Sylvain Charbonneau

Sylvain Charbonneau, Vice-President, Research, University of Ottawa
Secretary, Compute Ontario


Sylvain Charbonneau received the Ph.D. degree in semiconductor physics from Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada in 1988.  He joined the Institute for Microstructural Sciences of the National Research Council (NRC) in October 1988.  For a period of 10 years, he became involved in a number of research activities within the institute and led such programs as wavelength routing and switching and more exploratory research efforts like the nano-optics project.  From 1998 to January 2000, Dr. Charbonneau took on the responsibility of Director of Components Technologies for the Institute for Microstructural Sciences.  His responsibilities included components related research and development programs for the Institute as well as the initial development phase of the Canadian Photonic Fabrication Center (CPFC), the first pure-play photonics foundry in North America.


Dr. Charbonneau was one of three founders of Optenia Inc., an NRC spin-off which was created in 2001.  Following a brief assignment of 14 months as its Chief Technology Officer, he returned to the Institute for Microstructural Sciences as the lead Director responsible for the design, construction, management, and operation of the CPFC and other groups within the Institute.  From May 2011 to April 2013, Dr. Charbonneau took the responsibility of NRC’s Printable Electronics Program, one of four Flagship Programs at the NRC.


In April 2013, he joined the University of Ottawa as Associate Vice-President Research and in February 2018 was appointed VP Research. His responsibilities include the promotion and facilitation of research and innovation in uOttawa’s ten faculties, assuring sound management of the research portfolio and the resources entrusted to the university by research sponsors – Total research intensity: over $300M annually.  In a highly decentralized environment involving multiple participants, he provides leadership and expertise for the University-wide strategic policy, direction and operation of its services in support of its research activities. This includes leading and coordinating different autonomous functional teams, at both central and faculty levels, to assure a consistent and responsive organization.


He presently sits on ten regional, provincial or national Boards of Directors.