Dr. Mohamed Lachemi is president and vice-chancellor of Ryerson University, first appointed in 2016 and reappointed to a second term concluding in 2026. An internationally recognized researcher and accomplished academic administrator, he has been a key contributor to the growth and development of Ryerson over a transformational time in the university’s history.
Joining Ryerson in 1998 as a professor of civil engineering, President Lachemi has served in progressively senior roles, including dean of the faculty of engineering and architectural science, and provost and vice-president academic.
As president, he has contributed to the success of the DMZ – a top university-based incubator in the world – and promoted the establishment of Ryerson as a global university with the opening of innovation zones in Vietnam and India. President Lachemi has overseen the development of Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst – a national centre for cybersecurity – and navigated approvals for a new and innovative law school, launching in Fall 2020. Under his direction, Ryerson was awarded leadership of the Future Skills Centre consortium, with a mandate to ensure Canadians develop the skills they need in the new economy.
President Lachemi has extended the university’s dedication to city building with the introduction of a new Master Campus Plan. His commitment to diversity and inclusion is marked by his direction of the university’s response to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools, and by his appointment of the university’s first vice-president, equity and community inclusion.
President Lachemi is internationally known for his pioneering research in high-performance materials and advanced technologies to mitigate the effects of built structures on the environment. He held a Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Construction from 2002-10. Funding sources for his work include the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Ontario Innovation Trust, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Ontario Centres of Excellence, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Hydro-Québec and various industrial partners.
An award-winning teacher and mentor, he has acted as supervisor, co-supervisor or advisor for over 70 Masters and PhD students, post-doctoral fellows and research associates. Publishing in English and French, President Lachemi has more than 285 peer-reviewed technical publications, book chapters and conference proceedings, and extensive contributions as an editor and technical reviewer. He has delivered more than 50 keynote addresses and invited presentations around the world.
President Lachemi is Chair of the Council of Ontario Universities, a Member of the National Research Council of Canada, Fellow of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, Board member of Trillium Health Partners and Chair of the Education Section of the Campaign Cabinet, United Way of Greater Toronto.
In addition, he serves on Board of Directors, Hackergal; Leadership Council, Scale Up Ventures; and Board of Directors, DMZ Ventures.
Among his recent honours, he is a recipient of the MAX Community Excellence Award (2018); Watson Medal for Materials Research, American Concrete Institute (2018); REH’MA Community Services Award ‘New Canadian Success Story’ (2015); and the Award of Excellence, NED Alumni Association of Canada (2014).
A graduate of L’Université des Sciences et de la Technologie d’Oran in Algeria (civil engineering, with distinction) and L’Université de Sherbrooke (MASc and PhD, Structural Engineering), Dr. Lachemi worked with Concrete Canada as a postdoctoral fellow and research associate, followed by a visiting professorship in Applied Science at Artois University in France.