The University of New Brunswick is saluting Chris Huskilson, the recently retired president and CEO of Emera, for being a visionary and a champion of innovation.

At a special ceremony in Halifax on April 11, Dr. Huskilson was awarded the UNB Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award and inducted into the UNB Engineering Wall of Fame.

“Chris has been a strong champion of building a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the Atlantic region, helping to foster the big thinkers of tomorrow,” says Eddy Campbell, president and vice-chancellor at UNB.

“Over the last 14 years as president and CEO of Emera, he led the company’s transformation into an international energy leader serving 2.5 million customers in Canada, the U.S. and the Caribbean. He shaped an enduring strategy focused on delivering clean, affordable and reliable energy. And he built a team that’s 7,400-people strong,” Dr. Campbell says.

“All the while, he’s never forgotten his alma mater. He has been a tireless champion of the university and its commitment to transformative education, research and innovation,” Dr. Campbell says.

Dr. Huskilson first came to UNB as a young man from Shelburne, N.S., pursuing a degree in electrical engineering. After graduating in 1979, he joined Nova Scotia Power in 1980, working on software engineering and control system projects while pursuing a master’s degree in electrical engineering from UNB, securing that degree in 1982.

Throughout the two decades that followed, he advanced to increasingly senior roles with Nova Scotia Power and Emera, its parent company. In 2003, he was named chief operating officer of both firms.

By the following year, he was named president and CEO of Emera – a position he has held since. He retired from that role on March 29, 2018.

During his time as CEO, Emera’s assets grew to about $29 billion from $4 billion.

Dr. Huskilson was the driving force behind the formation of the Emera & NB Power Research Centre for Smart Grid Centre Technologies at UNB. Within the centre, officially opened last year, the company supports the Emera Chair in Smart Grid Technologies and facilitates industry partnerships and innovative applied research.

“Thanks to Chris and Emera, UNB will be able to develop technology that will play a critical role in making 100 per cent clean, renewable electric supply in Atlantic Canada a possibility. UNB researchers will be able to test and refine their smart grid solutions by working closely with the Emera company Barbados Light & Power, also helping to deliver Emera’s vision to make Barbados 100 per cent powered by clean energy before 2045,” says Dr. Chris Dudich, dean of engineering at UNB.

Dr. Huskilson has sponsored the Entrepreneurial Leadership Program through the Wallace McCain Institute at UNB and served as a member of UNB’s Forging Our Futures campaign cabinet.

He advocated for Emera New Brunswick’s support of the Promise Partnership program at the university’s Saint John campus to create a bursary to support students from low-income neighbourhoods. To date, this bursary has provided financial support to 10 students with their studies at UNB Saint John.

He advocated for Emera New Brunswick’s support of the Promise Partnership program at the university’s Saint John campus, to create a bursary to support students from low-income neighbourhoods who were involved with the Promise Partnership. To date, this bursary has provided financial support to 10 students with their studies at UNB Saint John.

In 2014, in recognition of his accomplishments as a community builder and as one of the top business leaders in Atlantic Canada, UNB granted him an honorary doctorate of science.

The Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes a UNB engineering alumnus who has demonstrated core values of excellence, integrity and leadership and has attained prominence and achievements through his or her career.

Award winners are trailblazers in industry or who have demonstrated commitment to community through volunteer, philanthropic or advocacy efforts or service and support to UNB.

Recipients are inducted into UNB’s Engineering Wall of Fame.

Media contact: David Stonehouse

Photo: Dr. Chris Huskilson, left, receives the UNB Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award from UNB President Eddy Campbell. Dr. Huskilson, who recently retired as president and CEO of Emera, was also inducted into the UNB Engineering Wall of Fame.