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Jacques-Beaulieu Excellence Research Chair

The Jacques-Beaulieu Excellence Research Chair pays tribute to the man who was the central pivot of the INRS-Énergie laser interaction program from 1970 to the late 1980s.

Paul S. Weiss, distinguished professor and holder of the UC Presidential Chair of the University of California (UCLA).
Paul S. Weiss, distinguished professor and holder of the UC Presidential Chair of the University of California (UCLA)

Paul S. Weiss, 5th holder

Considered a giant in the world of nanoscience, Paul S. Weiss is a distinguished professor and holder of the UC Presidential Chair of the University of California (UCLA). He was also director of the California NanoSystems Institute and a professor at Pennsylvania State University.

A world-renowned scientist, Weiss explores the atomic-scale chemical, physical, optical, mechanical, and electronic properties of supramolecular surfaces and assemblies.

He has produced pioneering work on molecular assemblies on surfaces characterized by scanning tunnelling microscopy.

His impressive scientific output includes more than 300 publications and some twenty patents. His achievements in nanoscience cover a broad range of fields and have earned him extensive recognition and distinguished awards, as well as invitations to sit on many national and international committees. Professor Weiss is a great scientific communicator with a gift for explaining highly complex research in terms the general public can understand. He is the founding and current editor-in-chief of ACS Nano, one of the most widely acclaimed nanoscience journals published by the American Chemical Society. 

About the Jacques-Beaulieu Excellence Research Chair

Named in honour of physician Jacques Beaulieu, a researcher and pioneer of the carbon dioxide (CO2-TEA) laser who indelibly shaped the landscape of Quebec research, the Jacques-Beaulieu Excellence Research Chair seeks to recognize the cutting-edge work of INRS’s Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre in photonics, optics, telecommunications, advanced materials, energy, and other sectors. As with the Blaise Pascal Chair in France, the choice of chairholder and research sector rotates.

Pierre Duhamel, 4th holder

Pierre Duhamel, leading authority in the field of signal processing for communications.

A leading authority in the field of signal processing for communications, Pierre Duhamel is research director at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and head of the Telecoms and Networks Division of the Signals and Systems Laboratory (L2S) a research unit of CNRS-Centrale, Supélec, and Paris-Sud University. Throughout his career, he has contributed to advancing research at France’s largest telecommunications institutions. His work has focused on signal theory, signal processing for digital communications and multimedia, and digital communications. Pierre Duhamel is a prolific researcher, with 28 patents, more than 80 articles, and four book chapters to his credit, and is coauthor of Joint Source-Channel Decoding. A Cross-Layer Perspective with Applications in Video Broadcasting over Mobile and Wireless Networks. He has been a member and chair of a number of IEEE committees, and has been elected IEEE Fellow and Eurasip Fellow. In 2000 he was awarded the Grand prix France Télécom by France’s Academy of Sciences, which recognizes a fundamental or applied research project in telecommunications that has enhanced services, networks, equipment, or components.

Alexander O. Govorov, 3rd holder

A world-renowned expert in the theoretical and digital physics of nanostructures, Alexander O. Govorov worked for 15 years as a researcher in the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences before joining the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Ohio University.

His research interests include the optical and electronic properties of nanoscale structures like quantum dots and rings, plasmonic nanocrystals, nanowires, and molecular/nanocrystal assemblies. A number of experimental research groups worldwide have demonstrated the accuracy of his theoretical calculations and predictions, which have led to key discoveries with benefits for nanotechnology and biotechnology. Professor Govorov also works on more practical applications such as biosensors and artificial light systems. His scientific output is remarkable and includes over 200 articles—many published in leading international scientific journals like Nature, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Materials, and Nature Physics. Known for his significant scientific accomplishments and extensive expertise, Professor Govorov is often invited to take part in international conferences and evaluate major research projects. A Fellow of the American Physical Society, he has received the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Ikerbasque Fellow Award (Spain), the Walton Visitor Award (Ireland), and the Chang-Jiang Scholars Award 2014 (China).

Xiaowei Sun, 2nd holder

Considered a leader in the field of electronic materials and devices, Xiaowei Sun is currently the head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at South University of Science and Technology of China (SUSTC) in Shenzhen.

He enjoys an international reputation for his original and innovative contributions in the fields of advanced materials, light-emitting devices, and solar energy conversion. In addition, Professor Sun has developed a world-class research program at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU). His multidisciplinary knowledge of materials science and the physics of devices have enabled him to create functional and reliable devices with real commercial potential. Indeed, his research has led to considerable advances in applications related to monocrystalline nanowires for flat screens, organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), and liquid crystal technology. This research has resulted in an impressive scientific output of some 300 articles published in prestigious international journals, and more than 6,000 citations. Moreover, the leading-edge nature and importance of his research has earned him numerous awards and accolades from such well-known organizations as SPIE, the Society for Information Display, and the Institute of Physics. In addition to being a visiting professor and researcher, particularly in China and Singapore, Professor Sun is regularly invited to evaluate international research projects, including in Israel, Switzerland, Finland, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Georgia, the United States, and Canada.

Gérard Mourou, 1st holder

Gérard Mourou, the first holder of the Jacques-Beaulieu Excellence Research Chair (January to June 2012), is one of the great inventors in optics and lasers. This physicist revolutionized the chirped pulse amplification (CPA) of short pulses, paving the way for smaller, ultra-powerful lasers.

His invention led to the large-scale introduction of short pulse lasers in medicine, biology, chemistry, and industry. Recently admitted to the Russian Academy of Science, Mourou received the Charles H. Townes award—the most prestigious prize in optics, lasers, and quantum optics—from the Optical Society of America. Dr. Mourou held this chair for six months, during which he participated in various public talks, presentations, seminars, and other activities. Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018