SOTI and Toronto Metropolitan University Announce Dr. Guangjun Liu as SOTI Research Chair in the Department of Aerospace Engineering

Appointment strengthens SOTI Aerospace and further promotes and advances Canada as a leading aerospace engineering hub

Mississauga, CANADA – May 31, 2022 – SOTI, the world’s most trusted provider of mobile and IoT device management solutions, today announced in partnership with Toronto Metropolitan University, the appointment of Dr. Guangjun Liu as the SOTI Research Chair in the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science’s Department of Aerospace Engineering.  

In this role, Dr. Liu brings industry-leading experience and expertise to spearhead the department’s drone and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) research activities, with a focus on identifying and nurturing talent and developing research to create new and innovative technologies for the aerospace industry in Canada.

Dr. Liu received his Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto in 1996. He is currently a professor and a former Canada Research Chair in control systems and robotics with the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Toronto Metropolitan University. His research interests include control systems and robotics, particularly in modular and reconfigurable robots, mobile manipulators and aircraft systems. Dr. Liu is also a licensed member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario, Canada and a former Technical Editor of the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics.

“I am honored to be appointed to the position of Research Chair in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, and to work with an industry leader like SOTI. At Toronto Metropolitan University, we take pride in our commitment to prepare our students to become bold, fearless leaders and changemakers. Working with SOTI, we are providing students with access to high-tech facilities and the opportunity to contribute to innovative research projects exploring emerging technologies,” said Dr Liu. “This is an incredibly valuable hands-on opportunity to work with world-class industry experts on research, as well as the chance to network with them and explore innovations in the sector as we work together to further establish Ontario and Canada as a global destination for cutting-edge aerospace innovation.”

SOTI Aerospace was launched in conjunction with Toronto Metropolitan University in November of 2020 with an initial investment of $20 million (USD) from SOTI. SOTI’s industry-leading experts now work alongside some of the top researchers, scientists, engineers and academia in Canada to further aerospace research. Currently teams are working to develop autonomous indoor navigation. The concept relies on putting a drone in a place it’s never seen before. It must then learn about the environment, build a 3D indoor map of its surroundings, navigate autonomously and safely, detect people and objects in 3D and deliver light payloads. 

“When we first launched SOTI Aerospace we saw it as an exciting direction for the company and a continuation of our commitment and passion to invest in the technology ecosystem and work with leaders in the world of aerial technology,” said Shash Anand, VP of Product Strategy at SOTI. “Over the past year and a half, Toronto Metropolitan University has been the ideal partner in driving this research forward and we are excited by the appointment of Dr. Liu as Research Chair. Together we are expanding SOTI’s commitment to empower businesses to take mobility to endless possibilities while providing opportunities for students to enter the exciting world of technology through hands-on research and development, internship roles and scholarships.”

SOTI’s investment in the Department of Aerospace Engineering will help to conduct ground-breaking research and development across several areas including:

  • Intelligent Visual Systems: Real-time 3D mapping of spaces, with situational learning understanding.
  • Intelligent Routing: Awareness based indoor navigation with optimized/dynamic pathways, obstacle avoidance, and interaction with machines and other systems to facilitate intelligent navigation.
  • Dynamic Drone Shape: Robotics based dynamic skins/frames to reduce turbulence and minimize power consumption.
  • People Safe Hardware Design: Research physical characteristics of drones to make them suitable for safe indoor use.
  • Voice/Natural Language Control: Control drones via voice, natural language or from an app.

“Toronto Metropolitan University has established itself as a trusted research partner and innovation leader within the Canadian aerospace industry. Our faculty are recognized and sought out as experts in their field and help drive innovation in the sector. At the same time, our students are significantly contributing to the growth of the aerospace industry,” said Thomas Duever, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science. “This partnership with SOTI and the appointment of Dr. Liu as research chair will further establish Ontario as a global destination for cutting-edge innovation in the sector.”

About SOTI
SOTI is the world’s most trusted provider of mobile and IoT management solutions, with more than 17,000 enterprise customers and millions of devices managed worldwide. SOTI’s innovative portfolio of solutions and services provide the tools organizations need to truly mobilize their operations and optimize their mobility investments. SOTI extends secure mobility management to provide an integrated solution to manage and secure all mobile devices and connected peripherals in an organization.

About Toronto Metropolitan University Department of Aerospace Engineering
In the Department of Aerospace Engineering, students have access to opportunities with the Canadian Space Agency, Bombardier, Transport Canada and more. Undergraduates join student competition teams that are taking Hyperloop and NASA by storm, and gain invaluable work experience through the optional co-operative internship program.  Graduate students work on innovative research that accelerates their careers and advances technology.

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