Ian Burn graduated from Durham University in the United Kingdom in 1960 with a B.Sc. (honors) in Physics. After two years with the British Oxygen Company in London working on the physics of gas mixtures, he was appointed Research Assistant at Leeds University and, in 1966, was awarded a Ph.D. in Ceramics for his work on the diffusion of hydroxyls in silica glass using isotopes.
Dr. Burn spent a year with Pilkingtons in the U.K., studying the diffusion of Sn into float glass and was then offered a position in R&D with Sprague Electric in North Adams, Massachusetts, to work on ceramic dielectrics. At Sprague Electric, he studied the underlying science of energy storage, low temperature sintering, barrier layer devices, and dielectrics compatible with Ni or Cu electrodes.
In 1983 he joined DuPont at the Experimental Station in Wilmington, Delaware, as a Research Associate, responsible for the development of a new series of commercial dielectric powders, and also did further research on Cu compatible dielectrics. He later coordinated the development of next generation dielectrics made by chemical precipitation and surface coating, and was promoted to Research Fellow in 1991.
Following the purchase of the DuPont dielectric powder technology by Degussa, Dr. Burn joined Degussa in South Plainfield, New Jersey, as Manager of Product Development, Advanced Dielectrics, in 1993; he was promoted to Global Director of R&D, Electronic Materials, in 1997. The Degussa electronic materials business was acquired by Ferro Corporation in 2001. He retired from Ferro in November 2002 and established the consulting firm Ian Burn Consulting Inc., in January 2003.
Dr. Burn holds 25 U.S. Patents and has more than 30 publications related to ceramic dielectrics and multilayer technology. He was elected Fellow of the American Ceramic Society in 1990.
The Center for Dielectric Studies presented the Wilhelm R. Buessem Award to Dr. Burn at the CDS Awards Dinner on October 27, 2003.