Professor Xavier Fernando

The First Recipient of ‘Maamanithar’ Professor Alagiah Thurairajah Memorial Award


The First Recipient of this Award is Professor Xavier Fernando who is a Tamil, born in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He is the son of Jeyaraj Fernando and Mary Fernando. He received his B. Sc. Engineering. (Honours) degree from the University of Peradeniya in 1992 securing first in the Dean’s list and   completed his Masters degree from the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, where he was nominated for Gold Medal in 1994. He was awarded the Ph. D. degree from the University of Calgary in 2001 and received best Thesis award and a patent for his PhD Research.

He has received over $680,000 in research grants   in 2016 (and another $380,000 in 2017) from the industry and government. He and his students have won several awards   including the First prize at the Humanitarian Initiatives Workshop of CCECE 2014, Best research Award at the International Conference of Smart Grid Engineering (SEGE 2014), UOIT, Canada, 2014; IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society Prize in 2010, Sarnoff Symposium prize in 2009, Opto-Canada best poster prize in 2003 and CCECE best paper prize in 2001.

He is a Professor and Director of Ryerson Communications Lab and was an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer. He has given over 40 invited lectures worldwide including the Cambridge University (UK), Princeton University & MIT (USA), Athens Institute of Technology (Greece) and National Research Council (Canada). He was also a member of Ryerson Board of Governors for 2009-2011 and was a Visiting Faculty Researcher at the   University of Swansea in the UK   in 2008 and Aston University in the UK   in 2014.

He has (co-)authored over 150 research articles and holds three patents (one pending). He has mono-graphed a widely selling book on Radio over Fiber systems, which is translated in Mandarin. He is also a co-author of IEEE COMSOC WEBOK. He was a member in the IEEE COMSOC Education Board – Working Group on Wireless Communications in 2010-2012.  He is  also  a program evaluator for Accreditation Body of Engineering Technologies (ABET), USA.

He was the General Chair for IEEE Canadian Conference on Electrical & Computer Engineering (CCECE) 2014 and General Chair of IEEE Toronto International Conference – Science &Technology for Humanity (TIC-STH) 2009. He was the Chair of IEEE Toronto Section and Member of IEEE Canada Board during 2012-13 and IEEE Central Canada Area Chair 2015-16 and has received 9 awards from the IEEE for his commitment to the profession.