• smiling and posing for the camera
  • Professor and Department Head
    Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Room E2-390C EITC
    University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
    Winnipeg, MB R3T 5V6




Current work uses 3D-printing techniques to create test samples for partial discharge studies. We use micro-CT to non-destructively characterize the samples before and after degradation.


Novel materials for electrical insulation systems, fundamental studies of partial discharges, nanoscale materials characterization.


Following a postdoctoral fellowship in Laser & Optical Spectroscopy (1998, Research School of Chemistry, Australian National University) and a Lectureship in Physics (1999, School of Chemistry, Physics and Earth Sciences, Flinders University), Derek moved to Winnipeg in 2000 as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Scanning Probe Microscopy within the Department of ECE. He commenced his faculty career as an Assistant Professor in 2001.

Derek served the Department as Associate Head (Electrical) from 2014 - 2021 including a term as Acting Head of Department (2019). He has been Head of Department since 2021 and is an Adjunct Fellow of St. John's College.

Derek is the current Director of the Manitoba Institute for Materials (MIM). This role blends interdisciplinary research co-ordination of over 80 PIs across 6 Faculties and the operational management of a new $16.7M, 9,000 sq ft characterization facility. The Institute provides opportunities for partnership-building with external/commercial collaborators as as well as strengthening internal linkages.

Administratively, Derek is a member of the University Senate and serves as Chair of the Senate Appeals Committee, Senate Admission Appeals Committee and the Senate Planning and Priorities Committee. He has served as a CEAB Program Visitor on four occasions and as Vice-Chair for two Accreditation Site visits. Derek recently completed the maximum four terms as Canadian representative to the CIGRÉ Study Committee D1 (Emerging Materials & Test Techniques). CIGRÉ is an international forum for electrical power systems spanning utilities, manufacturers and academics and representing over 60 nations. The 16 CIGRÉ Study Committees direct technical work that is undertaken by over 3500 technical experts including ~230 Canadians.

Graduate Student Opportunities

Dr. Oliver is currently seeking graduate students. Please contact him for more information.