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UNB names Barrett Chair in Entrepreneurship for Digital Transformation

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Oct 3, 2022

Category: UNB Fredericton

The McKenna Institute and the University of New Brunswick (UNB) are pleased to announce that Dr. Kenneth (Ken) Kent has been named the inaugural Barrett Chair in Entrepreneurship for Digital Transformation.

Based within UNB’s faculty of computer science, the Barrett Chair will advance the faculty’s mission while furthering its shared goals with the McKenna Institute to drive digital progress in New Brunswick. The position is funded by a generous $2.5 million commitment from New Brunswick business leaders and entrepreneurs, Edward (Ed) and William (Bill) Barrett, which was announced in May at the inaugural Digital Innovation Summit in St. Andrews, N.B.

Dr. Kent has been with UNB since 2002. A full professor in computer science, he has held various positions within the faculty, including the director of the Information Technology Centre and assistant dean - research and outreach. He is the director of the IBM Centre for Advanced Studies – Atlantic (CAS-A). During his time with UNB, Dr. Kent has participated in many industrial partnerships, including IBM, Google, RedHat and Huawei, with work contributing to disclosures and patent filings, many academic publications in refereed journals and conference proceedings, and numerous awards for his scientific contributions. In 2020, he was recognized as the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) R3 Star Mentor of the Year. Having co-founded anessa, a Fredericton-based software company providing solutions for the biogas industry, Dr. Kent brings academic, industrial and entrepreneurial experience.

“Business and industry increasingly seek students with more real-life work and direct business experience. It is a pleasure to see this chair taking a leading role in creating an environment and programming that will foster business and entrepreneurial spirit in UNB’s computer science students,” said Erin Barrett, CEO of Eigen Innovations Inc. on behalf of the Barrett family.

“The faculty of computer science is delighted to welcome Dr. Ken Kent to the role of Barrett Chair in Entrepreneurship for Digital Transformation. Dr. Kent’s background in entrepreneurship and extensive experience with industry partnerships will be of great benefit to our students and faculty as he leads our entrepreneurship evolution,” said Dr. Patricia Evans, acting dean of computer science.

UNB’s faculty of computer science, established in 1990, is Canada’s first computer science faculty and boasts two undergraduate programs, three master’s programs, and a PhD program. Through experiential education, exceptional research and collaborative industry projects, the faculty aims to advance computer science knowledge and educate the next generation of information technology leaders with a strong computer science foundation.

The McKenna Institute fuels economic growth and social progress by advancing the use of digital technologies in New Brunswick. The Institute collaborates to accelerate our talent pipeline, nurture ideas and enable all New Brunswick communities to thrive in a digital world. For more information about the Institute and its projects, see unb.ca/mckenna.