University of Toronto Welcomes Paul Young as Vice President Research

PDAD&C #4, 2007-08


From: David Naylor, President
Date: July 27, 2007
Re: University of Toronto Welcomes Paul Young as Vice-President, Research

The University of Toronto today announced the appointment of Professor R. Paul Young as Vice-President, Research. Professor Young will begin his term on November 1.

Professor Young is currently chair of the Department of Civil Engineering and holds the Keck Chair of Seismology and Rock Mechanics.

An outstanding scientist and teacher, Young was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada earlier this year in recognition of his scholarly accomplishments.

"I am delighted that Paul Young has accepted this pivotal appointment", said President David Naylor. "Professor Young is a first-class scholar with extensive administrative and research policy experience in the UK and Canada. He is strongly committed to inter-disciplinary research and education, and is an excellent team-builder. Paul is also keenly interested in understanding and advancing the full range of scholarship at the University of Toronto."

Professor Young was recruited to the university in 2002 as the founding director of the Lassonde Institute - an international centre of excellence that draws on expertise across multiple disciplines. As chair of the Department of Civil Engineering, he led the development of the department’s new framework for urban engineering

building cities that work for people. His leadership of the department was singled out for high praise by external reviewers in 2005 and again in 2006. He was previously chair of Earth Sciences at the University of Liverpool and head of Earth Sciences at Keele University. He also established the Geomechanics and Rock Physics Laboratory at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

Naylor noted that Young’s enthusiastic and inspirational leadership of multi-national and multi-disciplinary research teams led to the establishment of two research consortia for the European Union funded within the EURATOM program. Young served as the president of the British Geophysical Association from 1999 to 2003 and was a special advisor to the 2001 United Kingdom Higher Education Funding Council for the Earth and Environmental Sciences Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

"I feel privileged and honoured that I have the opportunity to serve this great university as vice president, research," Young said. "The landscape for our research enterprise is evolving. We need to sustain our momentum in basic research while capitalizing on new opportunities for strategic research and knowledge transfer. Fortunately, we have a university rich with exceptional professors, staff and students who can rise to the interdisciplinary research challenges of the 21st century."

Young has consistently demonstrated an exceptional ability to move basic science into a variety of applications with positive social and economic outcomes. Over the years his research has been relevant to mining practice and policy, the deep geological disposal of radioactive waste, and petroleum engineering. He has also won teaching awards and mentored 40 doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows. Members of his research group have formed two successful spin-off companies in Canada and Europe, and are now international leaders in the fields of geophysical equipment manufacture, seismic software development and engineering consulting.

President Naylor also signaled the institution’s appreciation of Interim Vice-President, Research, Dr Tim McTiernan. "Dr McTiernan is showing exceptional leadership in this transitional period. We are fortunate to have Tim as part of the executive team for the university and the research portfolio." McTiernan will return full time to his position as Assistant Vice-President and Executive Director of Innovations at the University of Toronto in November when Young assumes the vice-presidency.