Charles Despins’ career has spanned, over more than 30 years, both the academic and industrial segments of the information technology and communications sector. In addition to having been a faculty member of INRS-Telecommunications (Université du Québec) in Montreal, he later held senior management positions in the private sector including senior director of technology development at Microcell Telecommunications as well as vice-president and chief technology officer of Bell Nordiq Group. He also worked as a consultant for wireless network deployments in India and China. After leaving his full-time academic position in 1996, he remained active in research as an adjunct professor at INRS.
From 2003 to 2016, he was also founding president & CEO of Prompt, a university-industry research consortium and non-profit organization which is now a highly recognized collaborative research actor in Québec. He rejoined academia in 2016 and is currently professor of electrical engineering as well as vice-president – research & partnerships at École de Technologie Supérieure (ÉTS), Université du Québec.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from McGill University in Montreal, as well as M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees, also in electrical engineering, from Carleton University in Ottawa. He was the recipient of the (1993) Best Paper of the Year award in IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology. He was named in 2005 a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada and was the recipient in 2006 of the Outstanding Engineer Award from IEEE Canada for (citation) “excellence in the electrical engineering profession in both academia and industry”.