Ngai Ham (Erik) Chan is an MSI Postdoctoral Fellow at the McGill Space Institute and is affiliated to the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, McGill University. He works with Prof. Natalya Gomez on a range of planetary topics, including tidal deformation and mass loads (e.g. sea level and ice sheets). He was previously an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Physics, University of Toronto (with affiliation to the Centre for Planetary Sciences), working with Prof. Sabine Stanley. He had also been a postdoctoral researcher in the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, where he worked with Prof. Isamu Matsuyama on better understanding the interior structure of the Moon.

The central theme of Chan's doctoral dissertation is the stability of planetary rotation. Specifically, he is interested in a class of rotational reorientation known as true polar wander (TPW). Results from his work with Prof. Jerry Mitrovica (at the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Harvard University) suggested that the Earth's rotation pole is significantly more stable than previously thought. Their work also quantified, for the first time, the accuracies and limitations of the linearised formulation widely used in TPW studies.

Prior to his Ph.D. work, Chan graduated from University of Toronto's Astronomy and Physics specialist programme. His undergraduate research included investigating the origin and evolution of a class of stars known as 'Blue Stragglers', which had been detected in many galactic star clusters (open and globular). Nearly at the same time, Chan also began work in detecting secular changes in basin water storage through satellite gravity data — a project which eventually became his M.Sc. thesis in Geophysics at the same university.

Outside the scientific world, Chan is also a classically trained pianist, receiving his Performer's Diploma from Trinity College London at the age of 12. He began performing in North American cities before deciding to shift his focus to astrophysics, but kept on teaching piano for many years afterwards. These days, he hopes to be able to carve out time for some recitals and musical collaborations.