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Andrew Barton

2007 staff achievement awards: Andrew Barton

April 3, 2008

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Each year, SFU’s staff achievement awards highlight the exceptional personal and work-related accomplishments of staff members. Throughout this semester, SFU News is featuring profiles on each of the 2007 winners who were recognized Jan. 21 at the Diamond Alumni Centre.

In this issue: Work Performance — Andrew Barton, technical manager for the new Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (ASSC 1) building and the Faculty of Health Sciences building (Blusson Hall).

After 31 years curating and developing SFU’s archaeological research collections and managing the archaeology department’s labs, Andrew Barton got the assignment of a lifetime: To define, design and oversee the construction and implementation of Canada’s most advanced archaeology and forensic laboratories.

The labs, located in SFU’s new Arts and Social Sciences (ASSC 1) building, have received international acclaim since opening last September. An autopsy laboratory designed for bio-containment level-3 research, for example, is the first of its kind in Canada, as is a suite of labs devoted to forensic DNA analysis.

Barton began working on plans in 2004 and was later seconded to manage all specialized projects for the entire building, including facilities for criminology, clinical psychology and First Nations studies. It was a complex process that not only involved accommodating faculty and staff requirements but also specifying purchases, overseeing installations and even designing specialized lab equipment. His success on this project led to similar responsibilities for the Faculty of Health Sciences building, slated to open this May.

“I’ve barely seen the light of day,” says Barton, who worked late into the night most weeks for the last four years as he faced huge volumes of time-sensitive work. “But I’ve enjoyed every moment.”

David Burley, chair of the archaeology department, says Barton’s success and effectiveness are underscored by the fact that since moving into the facilities seven months ago, he has received no complaints. “Through Andrew’s expertise and efforts,” he says, “SFU has one of the most complete and sophisticated facilities for archaeological and forensic research on the globe.”

Now that the Faculty of Health Sciences building is almost complete, Barton will soon return to managing the archaeology labs. He hopes to participate in research excavations in the South Pacific. A zoo archaeologist and physical anthropologist, Barton also conducts research into the origins of Polynesian culture.

But best of all, he says with a grin, is the office he designed for himself. “After 31 years, I finally have an office with a window.”
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