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Founder Profile

Profile: Dr. Savvas Chamberlain

Dr. Savvas Chamberlain founded DALSA in 1980. He was the CEO from its inception until August 2007. He served as Executive Chairman and CTO until October 2009, and as Chairman of the board of DALSA Corp until it was acquired by Teledyne Technologies in February 2011.

Under his leadership DALSA grew world wide from few employees to more than 1000 employees world wide with revenues of $186 million in 2006. During his tenure as CEO he was responsible for corporate strategy, strategic technology direction, long-term planning, and setting the direction of the company’s culture.

Dr. Savvas Chamberlain can be characterized as a scientist, academic, inventor and entrepreneur. He is a pioneer of CCD technology and MOSFET image sensors - core technology competencies from which DALSA's imaging products are based. Combining academic and applied work in his career, Dr. Chamberlain has built DALSA into a world leader of image sensors and digital imaging cameras.

Born in Cyprus, Dr. Chamberlain pursued his university studies in England. He obtained his first degree from Northern Polytechnic in London, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Southampton University, U.K.

Dr. Chamberlain moved with his family to Waterloo, Ontario Canada in 1969 as an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. During a leave from the university in 1971-1972 he pioneered the technology of NMOS and CCD Fabrication while at Bell Northern Research, the research center of Nortel at the time. In 1974-1975, and again in 1981-1982 he was on leave from the university where he joined the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in New York for a year at a time as a Visiting Scientist. He remained as a consultant with IBM specializing in scanners, photodetectors, CCDs and integrated circuits. At the university he continued his research on VLSI MOSFETs and CCD image sensors. In 1977 he was promoted to Full Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of the University of Waterloo. Dr. Chamberlain continues his association with the University of Waterloo as a Distinguished Professor Emeritus.

On the business side, in 1994 Dr. Chamberlain attended the Harvard University Graduate School of Business and completed the Owner/ President Management Program. In 1998 he returned to the Harvard University Graduate School of Business for the Business-to-Business Marketing Program.

In 1980 Dr. Chamberlain used his extensive knowledge of CCD image sensors to found DALSA. DALSA is a spin-off from the University of Waterloo. Under Dr. Chamberlain's guidance DALSA has grown from a small consulting firm specializing in CCD sensors to a global leader in digital imaging solutions technology spanning CCD and CMOS image sensors. Since the company was established Dr. Chamberlain has been an integral part in the direction of the research and development conducted by DALSA. In 1996, he led DALSA through its IPO.

During his career, Dr. Chamberlain has written over 150 papers for refereed scientific journals and conference proceedings, holds 20 patents, and has contributed original research to textbooks on fundamental theory in his field. He has chaired the NSERC Operating Research Grants Committee and helped establish the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Custom Integrated Circuits Conference. He twice organized the IEEE CCD and CMOS Imaging Workshop. He was also the guest editor for the IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices and IEEE Journal of Solid State Circuits.

Dr. Chamberlain has been recognized and received numerous awards and honors for his work. In 1991, he was elected Fellow of the IEEE for his pioneering work in MOSFETs and CCD image sensor technology. Between 1991 and 1994, he held the NCR Microelectronics Fellowship. In 1993 he received the ITAC/ NSERC award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to academic research in information technology. In 1999, he was awarded the position of Distinguished Professor Emeritus for his 25-year contribution to the University of Waterloo. He received the Ernst & Young 2003 Ontario Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Technology and Communications industry segment, and in 2004 was awarded the Automated Imaging Association Life Time Achievement Award for World Industry Leadership in imaging. In 2007 Dr. Chamberlain accepted the Premier’s Catalyst Award for Lifetime Achievement in Innovation from Ontario Premier and Minister of Research and Innovation Dalton McGuinty at the inaugural Premier's Innovation Awards. Dr. Chamberlain  also received in June 2007 an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo. In July 2009, Dr. Chamberlain was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada. In July 2010, Dr. Chamberlain was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In November 2010, Dr. Chamberlain was inducted into the Waterloo Region Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

Dr. Chamberlain makes his home in Waterloo, Ontario. He has three children and four grandchildren. He enjoys outdoor pursuits - walking, hiking. He likes classical music, books, reading, live theatre and opera, Greek literature and Greek music.


Savvas Chamberlain, C.M., M.Sc., Ph.D., D.Eng. (Wat), FIEEE, FCAE, FEIC, FSRC
Founder, DALSA Corporation

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