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Professor Jonathan Rose has been named a Member of the Order of Canada. (Photo: Caitlin Free Photography)

Professor Jonathan Rose (ECE) has been named a Member of the Order of Canada.  

The announcement was made by Governor General Mary Simon on June 27, 2024. Rose is among 83 new appointments and promotions to the Order, including 19 members of the University of Toronto community 

Rose was honoured for his groundbreaking innovations in the architecture and software used in field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). 

FPGAs are mass-produced, prefabricated digital chips that are configured after manufacturing to become specific-purpose digital circuits, and power devices used by millions of people in telecommunications, manufacturing and health care 

In addition to developing several key innovations in the design of FPGA architecture, Rose’s research group created a computer-aided design (CAD) and architecture exploration tool that is now widely-used in academia and industry. 

Together, these discoveries were commercialized through the start-up Right Track CAD Corporation. After Right Track’s purchase by Altera — which was later acquired by Intel — Rose’s group continued to provide input and advice on Altera’s flagship architecture, the Stratix FPGA, as well as several follow-on products that make up a significant portion of Intel’s FPGA revenue.    

Having successfully commercialized his own research group’s innovations, Rose has been a champion of engineering entrepreneurship within the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. He played a key role in developing the Faculty’s Engineering Business Minor, becoming its inaugural director; it remains the most subscribed minor across U of T Engineering. 

He also brought his expertise to the creation and oversight of The Entrepreneurship Hatchery, U of T Engineering’s startup accelerator, and has served as chair of its advisory committee.  

In 2011, Rose travelled to Ethiopia, in a trip organized by the Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration. There, he and a graduate student spent over a month mentoring local students and instructors in digital technology, the start of a collaboration that lasted many years. The experience inspired him to join the NGO Academics Without Borders, serving on its board from 2011 to 2022. 

Rose is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, a foreign member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 2015 he received the Engineers Canada Medal for Distinction in Engineering Education, and in 2024 Engineers Canada presented him with its Gold Medal Award. 

“Throughout his career, Professor Rose has moved seamlessly between the worlds of engineering, entrepreneurship and public service,” says U of T Engineering Dean Christopher Yip.    

“When it comes to designing bold solutions for a better world, that is a very powerful combination, and it’s wonderful to see it recognized at the national level. On behalf of everyone at U of T Engineering, congratulations on well-deserved honour.” 

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