30 Jan Doug Kennedy Celebrates 50 Years at BKL
Congratulations, Doug Kennedy! This past year, Doug celebrated his 50th anniversary with our consultancy. It’s an incredible achievement! We are so grateful to Doug, who, through the years, has shared his knowledge, leadership, and acoustical acumen with colleagues and clients—and helped shepherd BKL from a fledgling startup to Western Canada’s leading acoustical consultancy. Thank you, Doug!
At our holiday party this past December, BKL Principal Mark Bliss led a toast to Doug, and described his “boundless acoustical knowledge,” strong work ethic, listening ear, dedication to consistency, and openness to new ideas.
Mark also highlighted Doug’s fairness and honesty. “Doug really influenced my understanding of what it means to be reliable and responsive to both my colleagues and my clients,” Mark said. “I’ve been honoured to have been mentored by Doug.”
From Shop Class to YVR
Doug graduated from UBC in 1970, and after a stint with International Power Engineering Corporation (now known as BC Hydro Engineering), he joined Tom Siddon and Ken Harford at their consultancy, Acoustical Engineering.
Doug and Ken had been Tom’s students at UBC, yet Doug first met Ken earlier—much earlier—at junior high school, where they shared a woodworking class. Later, Doug sold his sailboat to buy out Tom’s shares in the business, and Acoustical Engineering became Harford Kennedy Ltd. Together they completed acoustics jobs at sea and on land, including a colossal community noise assessment for YVR’s third runway, a project that would also involve Barron & Associates, the eventual “B” in BKL.
Ken and Doug launched several side companies: one to provide mobile hearing testing, another to develop acoustical instrumentation, and yet another focused on marine steering controls systems.
Doug has provided a lot of consulting to the transportation industry, and to Transport Canada, in particular. In 1975, Doug Kennedy welcomed the first supersonic Concorde flight to North America with a sound level meter in Gander, Newfoundland. In 1986, he toured ship research centres throughout Europe to develop Transport Canada’s shipboard noise control guidelines. And throughout the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, he developed noise compliance testing for motorcycles, heavy trucks, and buses. Ken remarked that Doug could tune an engine dynamometer by ear.
Want to Learn More About BKL’s History? Check Out Our Company Timeline.
Tom and Ken participated in an online tribute to Doug. In a video, Tom says that Doug made “important contributions to many of the world’s problems of structural acoustics, noise control, and good environmental design.”
Ken says that Doug’s “steady hand at the helm… from the embryo years after graduation to today has been foundational to the success of BKL.”
All of at BKL agree: Doug has been—and continues to be—a vital part of our company—and his work has left an indelible mark on Greater Vancouver and beyond.
As for Doug, he said he considers himself fortunate to have found this career. “It’s been rewarding both in terms of the variety of work and the people I’ve worked with, not just the staff and coworkers, who have been fantastic, but the clients too. You’re not sitting in an office doing the same thing day after day; you’re out meeting all sorts of interesting people.”