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Douglas Barber

Dr. Douglas Barber "epitomizes the modern engineering entrepreneur". Through his leadership, Gennum Corporation has become the world leader in hearing aid microcircuitry design and high-end broadcast video products. Today, its technology is found in more than half of the six million hearing aids sold each year. Gennum's advancements have made the devices more effective and easier to use, helping to increase their acceptance by the hard of hearing. Barber co-founded Linear Technology Inc. in 1973. The company, renamed Gennum Corporation, has grown profitably at 21 per cent annually and now employs over 500 people, serving an international customer base from its headquarters in Burlington, Ontario, a design centre in Ottawa, and subsidiaries in Japan and the United Kingdom. In 1998, Gennum received the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Achievement Award. Barber's "superlative managerial skills" have helped the company become a Canadian high-tech success story. As a board member of many industry associations, he has influenced the development of microelectronics in Canada. He continues to encourage innovation as a board member of Gennum, Micralyne Inc. and NetAccess Systems Inc. Throughout his career, Barber has been actively involved in education. At McMaster University, he is known as "Mac Friend Extraordinaire". As a part-time professor of engineering physics for 27 years, he realized he had to encourage students to be open to all opportunities. As chair and past chair of the Board of Governors, he led the governance of the university to achieve the institution's goals and objectives. He was appointed Distinguished Professorin-Residence in 2001 for a three-year term. In 2002, he established the $1.3-million Barber-Gennum Chair in Information Technology in partnership with Gennum Corporation. As well as being a member of the university's fund raising team, he has also participated as a keynote speaker and panelist at numerous innovation and engineering conferences. He has been honoured with doctorates from the University of Waterloo and McMaster, and the University of Saskatchewan has been generously supported through his personal philanthropic donations. He served for six years as a member of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and is Chair of the Education; Skills Committee of the Ontario Science and Innovation Council. He has taught courses for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and served as a member of the Ontario Deans of Engineering Advisory Council. Barber was awarded the Professional Engineers Ontario Engineering Medal for Research and Development in 1987. He has also been the Hamilton Engineering Institute's "Engineer of the Year"; and Ontario's Technology Entrepreneur of the Year. He was cited nationally as the Entrepreneur of the Year for Innovation and Technology, and received the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Canadian Semiconductor Technology Conference in 2001. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. Douglas Barber is currently heading a study to determine the potential of Canada's private sector to move our economy into the top five innovative economies of the world.