An Interview: Dr. Sunil Bisnath

Dr. Sunil Bisnath (Photo Credit:

Dr. Sunil Bisnath
(Photo Credit:

What is your educational background?

I obtained a BSc and an MSc in Surveying Science at University of Toronto, and a PhD in Geomatics Engineering from the University of New Brunswick.

What is your most memorable project?

The first one that comes to mind is a project that I worked on as a PhD student: assessing GPS-based helicopter approaches on an 80-storey oil platform under construction in a Newfoundland harbour.

If you could create any course at York, which course would you create?

A multi-sensor integration course. Students will take different sensors, e.g., GPS, inertial, optical, etc. and integrate them physically and with optimal estimation code in order to produce positioning and orientation solutions. Actually, soon this course will be introduced as a fourth-year technical elective, possibly integrated with a graduate component.

Which part of teaching is most exciting to you?

Being in the lectures, interacting with students, and seeing them learn through understanding the concepts.

What do you like/dislike about York the most?

Like: The learning environment – to see students learn, but also learning new things myself. Coming in every day and doing so many various tasks has always made the job interesting from my first day at York.

Dislike: Administration and bureaucracy. We work to try to change (fix, improve) things, but intuitional change is always difficult.

Favourite building at York?

I don’t know about favourite, but I think that the coolest building is the new York University Subway Station.

What’s your pet peeve?

Stupidity in general – on the roads, on the news, etc. Another one is ignorance –  when people aren’t even trying to understand something.

Favorite quote?

“Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds.” – Albert Einstein

Favorite Lassonde colour?  

Blue I guess; it is the colour of our department.

Favorite food?  

Almost everything! It’s easier to say what I don’t like – quinoa, for example.

Favorite movie?

“It’s a Wonderful Life”. It’s an old Christmas movie that basically says that life is not that bad at all.

What do you do in your free time?

Work! But, if its an answer, playing with my now five year old son and seeing him learn … everything.

If you could be any age, which age would you choose and why?

I would just be my age, as I’ve never had a problem of being too old or too young.

Where would you like to travel to?

Luckily, with my job, I have travelled to many places already. I would like to go to Antarctica, as it’s the only continent I have yet to visit. I don’t know if I want to stay there for too long though! I also want to go to all the other continents again … and again.

A few items from your bucket list?

I would love to go on Safari in Africa with my son for him to see what I saw previously. I also want to visit every single national park in Canada with him son. We have already started, and we are visiting a few more parks this summer, but there are a lot of national parks!

Another item is to find that elusive work-life balance and to maintain it.

Interesting fact about yourself?

I was born in Trinidad.

Anything you would like to add?

I like what we’re doing, and I hope we can further improve the student experience and ESSE community.


Summer/Winter Apple/PC Star Wars/Star Trek Ketchup/Mustard