David Wilkinson appointed to the Order of Canada

Dr. David Wilkinson, CHBE Professor and Canadian Research Chair in Clean Energy and Electrochemical Technologies (Tier 1), has been appointed to the Order of Canada for his contributions to electrochemical science and engineering, particularly the ongoing development of fuel cell technology.

Dr. Wilkinson was appointed to the Order of Canada on November 27th, 2020. Due to public health orders related to COVID-19, the ceremony was postponed. On December 14th 2022, Dr. Wilkinson attended the in-person ceremony at Rideau Hall, in Ottawa.

Created in 1967, the Order of Canada is one of our country’s highest honours. Presented by the governor general, the Order honours people whose service shapes our society; whose innovations ignite our imaginations; and whose compassion unites our communities.

More than 7 000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order of Canada. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and have taken to heart the motto of the Order: DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (“They desire a better country”).

Dr. Wilkinson joined the faculty of UBC’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2004 as a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Clean Energy and Fuel Cells. He had previously held key positions at Moli Energy, where he was part of the team that developed the world’s first commercial rechargeable lithium AA battery, and Ballard Power Systems, which he helped transform into a world leader in fuel cell and hydrogen technology over the course of his 13 years at the company.

Before coming to UBC, Wilkinson was also a principal research officer and group leader at the National Research Council Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation, where he established a leading research and development group and laboratory in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell technology. He continued his affiliation with the Institute until 2012.

At UBC, Wilkinson has served as executive director of the Clean Energy Research Center and as principal investigator in the NanoMat: CREATE Nanomaterials Science and Technology program and the RES’EAU WaterNet strategic network. Together with students in his lab, he developed an electrochemical reactor that converts carbon dioxide and saline wastewater — harmful byproducts of the oil and gas industry — into value-added chemicals and reusable water. The company they formed, Mangrove Water Technologies, won the Emissions Reduction Alberta Grand Challenge, a five-year global competition aimed at accelerating the development of innovative technologies or processes that can turn carbon dioxide into valuable goods or materials.

View Dr. Wilkinson’s citation in the Governor General of Canada’s announcement and find additional details about his research on his profile page.

Congratulations Dr. Wilkinson!