Professor Rob Rohling Reappointed as ICICS Director

Professor Rob Rohling’s appointment as Director of the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS) has been extended for five years effective January 1, 2022.

Professor Rohling commenced a 5-year term as ICICS Director in January 2017. Since that time, he has built on ICICS’ 30+ year history of cross-faculty and industry collaboration to facilitate advanced technology research at UBC. He has moved ICICS toward a research environment that goes beyond a multidisciplinary approach to a convergent approach. Convergent research involves bringing a full range of relevant expertise to bear upon defining and tackling difficult research problems, with knowledge translation and impact as key outcomes. Today, ICICS has 150 members from 22 departments across UBC. To further amplify the impact of ICICS members’ research and align with funding trends, ICICS helped start and/or support, along with the UBC Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation (VPRI), six technology-based research clusters – Biomedical Imaging and AI, Bionics, Blockchain@UBC, Designing for People, Quantum Computing, Marine Systems, and the Centre for AI Decision-making and Action. These clusters have evolved and succeeded in the past 5 years. Professor Rohling has also built-up the HATCH startup accelerator together with the faculties and entrepreneurship@UBC to offer training programs, makerspace, seed funding, internships and fellowships to startups, now totaling 42 with 300+ employees.

Along with Associate Directors Tony Hodgson and Karon MacLean, ICICS staff, and the support of former ICICS directors, ICICS has advanced UBC research excellence and outcomes, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. An illustrative example of convergent research supported by ICICS is the UBC-Rogers partnership, managed by Professor Rohling, working closely with the VPRI. Since its inception in 2018, the partnership has leveraged a total of $7.8M of funding into 16 research projects, including how to deliver high quality healthcare at the point of care, and how to prevent wildfires. This partnership has been extended until 2025 and will continue to bring together researchers from diverse disciplines across UBC to solve some of the most pressing problems facing our world. ICICS, under Prof. Rohling’s leadership, will continue to be the nexus of convergent research.

We hope you are as delighted as we are that Professor Rohling has agreed to continue in this role.