Rafiq Ahmad, PhD, P.Eng

Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering - Mechanical Engineering Dept


Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering - Mechanical Engineering Dept
(780) 492-7180
10-326 Donadeo Innovation Centre For Engineering
9211 116 St
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H5


Area of Study / Keywords

Website: https://sites.ualberta.ca/~rafiq1/aboutus.html Design And Manufacturing Additive Manufacturing Recycling-Repair-&-Remanufacturing Automation And Robotics System Design and Engineering Hybrid and Smart Manufacturing Industry 4.0 Lean Manufacturing


Dr. Rafiq Ahmad joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta in May 2016. Dr. Ahmad is the Principal Investigator, Director, and Founder of the Smart & Sustainable Manufacturing Systems Laboratory (SMART LAB, formerly known as LIMDA). Click to visit SMART Lab.

Dr. Ahmad is currently serving as a board member (Co-UofA Student Section Advisor) in the International Society of Automation (ISA-Edmonton), Guest Editor with the Journal of Production and Manufacturing Research, Journal of Polymers, Speciality Editor of the International Journal of Industrialized Construction, and a Steering committee member of ICCMA international conferences.

Dr. Ahmad obtained his Ph.D. and M.S. from Ecole Centrale de Nantes and Ecole Arts et Metiers Paris, respectively, in France. He has also completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Luxembourg.

Dr. Ahmad's research interest in "Design and Manufacturing" bridges the gap between fundamental research and its advanced applications in industry.

Education and Training:

  • 2014-2015 ~ Postdoc., Mechanical Engineering, (Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics Automation) University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg.
  • 2009-2012 ~ Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering (Advanced manufacturing), IRCCyN, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France.
  • 2008-2009 ~ M.Sc., Mechanical Engineering (Knowledge Integration in Mechanical Production and Design), Arts et Métiers ParisTech, Paris, France.
  • 2002-2007 ~ B.Sc., Mechanical Engineering, NWFP University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar, Pakistan.


  • Received the Edify's Top 40 Under 40 Edmonton Award in 2022.
  • Received the competitive Mitacs Accelerate Grant for Robotics and Construction 4.0.
  • Received the prestigious Alberta Innovates CASBE Grant for personal protective equipment design and development to cope with COVID-19.
  • Received the prestigious NSERC Alliance Grant for developing state-of-the-art Aquaponics4.0 systems at the University of Alberta.
  • Received the esteemed Major Innovation Funds to develop autonomous Industrial systems at the University of Alberta.
  • Received the prestigious NSERC Discovery funding for a five-year research project at the University of Alberta, Canada.
  • Received the highly competitive NSERC RTI funding for research equipment at the University of Alberta, Canada.
  • Received the highly competitive AFR-FNR funding for a two-year research project at FSTC, University of Luxembourg, awarded by the government of Luxembourg.
  • Received young researcher’s award travel money to represent Luxembourg at the ESOF EuroScience Open Forum conference 21-26 June 2014, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Received the highly prestigious CNRS + Region Scholarship for PhD studies for three years at IRCCyN, Ecole central de Nantes, France, awarded by the French Government.


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Dr. Ahmad's research focuses on bridging the gap between fundamental research in “design and manufacturing” and its advanced applications in industry. His core research direction is to design, develop, optimization, and engineering manufacturing and production systems or processes aiming towards three significant areas:

Hybrid and Smart Manufacturing and Production Systems (Target: Zero-defect): 

Sustainable design of both product and innovative manufacturing systems to produce it with a high level of intelligence, interoperability, and transparency. Design and develop manufacturing and production systems for novel and extreme applications, higher productivity, high performance, waste reduction, new materials, higher intelligence, and digitization. This includes hybrid manufacturing, i.e., additive and subtractive technologies, an intelligent inspection of tool and machining processes, large-scale 3D printing (multi-color, multi-material, freeform surfaces, recycled plastics), laser cladding, lean manufacturing, knowledge and ontology modeling, and topology optimization.

Green Technologies: including Repair, Remanufacturing, and Recycling (3R) – (Target: Zero Waste)

Development of autonomous methods, tools, and technologies for repair and remanufacturing of end-of-life metal components. Plastic recycling and remanufacturing to novel applications. Intelligent systems/machine design and development based on Industry 4.0. Design of new production systems with zero-waste based on lean and digitization.

Industrial Automation: Robotics (Target: Zero Human-Intervention, Autonomous systems)

Development of automated systems for various manufacturing and production processes based-on digital tools, computer vision, machine learning (AI), and industrial robotics. The aim is to automate all the dirty, dull, and dangerous tasks and enhance the safe and smartness of manufacturing and production systems. The specific research includes autonomous assembly & disassembly, vision, and knowledge-based systems, path planning, human-robot collaboration, automated repair, autonomous machine tending, and automated crop quality control and monitoring in vertical farming (Aquaponics).


MEC E 300- Mechanical Measurements (Winter Semester): Characterization and behavior of measuring systems. Statistics and analysis of measurement data; measurement techniques applied to fundamental mechanical engineering phenomena. Prerequisites: CIV E 270, ECE 209, STAT 235. Corequisite: MEC E 330 or MEC E 331.

ENG M 408- Manufacturing Systems and Engineering (Summer Semester): Manufacturing process modeling and system design; computer-aided process planning; scheduling of manufacturing activities; computer-aided manufacturing; integration for different machining processes; plastic parts and mold design; sheet metal parts and die design; robotics in manufacturing; welding process and control; Design considerations; Shop floor control; and engineering collaboration. Prerequisite: MEC E 265.

ENG M 607 - Lean Manufacturing: Overview of lean manufacturing concepts, tools and techniques. Identifying waste. Value stream mapping, push vs. pull systems data analysis tools, cell layout design, operator balance charts, 5S, set up time reduction, work in process minimization, standardized work, visual management, and optimized floor space. Introduction to six sigma tools.

MEC E 364 - Manufacturing Processes: Primary manufacturing processes including casting, forming, machining, powdered metallurgy and surface technology, interactions between design, materials (metals, polymers, ceramics, composites) and processes, selected field trips and laboratory activities. Requires payment of additional student instructional support fees. Refer to the Fees Payment Guide in the University Regulations and Information for Students section of the Calendar. Prerequisite: MEC E 260.


Postdoc, PhD and MS positions available! Please contact by email with CV, transcripts and a cover letter. Candidates having a GPA of more than 3.7/4 are highly encouraged to apply.