Dr. J.Y. Wong And The Kapvic Mars Rover

Dr. J.Y. Wong and one of the J.Y. Wong Lab’s top innovations – the “Kapvic” Mars Rover – was designed and built at Carleton in collaboration with several partners

Giving Insight Fall 2023 Edition

After retiring from Carleton in 1999 with an illustrious 31-year career, Dr. J.Y. Wong continues contributing to the university.  “During those years, I received excellent support from the university administration, at all levels, in research and teaching,” explains the professor emeritus and adjunct research professor. “I thought that in return, it is time for me to contribute as much as I can to Carleton in the form of donations to establish undergraduate and graduate scholarships, and research and teaching facilities.”

Wong spent his career in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, specializing in ground transportation technology. His research included off-road vehicle mobility, road vehicle dynamics, air cushion technology, and magnetic levitation systems. During his tenure, Wong organized a series of public lectures on “Overland transport technology and environment” presented by prominent experts from Canada, the US and UK, and professional development programs on “Terrain-vehicle systems analysis”, which attracted professionals from many countries to attend. His work on computer simulation models to assess off-road vehicle mobility helped make Carleton a leader in this field of research.

It’s probably not surprising then that one of Wong’s first post-retirement gifts to Carleton was to establish the J.Y. Wong Laboratory for Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Mobility, Guidance and Control in 2011. Researchers there have worked on everything from robotic arms to repair satellites in space to a mini-rover designed to collect scientific samples on the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

Recently, Wong and his wife made a gift to establish the J.Y. Wong and E.W. Wong Hub for Engineering and Design Innovation. Located within the new Engineering and Design Centre, the Hub provides students with the resources to advance their innovative and creative capabilities. Previously, they established an undergraduate scholarship and a research award for Ph.D. candidates, both within mechanical and aerospace engineering. “I hope that these scholarships will encourage new generations of engineers to do their best to contribute a great deal to their field of specialization,” Wong says.

Dr. and Mrs. Wong have also ensured that their legacy will continue after they are gone. A gift from their estates will establish a Prestigious Engineering Lecture Series. The series will bring world renowned experts to Carleton to provide students and faculty with information on the latest developments in the engineering field while also promoting the accomplishments of the Faculty of Engineering and Design to a larger audience.

“Carleton in many areas has done very good work, but people don’t always realize it,” he says. “So that is one of my motivations in donating to Carleton—to try to change that.”