posted on Feb. 22: Board chair Doug Barber appointed Distinguished Professor-in-Residence


[img_inline align=”right” src=”” caption=”D. Barber”]Board of Governors chair Doug Barber has been appointed to the position of Distinguished Professor-in-Residence in the Faculty of Engineering.

The appointment, which began Jan. 1, is for a three-year term.

Barber's role as a professor-in-residence will be to:

  • provide mentorship for students,
  • work as a liaison with industry, government and other public organizations and,
  • provide advice to the Faculty of Engineering about strategic planning, external relations and advancement.

Barber will also teach classes and be available for consultation about theses and special projects. He will have an office in the Faculty of Engineering but the position is unpaid.

Barber told attendees at a reception held Feb. 19 to mark his appointment that he always intended to become a professor after obtaining his PhD in electrical engineering from Imperial College, University of London in 1965.

“It's taken me this long to be an engineering professor. I intended to do it after working for a few years and I just retired last July. I guess I'm a slow learner,” he said jokingly.

“I'm deeply honoured to be appointed Distinguished Professor-in-Residence here at McMaster,” he said.

“I know that McMaster is a university with sufficient maturity and self-confidence to know that improvement is always possible. You have strong, good leaders here. My hope is that I may, by being more present here in this new capacity, be able, in some small way, both to contribute to the changes that evolve and to be changed by them.”

After graduating 37 years ago, Barber worked as a research engineer in the solid state devices department of Canadian Westinghouse in Hamilton. In 1973, he was one of the founders of Linear Technology Inc., a company designing, manufacturing and marketing bipolar monolithic integrated circuits. The company was renamed Gennum Corp. in 1987. Barber was president and chief executive officer when he retired last summer.

Barber has taught part-time in the engineering physics department, has written more than 29 technical papers and holds several patents on semi-conductor devices.

Recently, he joined other business leaders to found eMPOWR Canada, an organization dedicated to lobbying Ottawa for $500 million to ease the faculty shortage and triple the number of profesors teaching in the high-tech disciplines.

“I can think of no one better qualified than Doug Barber to assume this post,” engineering dean Mamdouh Shoukri said at the reception.
“He has been an inspiration to me as dean and I know to many of you. He is a man of great wisdom, who presence commands respect and devotion. He is an educator and a scholar.”

Shoukri noted that McMaster developed strong ties with industrial leaders like Barber.

“From these ties we have gained a better understanding how these industries work in real-life situations. We have benefited by introducing our students to these industries for practical experience through internships and summer employment.”

Barber completes his term as board chair in June.