David Bonham   2004 UNB Service Award Recipient

Dr. David Bonham joined UNB on September 1, 1974. For 30 years he has shaped the Mechanical Engineering Department in a variety of ways including the enhancement of student life, the enrichment of teaching and research, and through raising the department's national profile.

Dr. Bonham started the Student Society of Mechanical Engineering which has enriched tremendously student life in the department. Subsequently, he initiated the legendary coaster car derby, now a major community event that not only brings engineering students together in designing and enhancing their own vehicles, but also attracts students from outside the province and brings alumni back to the University. Continuing with his desire to improve student life, Dr. Bonham, introduced Mechanical Engineering Night, now an annual gathering of students, faculty and staff, which was subsequently imitated by all other departments in engineering. Dr. Bonham also started the tradition of an annual faculty retreat to plan for long-term academic goals and objectives.

Dr. Bonham chaired the department from January 1981 to June 1989 at a critical period during which the department evolved from being primarily a teaching unit to an active research group. He was instrumental in hiring the 'right' faculty members to move the department in a new direction. He was also responsible for the implementation, development and supervision of the Manufacturing Technology Centre which attracted considerable research funding and employed a number of individuals who are now leaders in their own right. The centre enriched student life and stimulated research efforts in the department. As such, Dr. Bonham initiated and maintained UNB's leading role in CAD/CAM education. More recently, Dr. Bonham was instrumental in the initiative to establish an NSERC Design Chair at UNB.

Dr. Bonham won the first Engineering Award of Merit presented by the Association of Professional Engineers of New Brunswick; he was a co-winner with Dr. Salem Masry. Along with all these achievements, Dr. Bonham carried out with devotion his duties as a faculty member through teaching, supervision of graduate students, and through serving the department in various capacities. In addition, he served on a number of professional and research national boards and committees.

Our students have recognized Dr. Bonham's contributions by selecting him as the Professor of the Year (Excellence in Teaching Award) year after year - 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003. Honouring Dr. Bonham with a University Service Award is therefore a recognition well received by Dr. Bonham's students and his peers as he approaches retirement in the next few years.

Presented by David Coleman
Dean of Engineering
March 26, 2004