Ian Foulds

Ian Foulds

Assistant Professor

School of Engineering (Okanagan campus)

Research focus:

Ian Foulds leads the Electromechanical Microsystems & Polymer Integration Research (EMPIRe) Group developing MEMS and Microfluidic systems and the techniques to build them. This field takes the same sorts of techniques used to make computer chips and uses them to make tiny mechanical and fluidic structures. The goal of this is to shrink sensors and take chemistry/biological lab analysis and put it onto a single chip, in a similar way to how computers were downsized from room-sized objects to single chips that can fit in a phone or watch. Not coincidentally, this field is also called Lab-on-a-Chip. The EMPIRe is working on projects like massive parallelization for chemical/pharmaceutical production, biomarker detection and implantable drug delivery.  

Prior to UBC:

Prior to coming to UBC, Ian was a founding faculty member in electrical engineering at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia, a graduate-only research university on the shores of the Red Sea that was ranked first in world for citations per faculty in the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16.  Prior to KAUST, Ian did a NSERC post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Victoria after graduating from Simon Fraser University.


Ian received the Governor General’s Gold Medal for his PhD work at Simon Fraser University.

Personal interests:

Ian is the happily married father of four children, which doesn’t leave time for many hobbies.  However, he enjoys taking his family skiing and on hikes in the Kelowna area, as well as hanging out around the pool with them in the summer.

Department/School profile