Simon Fraser University


Canada research chairs lure academics North



November 27, 2002
To date 12 Canada Research Chairs have been appointed at SFU with the latest two appointments involving the recruitment of academic experts in their field from American universities.

Andrew Feenberg, a philosophy professor at San Diego State University, is a Tier One Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Technology. Feenberg is a co-founder of the school of management and strategic studies at the Western Behavioural Sciences Institute in La Jolla, California. Derek Bingham, who graduated from SFU with a doctorate in industrial statistics and a Governor General’s gold medal, three years ago, is coming back as a Canada Research Chair in Industrial Statistics. He is a Tier Two chair.

For each Tier One or senior chair SFU gets $200,000 annually for seven years; Tier Two or junior chairs command $100,000 annually for five years. The money is to cover the research costs, infrastructure support, salaries and benefits of individuals named to chairs.

Feenberg, the son of a nuclear physicist and one of the pioneers of on-line education, will seek to answer the question: Is technology helping or hindering societal progress? Two of his initial findings are that society impacts technological development as much as the reverse, and major technological changes offer opportunities to redefine the activities they support.

Bingham, currently a tenure-track assistant professor of industrial statistics at the University of Michigan, will help develop a one-of-a-kind lab devoted to industrial statistics research at SFU. The lab will help various BC industries develop more effective experiments for determining which factors are most and least important in creating and testing product prototypes.

SFU’s 12 chairs to date are valued at $14.1 million. Collectively, SFU Canada Research Chairs have been awarded $1.42 million for 10 CFI infrastructure projects. The federally funded Canada Research Chairs program aims to keep leading edge researchers in Canada and attract more. Bingham intends to start at SFU in the summer of 2003. Feenberg will arrive in September 2003.

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CONTACT
David Bingham, 734.763.9294, dbingham@umich.edu
Andrew Feenberg, 760.612.0830, feenberg@sdsu.edu
Carol Thorbes, Media & PR 604.291.3035, cthorbes@sfu.ca











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