David Sanborn Scott

David Sanborn Scott

After moving to the University of Victoria in 1989, David Sanborn Scott (Ph.D., D.Sc. (hon.), D.Eng. (hon.), FCAE) founded the Institute for Integrated Energy Systems. Under his guidance, and that of subsequent directors and professors, IESVic has flourished, attracting students from all over the world. David is highly pleased with the accomplishments of so many former students who are carrying on the mission of building sustainable energy systems.

David earned his B.Sc. and M.Sc. from Queen’s University and his doctorate in mechanical engineering and astronautical sciences from Northwestern University in Chicago. He is Vice-President emeritus of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy.

David taught at the University of Toronto for 22 years, served as chair of Mechanical Engineering and founded the University’s Institute for Hydrogen Systems. He chaired the Canadian Advisory Group on Hydrogen Opportunities that produced the seminal report, Hydrogen: National Mission for Canada.

For his work in energy systems and hydrogen, many honours have been bestowed on David. In 2006, he received the internationally prestigious Jules Verne Award, for “outstanding contributions to hydrogen physics, hydrogen energy, sociology and philosophy.”

A year later, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology awarded David an honorary doctor of science, and the Canadian Hydrogen Association made him their inaugural honorary life-time member. In 2008, when Albert College created its Alumni Wall of Honour, David was among the first three persons so recognized. In 2010, David was inducted as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. And in June 2012, the University of Victoria conferred an honorary doctorate of engineering on David. He also served as honorary chair of the 2012 World Hydrogen Energy Conference. In 2019, he was chosen as one of the 125 Queen’s engineering alumni who’d made significant contributions to their field.

He is the author of Smelling Land: The Hydrogen Defense Against Climate Catastrophe (2007). The book’s enhanced edition was released in 2008.

David and his wife, the writer Marianne Scott, enjoy living near the ocean in Victoria and have been committed sailors. They sailed to the Tahitian Islands in their 35-foot sailboat, Starkindred—to confirm the Pacific is a very big ocean. More recently, they sailed the Baltic and North Seas in Beyond the Stars and, of course, have enjoyed cruising the beautiful coast of British Columbia. In 2010, David served as commodore of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.

David continues to attend IESVic’s weekly coffee get-togethers and enjoys meeting the many Canadian and international students working to improve the world with advanced energy systems.

David Scott's speech at the American Academy of Science - The Emerging H2 Age - 1991