based safety and integrity management methodologies and models, which are widely used by industry and academia.

Dr. Khan founded the Centre for Risk, Integrity and Safety Engineering (C-RISE), which currently has 45 team members. He is the recipient of Memorial’s President’s Award for Outstanding Research, the President’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Supervision and the Dean’s Award for Graduate Student Supervision.

He also received the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering’s Outstanding Research Award of Process Safety Management. Dr. Khan was a risk and integrity expert with Lloyd’s Register and served as a safety and risk advisor to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. He has authored seven books and more than 300 research articles in peer-reviewed journals and conferences on safety, risk and reliability engineering.

‘Significant prestige’

“There are over 20,000 members of EIC, of which up to 20 fellows are selected annually,” said Dr. Greg Naterer, dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

“The grade of fellow of EIC represents less than 0.1 per cent of the combined membership of all EIC member societies and thus brings significant prestige to Memorial University. I’m delighted to see these awards to Drs. Dobre and Khan in recognition of their excellence in research and exceptional contributions to the profession of engineering.”

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