Gary Birch, O.C., O.B.C, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Executive Director Gary BirchGary Birch (new window) was appointed Director of Research and Development at the Neil Squire Society (new window) in 1988 and then in 1994 was appointed Executive Director. He is responsible for the on-going operations at the Neil Squire Society including the supervision of a Research and Development team; the preparation and supervision of contract proposals and budgets for government sponsored service delivery projects; and the overall future direction and development of the Neil Squire Society.

Dr. Birch earned his B.A. Sc. in Electrical Engineering in 1983, and in 1988 received a Doctorate in Electrical Engineering (Biomedical Signal Processing), both from the University of British Columbia. His specific areas of expertise are assistive technologies, EEG signal processing, direct brain-computer interface, digital signal processing, human-machine interface systems, biological systems, robotic control systems, environmental control systems and service delivery programs for persons with disabilities.

Dr. Birch’s current professional affiliations and contributions include: Adjunct Professor at UBC, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Adjunct Professor, SFU, Gerontology Research Program; Chair of the Minister’s National Advisory Committee for Industry Canada on Assistive Devices; Member of the Executive Technical Committee on Assistive Technologies for Persons with Disabilities for the Canadian Standards Association; Member of the Research Advisory and Review Committee for GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre; Member of the Advisory Committee for the Disabilities Health Research Network in British Columbia; Member of the Task Force representing Disability Advocacy Groups and Telecommunication Companies on Accessible Telecommunications in response to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission on Deferral Accounts; Member of the Sub-committee on Access to Technology for Council of Canadians with Disabilities; Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee on employment issues for BC Region of the Federal Government and the Provincial Government of BC.

Dr. Birch was inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame (new window) by the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons (new window) in 1998. In 2008 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian honor for lifetime achievement, for his work with the Neil Squire Society. In 2012 we was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal, and in 2017 he was appointed to the Order of British Columbia, the Province’s highest form of recognition.

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Harry Lew, P.Eng., CUA

Harry LewHarry Lew joined the Neil Squire Research and Development Group in 1985 as an Electrical Engineer. He has over 20 years of experience in developing products for the unique needs of persons with disabilities. His areas of expertise are electronic hardware design, firmware development, windows application programming, and human-machine interfaces. Areas of interest include digital signal processing, speech recognition, alternative access methods for computers and other consumer appliances, product regulatory compliance, and product technical transfer. He is currently the Manager of Research and Development and is responsible for the project scheduling, manpower allocation, budgeting, research and development proposal writing, and the development of new research and product initiatives.

Harry earned his Bachelors of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of British Columbia in 1985. He is also a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geo-Scientist of British Columbia.

Academic and Industrial Partners

Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering and Technology that Enables (CREATE) (new window)
University of British Columbia (UBC) (new window)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) (new window)
British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)
Capilano University (new window)
Compusult Ltd. (new window)
Vancouver General Hospital (new window)
GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre (new window)
International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD) (new window)