Honorary Degrees

N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may be available at the University Archives.

Name: Dr. H. Douglas Barber, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.
Convocation date: May 28, 2008
Discipline / contribution: technology ; business and industry
Citation / biographical information:

H. Douglas Barber was born on a Saskatchewan farm and attended the University of Saskatchewan obtaining his B.Sc. with Great Distinction, winning the Governor General's Gold Medal, and attaining an M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering. As an Athlone Fellow and NATO Scholar he received his Ph.D. from Imperial College, University of London in 1965.

Dr. Barber began employment in 1965 in a new microelectronics initiative at Canadian Westinghouse, Hamilton, Ontario. In 1973 he was one of the founders of Linear Technology Inc., now known as Gennum Corporation, a company which has become a world leader in hearing aid microcircuitry and high-end broadcast video products. Dr. Barber was President of Gennum Corp. and CEO when he retired in 2000.

From 1968 to 1994, Dr. Barber was a part-time Engineering Physics Professor at McMaster University and appointed Distinguished Professor-in-Residence in 2001. Dr. Barber speaks frequently on business, technology, learning, innovation and economic development and has authored many refereed papers and filed several patents. He has been said to “epitomize the modern engineering entrepreneur.”

Dr. Barber’s honors include the APEO Engineering Medal, the University of Saskatchewan C.J. Mackenzie Distinguished Graduate Award, the Professional Engineers of Ontario Gold Medal, and Engineer of the Year Award of the Hamilton Engineering Institute. Dr. Barber has received an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering from the University of Waterloo, an Honorary Doctorate of Science from McMaster University, and in 1999 was named Ontario’s Technology Entrepreneur of the Year, receiving the National Citation for Innovation & Technology. In 2006 Dr. Barber was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Dr. Barber was also a Director of the Strategic Microelectronics Consortium, the Canadian Advanced Technology Association, the Hearing Industries Association and the Alberta Microelectronics Corp, among others. As a member of the Sectoral Skills Council, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the National Innovation Strategy, the Ontario Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board and Vice Chair of the Ontario Science and Innovation Council, Dr. Barber has demonstrated his long-standing commitment to promote innovative technology and university-industry linkages.

At McMaster University, Dr. Barber is past Chair and a continuing member of the Board of Governors, member of the Directors College and a past member of the Senate. He is Chair of the Engineering Dean’s Advisory Board. He was a member of the Conference Board of Canada Leader’s Roundtable on Commercialization and of the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade’s Commercialization Advisory Council. He is a member of the Board of the Institute of Quantum Computing and a member of the Ontario Research and Innovation Council.

Dr. Barber and his wife, June, have raised a family of four whose families now include nine grandchildren. He is a man of faith with over 35 years of active involvement in their church.
Degree received: Doctor of Science
Degree presented by: Dr. Janusz Kozinski, Dean of Engineering

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