2016 Honoured Alumni of the Year Award - Computer Science

Dr. Paul Furgale
(Most recent position) Deputy Director of the Autonomous Systems Lab, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich

U of M Degrees:
BSc Honours Computer Science (2007)


(Paul Furgale was not available for an interview.)

no photo available


From humanoid robot soccer players to driver-less electric vehicles, Dr. Paul Furgale has done it all when it comes to robotics. In less than a decade since earning his BSc Honours degree in Computer Science at U of M, Furgale’s admirable research skills have taken him all over the world – and beyond. Winning an undergraduate student award earned him a co-op term in the Faculty of Science department’s Autonomous Agents Lab; he got involved in several research projects with humanoid robots that resulted in the chance to go to Japan and Portugal as a competitor in the Robocup robotic soccer competition. As a graduate student with the University of Toronto's Institute for Aerospace Studies, Furgale developed algorithms to support over-the-horizon sample return for planetary exploration rovers – work that was later integrated into several Canadian Space Agency rover prototypes.

After leaving Canada to work in Europe, Furgale led a European Commission project seeking to develop self-parking and electric vehicle charging technology, called V-Charge. He then became the deputy director of the Autonomous Systems Lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, where his researched focused on long-term autonomy for mobile robotic systems.