Donald Dawson

Vancouver Metal Fabricator & Blacksmith

When you consult and ask me to work on a project, you get my broad and deep experience base.

From 1991 – 2013, as an Electrical Engineering Technician in Electrical and Computer Engineering at UBC for 22 years, I worked on stimulating research challenges with faculty, staff, and students from undergraduate to Ph.D.

I built robotic, fibre-optics, nano, medical (e.g. prostate imaging), microwave and radio science research components.

As a Red Seal Journeyman and shop supervisor, I taught students to bring their designs to life. I applied, fixed and modified machine drawings and designs, provided precision machining, design and assembly of complex components and small, intricate components for research.

For students with disabilities, I invented unique ways for them to access machinery, complete their projects and graduate. Many of my students became full-time professors, researchers and entrepreneurs.

I operated, maintained, repaired machinery including: water jet cutter; lathes; CNC and manual milling machines; drill presses; bending, shearing, punching machines; welding equipment; electrical pneumatic and hydraulic equipment; vacuum systems; pipe fitting; and other instruments in semiconductor manufacturing, including optical and vacuum assemblies.

Prior to those 22 years, I worked in architectural model building, theatre, props building, stage managing and cabinet making.

And for 5 years I was a volunteer who restored the boiler and engine on The SS Master – the heritage steam towboat.

Since leaving UBC, between work projects, I attended The Coaches Training Institute’s 10-month Leadership Program with my wife, which included 4 onsite retreats. On graduating, we were both invited to assist — this time as part of the faculty’s leadership team — a new cohort of participants for another 10-month program.

Leadership training taught me what I inherently already knew, that we are responsible for our lives and our choices.

One of those choices is connected to being passionate about fostering collaboration with local business owners and artists so that together we can flourish.