Conestoga news

September 7, 2001 12:51 PM

David J. Burns Named Academic Vice-President

Conestoga College has named David J. Burns as Vice- President, Academic, effective January 2002. Currently Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Waterloo and formerly Dean of Waterloo’s Faculty of Engineering (1990-98), Dr. Burns will assume academic leadership at Conestoga, with a mandate to move the College forward towards its goal of polytechnic institute status.

"I am a firm believer in a multi-layered postsecondary system, and I welcome the opportunity to assist the College in preparing for and achieving excellence in applied-degree programming, and in the transformation into a polytechnic,” Dr. Burns says. "I know industry definitely needs an increasing number of highly skilled and educated people, and I wish to see Conestoga even more successful in filling the gap, addressing local industrial needs.”

Conestoga College President John W. Tibbits comments, "We are extremely pleased to have someone of David Burns’ calibre, who brings to the College a wealth of academic, research and industrial experience, plus demonstrated leadership ability. Certainly, Conestoga will continue to be a comprehensive college, meeting a wide variety of needs. Yet, excellent as we have been, the College must grow and evolve, the better to serve our students and communities, and the better to be an effective agent of economic growth and development for our region. Dr. Burns will help make all this possible.”

A native of England, Dr. Burns was an undergraduate at the University of Bristol, as well as an apprentice in the engine division of Bristol Aeroplane Company. He obtained his PhD from the University of Bristol in 1962, and then worked for Imperial Chemical Industries before taking a teaching post at Imperial College, University of London. In 1967, he joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Waterloo.

A Professional Engineer (Ontario), Chartered Engineer (United Kingdom) and Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (United States), he has produced over 120 research publications. He is a director of Materials and Manufacturing Ontario, a founding director of the Advanced Design and Manufacturing Institute, and a current member of the Canadian Engineering Resources Board of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers.

Dr. Burns has combined his academic and industrial interests through a variety of activities. For many years, he was a consultant to Conch Methane, UK, the first company to design ships for transporting liquefied natural gas. He is currently Chair, Research and Development Advisory Panel to the Board of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.

A resident of Waterloo, Dr. Burns is married, with three adult children and two grandchildren.

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