Ivan Fair

Professor and Chair, Electrical & Computer Engineering
(780) 492-3333 
Donadeo ICE 11-224 


Ivan Fair received his BSc and MSc degrees from the University of Alberta in 1985 and 1989 respectively, and his PhD degree from the University of Victoria in 1995. He was employed with Bell Northern Research Ltd. from 1985 to 1987, and with MPR TelTech Ltd. from 1989 to 1991, working on various aspects of communication system design and implementation. In 1995 he joined the Technical University of Nova Scotia (since amalgamated with Dalhousie University) as an Assistant Professor, and was promoted to Associate Professor before joining the University of Alberta in 1998, where he is now a Professor. From 2001–2004 he was the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies and Acting Director of Computer Engineering in ECE. From 2002–2005 he was an associate editor for IEEE Communications Letters. From 2014-2015 he was the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies and in addition, a member of the Board of Examiners of APEGGA. He was appointed Interim Chair of ECE from September 2015 - June 2017. As of July 1, 2017, Ivan Fair will be the Department Chair for a five-year term.

Research Interests

My research involves the development and analysis of channel coding techniques to improve the reliability of communication systems in an efficient manner. This research has included:

  • developing techniques to construct constrained codes and pulse shapes to satisfy pre-determined spectral constraints
  • developing techniques to integrate error control codes with constrained sequence codes
  • developing techniques to limit undesired signal characteristics in orthogonal frequency division multiplexing systems
  • analyzing the spectral characteristics of coded sequences
  • analyzing and developing synchronization techniques for coded sequences
  • developing and analyzing the performance of new error control coding algorithms.

Current Research

My ongoing research includes:

  • development of spectral shaping codes for wireless systems that use high order signaling alphabets
  • development of codes to meet the two-dimensional constraints of holographic storage
  • development of efficient variable-length constrained sequence codes
  • continued development of multimode constrained sequence coding techniques
  • continued development of a constructive approach to design codes and pulse shapes to meet spectral constraints
  • application of constrained coding techniques to reduce the peak-to-average power ratio in orthogonal frequency division multiplexed (OFDM) wireless systems
  • development of techniques to reduce undesired nonlinearities in optical OFDM systems.