ICICS Building

ICICS was founded in 1985 as the Centre for Integrated Computer Systems Research (CICSR) to promote interdisciplinary research among the three founding departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and Mechanical Engineering, and with industry.


  • Jim Varah, the Head of Computer Science, becomes the first Director of ICICS
  • Original 30 founding faculty members bring in roughly $3 million in external research funding
The completion of a 64,000 square foot, 4-storey building shared with Computer Science, provides a physical locus for CICSR members and their students to interact, and to demonstrate their research.
Membership has grown to 60 members, securing $9 million annually in external research funding.
Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Rabab Ward begins 10-year term as Director.
  • CICSR’s scope broadens to include emerging human-centred technologies research, opening membership eligibility to any UBC faculty member pursuing this type of research.
  • The Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the B.C. Knowledge Development Fund approve a CICSR grant application of over $22 million to expand ICICS infrastructure
  • CICSR’s name changes in November 2000 to the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS) to reflect CICSR’s more inclusive approach
The ICICS/CS addition opens in July 2005, doubling ICICS research space and adding essential new lab equipment; ICICS becomes the only centre in the world to house so many of the facilities used in human-centred technologies research.
Mechanical Engineering professor Nimal Rajapakse becomes ICICS Director.
The Institute has grown to over 160 members from 7 UBC faculties, as well as from several outside organizations and companies.
ICICS awarded a $12.9 million Leading Edge Fund grant from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the B.C. Knowledge Development Fund for equipment related to five multidisciplinary research projects involving 30 UBC researchers.
Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Panos Nasiopoulos becomes ICICS Director.
Mechanical Engineering Professor and Applied Science Associate Dean, Research & Industrial Partnerships, James Olsonbecomes ICICS Interim Director.
HATCH startup incubator opens in the ICICS/CS building.


  • Mechanical/Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Robert Rohling becomes ICICS Director.
  • Computer Science Professor Karon MacLean becomes ICICS Associate Director.
  • Mechanical Engineering Professor Antony Hodgson becomes ICICS Associate Director.
  • Five ICICS research clusters are funded in UBC’s Grants for Catalyzing Research Clusters (GCRC) competition.