Jie Chen

Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering
(780) 492-9820
Donadeo ICE 11-358


Jie Chen received his B.Sc degree in Electrical Engineering from Fudan University, China, and M.Sc and Ph.D degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park, USA. He is currently a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and an adjunct professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Alberta. He is also a research officer at the National Research Council / National Institute for Nanotechnology, Canada. Dr. Chen is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and is also a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada. He has co-authored the book Design of Digital Video Coding Systems – A Complete Compressed Domain Approach (Marcel Dekker, 2001) and has co-edited the reference book Genomic Signal Processing and Statistics (European Applied Signal Processing 2005). He has contributed to 82 journal articles and 73 conference proceeding papers. He holds seven patents, several of which have been used in production or licensed by various companies. He has over 2950 citations, an H-index of 25 and i10-index of 54 according to Google Scholar. Dr. Chen was elected as an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer in the Circuits and Systems Society (2004–2005). His supervised students received the Best Student Paper award at the IEEE/National Institutes of Health Life Science Systems & Applications Workshop 2007. He has supervised or co-supervised a total of 60 highly qualified personnel. Among them, one entered Stanford University and one entered Yale University. One student became an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University, USA.

Dr. Chen is the recipient of numerous awards including the Killam Annual Professorship Award 2015-2016 (one of the highest honours to a professor in Canadian Universities for outstanding contributions in teaching, research and community services), a Canada Foundation for Innovation Leaders’ Opportunity Award, and the Best Poster award given by the International Union of Crystallography at the Conference of Biology and Synchrotron Radiation 2013. The integrated circuit design, featuring a probabilistic-based noise-tolerant architecture, won both the Best Innovation Prize at the seventh MXIC IC Design Contest (the biggest and the most important annual IC design contest in Taiwan) and the 2008 National Chip Implementation Center (CIC) Annual Best Chip Award, with the highest score in the digital circuit field among all 1700 annual chips taped-out through the CIC. He received the Member of the Year Award from the Association of Chinese Canadian Professors in recognition of his outstanding society service in 2012. He serves as a steering committee member for IEEE Journal of Translation Engineering in Health and Medicine, and also an associate editor for IEEE Trans. on Biomedical Circuits and Systems. He also served as an associate editor for IEEE Trans. on Multimedia, and IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, and served as a guest editor of several special issues. His collaborative research related to the design of a miniaturized ultrasound device for intra-oral dental tissue formation was included in a Reader’s Digest list of major medical breakthroughs in Canada in 2006. In partnership with the University of Toronto, the device is in a phase II clinical trial. The invention has been reported in over 20 news/media publications worldwide, and was cited in a front-page report in Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, June 28, 2006. Dr. Chen also helped establish two Bell-Lab spin-off companies. One company focusing on developing the 4th-generation wireless network was acquired by QUALCOMM in San Diego in 2005. The other, www.ibiquity.com, produces digital HD-radios installed in most brands of cars worldwide and sold in most retail stores.

Research interests

Dr. Chen’s current research includes:

  • VLSI and Low-Power Circuits: Designing low-power fault-tolerant nanoscale devices and circuits based on probabilistic-based Markov Random Field theory;
  • Biomedical and Healthcare Devices: Developing a low-intensity pulsed-ultrasound technology platform to stimulate cell growth (with applications in cell therapy, tissue engineering, mental health, and antibody production), and microorganism growth (with applications in enhancing sludge activities for wastewater treatment, increasing renewable biofuel/algal oil, antibiotics, omega-3, and wine/beverage production).
  • MEMS/NMES-based Biosensors: Designing portable impedance-based point-of-care biosensors for detecting metabolic biomarkers, screening cancer biomarkers, testing environmental toxins, monitoring pathogens for food safety, and sensing plant infections at an early stage.
  • Nanotechnology: Building functional nanomaterials for in vivo gene/peptide/microRNA delivery (especially across the blood-brain barrier), targeted cancer imaging and treatment, gene transformation of agricultural products, and water filtration (removal of microorganisms, organic chemicals, and heavy metals).