Kristiina Valter Mai

Associate Professor

Kristiina (Valter McConville) Mai received her B.A.Sc. degree in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo and was an exchange student at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne, France. She obtained her M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Toronto Institute of Biomedical Engineering. She participated in the International Space University (ISU) inaugural summer session at MIT.

Dr. Valter Mai worked in the Canadian Space Agency in the Canadian Astronaut Program Office. She helped to prepare experiments for spaceflight for Canadian researchers and industry, and flew in microgravity on parabolic flights. She also spent 10 years in industry, at Aastra Aerospace as Manager of Biomaterials and Engineering and at Honeywell Aerospace as Product Manager for International Space Station and Sensor programs. She is an Associate Professor at Toronto Metropolitan University in Electrical and Computer Engineering, a Professional Engineer, and a Senior Member of IEEE.


Dr. Valter Mai's research interests are in Sustainability Engineering, including Environment, Health, and Socio-cultural Sustainability. She is working on developing sensors and systems to monitor green roof agriculture and irrigation. This will promote urban green roof agriculture for community gardens and for local food security and nutrition. She is also interested in human sensory perception and language classification.

Her contributions have also been in Biomedical and Rehabilitation Engineering, specifically in the human balance control system using virtual reality training along with motion simulators. She has served on the ASTM Sustainability committees in helping to create sustainability standards for industry and green roofs.


  • Invited speaker, IEEE Human Computer Interaction Conference, Chennai, India, 2013
  • Supervised Best Graduate Thesis Award, Electrical and Computer Engineering, 2009
  • Supervised Nominees for the Institution of Engineering and Technology competition (4th year Design Project), 2009
  • Supervised winner of Departmental GREA award, 2009 and 2007
  • Supervised 1st place winner of IEEE Best Student Paper award for Canada, 2006
  • Invited speaker, University of Toronto 100 year Anniversary of 1st Ph.D., 2000
  • Invited to host winner of PEO Professional Engineering Week competition, 1998-2001
  • Elected to the International Astronautical Federation's Committee on Life Support to support Long Term Missions, 1998
  • Invited member, Canadian Space Agency Long Term Space Plan III Technology Committee, 1997
  • Semifinalist in Canadian Astronaut Recruitment, 1992
  • International Space University Teaching Assistant to Cosmonaut Oleg Atkov, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France Sponsored by: Canadian Astronaut Program and Canadian Space Agency, 1989