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Dr. David K. Potter

Professor Emeritus

W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology

Leadership; Innovation; Entrepreneurship; Creativity
ETB 516
+1 905.525.9140 x 23442


While David retired from his role at McMaster University in 2019, he continues to be connected to the W Booth School, occasionally teaching workshops and delivering seminars in leadership and entrepreneurism. David helped design and start the Masters's level entrepreneurship program in which students create real businesses as part of their degree. Potter also redesigned the core components of McMaster's undergraduate Engineering and Management program to include leadership and innovation, while serving as the Director of that program for six years. 

Prior to McMaster, Potter spent 16 years in multi-national corporations in leadership roles that included research and development, technology development, product development, and new business development. These roles included responsibility for the "fuzzy front end" of innovation, fostering an innovation culture, developing and implementing new product development processes, as well as strategic planning processes. 

Potter has co-founded two start-up companies and served as an advisor to dozens of start ups.  He has helped to guide entrepreneurial teams through a disciplined new business creation process that has it's roots in design thinking.  He is very engaged in the innovation community as a practitioner and thought leader, particularly through his activities with the Conference Board of Canada where he has served as Chair of the Innovation Council and as the Inaugural Chair of the Council for Innovation and Commercialization.  He has served as an advisor in the development and delivery of national innovation conferences and in annual innovation reports published by the Conference Board.  He is frequently engaged by corporations and government as an innovation consultant. 

Potter's passion for teaching and learning is focused on the delivery of experiences by which students learn through practice.  His teaching practices include student-centred, problem-based and project-based experiential learning, typically delivered in a blended learning style.  The use of technology to enhance student learning and reflection is a key element of this style. Potter serves as one of McMaster University's Fellows in Leadership in Teaching and Learning.  

Potter was recognized with an "Innovator of Distinction" award by McMaster University in 2016.