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Chairholder Profile

Hong Zhang

Hong Zhang

Department of Computing Science
University of Alberta

Chair Title

NSERC/iCORE/Syncrude/Matrikon Industrial Research Chair on Intelligent Sensing Systems

Chair Program

Industrial Research Chairs Program


Senior Chairholder since 2003


The central focus of the research program is remote process monitoring with machine sensing, using telecommunications and information technologies. We will study remote delivery of sensor data and develop data processing algorithms for monitoring the various stages of the oil sand mining operation, providing objective performance measurements of the mining equipment. The specific research activities of the Industrial Chair will fall under the following four categories:
  1. Identify existing and design new sensors, and the integration thereof, for acquiring pertinent information relevant to the physical properties of oil sand mining process;
  2. Develop information processing algorithms to extract critical parameters that characterize the physical properties of oil sand and its mining equipment;
  3. Investigate effective mechanisms for communicating high-bandwidth, multi-media sensory information from oil sand mines to research laboratories and mining operation personnel, providing the researchers with instant access to their industrial setting; and
  4. Establish causal models of the functional components of the oil sand mining operation and generate performance evaluation for the field oil sand mining engineers.
The research activities will be primarily conducted in the Centre for Intelligent Mining Systems (CIMS), which has recently been established, with the support of Syncrude and the Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta.

The Chairholder who directs CIMS has over 20 years of research expertise in robotics and intelligent sensing systems, and is a recognized leader in Canada in these fields. With the support of Matrikon, a large Edmonton-based industrial software company who has served Syncrude in many other areas, the Chair's research program within CIMS represents a partnership in which technology transfer occurs concurrently with the research, and will create an impact on Alberta's huge oil industry beyond Syncrude.


  • iCORE
  • Syncrude Canada Ltd.
  • Matrikon Inc.

Contact Information

Department of Computing Science
University of Alberta
221 Athabasca Hall
Edmonton, Alberta
T6G 2E8

Tel.: 780-492-7188
Fax: 780-492-1071

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