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Career Profile

Liam Paull

Assistant Professor
Liam Paull | Professeur adjoint
Liam Paull | Professeur adjoint
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway
School Subject

Liam Paull is an assistant professor at the Université de Montréal.

About me

I was born/grew up in: Montreal, Quebec

I now live in: Montreal, Quebec

I completed my training/education at: McGill (BSc Computer Engineering), University of New Brunswick (PhD), MIT (Postdoc)

What I do at work

The job of a university professor includes many different aspects. I spend roughly one third of my time advising graduate students, one third of my time teaching and designing courses, and one third of my time reading research and writing papers and thinking hard.

My specific area of specialization is mobile robotics. In my lab we strive to give robotics real intelligence. These robots can be used for transportation (driverless cars), assisting people indoors, or anything in between.

Robotics is somewhat unique in that it requires a solid background in many areas of STEM - such as computer science, computer engineering, programming, mechanical engineering and many others. A solid understanding of how all of these things work together is essential for achieving cutting-edge results and pushing the field forward.

My career path is

I always thought I would like to do higher education. When I started grad school, though, I was in a completely different field: power electronics. I stumbled upon a class project about robotics and then never looked back. I never thought I would have the opportunity to go to a place like MIT to do a postdoc. I was lucky that I had supportive advisors who gave me the opportunity to prove myself.

I am motivated by

I'm excited by trying to create new things and knowledge that don't exist yet. I love working with graduate students. I love not having a "real" boss and being able to pursue roughly whatever I find interesting. I love trying to make an impact.

How I affect peoples’ lives

Robotics will change the world in the coming decades. For example, if we can develop a driverless car, this has the potential to transform society on a scale at the level of the invention of the automobile itself.

Outside of work I

My favorite thing is rock climbing.

My advice to others

Get your hands dirty. Learn the fundamentals but then learn the boundaries by actually applying things.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Math
  • Physical Education/Health
  • Science
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Enjoyed doing things on my own
  • Always wanted to be on the outside
  • Played on a sports team
  • Enjoyed working with my hands
  • Was motivated by success
  • Didn't really care about grades
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do

Related Topics


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Canada 2067

Let’s Talk Science recognizes and thanks Liam Paull for his contribution to Canada 2067.

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