Previous Projects


1996 - 2013


1988 - 1990


1985 - 1995


1976 - 1987


1972 - 1975


1965 - 1972


1960 - 1965


Short Term Consulting Assignments






1996 - 2013

• Telus World of Science, Edmonton, Alberta

  Working with the Centre’s President and CEO, George Smith, Ian has taken on the role of Project Manager for a major expansion project, including an innovative Digital Visualization Theatre, an Early Childhood Development Centre, expanded and upgraded IMAX, a Science Learning and Dialogue Centre, an outdoor science park - and the Canadian Circumpolar Science Centre. When completed in 2015, the expansion program will make it one of the most advanced science education facilities in Canada, and beyond. The innovations go beyond public education to include research capabilities—with significant partnerships involving University of Alberta, NAIT, Telus, and many institutions. One of the initiatives currently in preparation is the world’s most comprehensive data base of the infinitesimally small world: It is called MASAV—the Microscopic and Sub-Atomic Visualization project, in cooperation with CERN, Geneva and other organizations.
• Houston Astrodome, Texas

Right image: Proposed new STEM Centre in the old Houston Astrodome. Ian McLennan, consultant to Harris County through Jackson Ryan Architects, Houston.
The Houston Astrodome is one of the world’s most recognizable buildings, but it has outlived its usefulness as a major sports stadium, so Harris County brought Ian to Houston to conduct a detailed options analysis for re-purposing this revered iconic structure. Working with architects Guy Jackson and Gary Wilson, County executive Willie Loston and fellow consultants Gordon Linden, Phil Hettema and George Wiktor, the group is actively engaged in planning a major STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education facility.
• Planetarium de Montréal, Quebec

Left image: Existing Dow Planetarium. Right image: Model of new Montreal Planetarium - to be opened in 2013.
Ian has been working as a resource consultant to GO Multimedia, Inc. of Montreal, providing technical planning and options analysis for the design and construction of a brand new planetarium in Montreal - which will replace the venerable Dow Planetarium that served the city over the past four decades. His associates at GO Multimedia are Guy Desmarteux, Simon Lemieux and Julie Quenneville. In addition to GO Multimedia, Ian is working with architect Jean-Francois Julien, Associate - Cardin-Ramirez-Julien (Montreal) as well as Pierre Lacombe and Dr. Pierre Chastenay, Montreal Planetarium project.
• Science North, Sudbury

Right image: CEO Jim Marchbank, Project Manager Nicole Chiasson, Consultant Ian McLennan
Ian provided on-site and remote consulting services for Science North in Sudbury, Ontario - in connection with the design and development of a new planetarium facility for this trail-blazing science centre. Ian worked with executive director Jim Marchbank and Nicole Chiasson, director of education and northern programs at Science North.
• Telus World of Science Calgary + Creative Kids Museum, Calgary, Alberta
Ian has worked as a consultant with this institution over many years, including Board workshops on planning priorities, and liaising with the work of other consultants, notably, Kasian Architects (Bill Chomik), White Oak Associates, and Lori Van Rooijen. Under the leadership of Bill Peters, the solution ultimately recommended by Ian was adopted and the new $160 million science centre is now being developed across from the city’s remarkable zoo site. It will open to the public in 2011.
• Children's Museum of Jordan, Amman
Ian is providing professional consulting services to the Children's Museum of Jordan, in Amman. When the new museum was opened in 2008, there was provision made for a planetarium, but that project was put on hold pending further study. Working with the visionary and energetic director, Nissreen Haram and her talented team, Ian is taking the organization through a detailed options analysis with a range of alternative possibilities - including an object theatre, feature themed ride, hi-def theatre, digital visualization space or a state-of-the-art modern planetarium, focussed on Arabic science. The museum's patron is Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan.
• Royal Observatory Greenwich, England
Royal Observatory Greenwich (ROG) is operated under the National Maritime Museum (NMM) in Greenwich, East London, United Kingdom. Recently, ROG inaugurated a new facility, the Peter Harrison Planetarium—which has been under-performing with respect to internal and public expectations. Ian has been engaged to conduct an overview analysis, to audit the programming, to interview key personnel and to assemble a series of staff, management and trustee-level workshops to explore pro-active technical, design, programming and administrative options. Ian’s follow-up reports are under active review and implementation.
• Fraser River Discovery Centre, New Westminster, B.C.
The Fraser River Discovery Centre (FRDC) has had a Preview Centre in operation on the beautiful and historic New Westminster waterfront for several years. A more permanent structure is now under construction, and Ian was asked to conduct a business feasibility plan for the new, expanded operation. Ian has been working with fellow consultants Bill Barkley of Victoria and David Hall of Economic Planning Group (EPG) as well as liaising with architect Anthony Boni and designer David Jensen. This team has been working closely with FRDC Chair Jack Edwards, Vice Chair Karen Baker-MacGrotty and several other members of their board and staff, including Archie Miller, interim CEO.
• Proposed National Maritime Centre, North Vancouver, B.C.

Courtesy Aldrich/Pears Design
Partnerships B.C. and Project Manager Jennifer Clarke hired architect Simon Richards of Cornerstone Planning Group to conduct an overview of the major studies and inputs into this mammoth new project on the historic World War II shipyards building site in North Vancouver—overlooking the main part of Vancouver across the busy harbour. Simon asked Ian to provide specific input, review and advice relative to the museological and public programming aspects of this proposed new institution. The combined report, observations and recommendations were accepted by the central planning group and various levels of government, and recently, Premier Gordon Campbell announced major financial participation by the Government of British Columbia.
• Quesnel & District Museum, Quesnel, B.C.
Ian has been part of a team consisting of architect Anthony Boni, exhibition designer David Jensen and museum consultant Bill Barkley—providing consulting services on upgrading, expanding and re-branding this museum “gem” situated in the scenic Cariboo tourist area of northern British Columbia. The team explored a variety of options, then conducted public consultations in the community’s City Hall.
• Nanaimo District Museum, Nanaimo, B.C.
Under the energetic leadership of its managing director, Debbie Trueman, this important regional museum is being redeveloped and modernized as part of the City of Nanaimo’s new conference centre project on the city’s beautiful downtown harbour. Ian commuted regularly by floatplane to join his co-consultants Bill Barkley and architect Anthony Boni to provide advice on space planning, budgeting, creative exhibition development, governance, fund raising and integrated involvement of First Nations in the planning process. The new museum will open late 2008.

• Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, California


This long-standing client has used Ian’s services in a variety of ways. In 1984, he wrote a report which became the conceptual blueprint for a major, long-term re-development. Over the past several years, Ian has assisted this venerable institution by acting as advisor on theatre planning options, the purchase of planetarium equipment (drafting objective criteria), organizing and chairing workshops on planning priorities, and co-directing the process of selecting an exhibits designer. The new operation re-opened to rave reviews in November 2006 after a four year closure and $68 million reconstruction.

• Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii, Hilo, Hawaii


Ian has performed several functions for this important new interpretive facility which opened earlier in 2006… (1) acting as advisor to Aldrich|Pears on exhibition design/ content review; (2) technical advisor to architects Durrant Media 5, Honolulu and Oda-McCarty, Hilo; (3) Program advisor to Mauna Kea Astronomy Education Center; (4) fund development consultant to University of Hawaii Foundation, Honolulu and Hilo; and (5) review specialist on the facility’s first planetarium production. Ian attended the re-dedication of the project in January, 2008.

• Ontario Science Centre, Toronto, Ontario

  Ontario Science Centre is universally acknowledged as one of the two seminal contemporary science centres in the world. The facility included a small planetarium “STAR LAB”—considered by many to be a “gem.” Ian was contracted to study and recommend programming and technical options to help bring the facility into the digital age and to re-establish its crucial role within OSC for school and public education in astronomy, cosmology and space. The new facility, named the CA Planetarium, was unveiled recently by Canada's first astronaut, Dr. Marc Garneau.

• University of Arizona Science Center, Tucson, Arizona

Images courtesy of Rafael Vinoly, Architects (Left)| Ralph Appelbaum Associates (Right)

The world-renowned architect Rafael Vinoly has been engaged in the redevelopment of Flandrau Planetarium—which will be integrated into a significant new science museum on a spectacular setting overlooking downtown Tucson. Ian originally worked with Garry Musgrave, principal of Conceptron Associates (Acumen Engineering) on options analysis and specifications authorship, and is now sub-contracted through White Oak Associates and Mark B. Peterson, theatre planning specialist, to provide technical and programming options. Andrea Lamberti is project manager for the architects and Michael Magee is the planetarium director.

• Science East, Fredericton, New Brunswick


Ian was brought in to review the operation of this small, but effective regional science centre—which is housed in the historic Fredericton jailhouse dating back to the 1840s. Through a board-management-staff-volunteer workshop, Ian facilitated a systematic approach to governance and assessment of development options for the future of the centre, including positioning as the Provincial Science Centre.

• The Exploration Place, Prince George, B.C.
(Formerly known as Fraser Ft. George Regional Museum)… Ian was involved in conceptualizing and priorities & goal-setting for the re-development and upgrading of this important regional institution. He also headed a capacity-building review with the assistance of fellow consultants Bill Barkley and Dr. Robert Janes. Ian began his work on this project under the late George Phillips, and more recently with the current Executive Director, Tracy Calogheros.

• Eugenides Foundation, Athens, Greece


This classic science museum and planetarium has been a client of Ian McLennan’s for many years. Recent activities involved assisting the visioning of an up-to-date planetarium theatre (Bill Chomik and Savage prime consultants) and development of a report, assisted by D. Jensen & Associates on planning options for a major science centre incorporating advanced exhibition design and technology. The new centre opened to the public in 2004 in time for the Athens Olympics. More recently, Ian has attended Hi-Def 3D stereo proof of concept demonstrations in the Athens planetarium theatre on behalf of a consortium of innovative science visualization theatres, including Telus World of Science Edmonton.

• Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, NSW, Australia
The Powerhouse Museum (PHM) is Australia’s largest science centre. Recently the PHM brought Ian in to develop a business plan and location analysis for a proposed major new planetarium for Darling Harbour, Sydney. Ian met with trustees, stakeholders, community leaders, museum staff, the scientific community and the media to help determine the conceptual basis and optimum scale of the proposed facility, as well as proposing a development strategy. The PHM is currently undergoing a transitional reorganization, and the planetarium project is expected to be advanced sometime in the near future.

• Planetarium Bogota, Colombia

Center image: Bogota Planetarium Director German Puerta and Consultant Ian McLennan.

Ian has recently undertaken a series of projects in this remarkable South American country – including upgrading Maloka Science Centre in Bogota, digital planetarium planning for CAFAM (with German Puerta), an aviation museum in Giradot, an industrial land re-visioning project in Manizales, and advising on a proposed new Institute and Museum Centre of Human Rights in Ibagué, Tolima.

• Planetarium Medellin, Colombia and Medellin Science Centre Parque Explora


Ian has been engaged by one of South America's most progressive science museums, Parque Explora to assist in developing administrative and governance structure so that the city's outdated planetarium can be taken over, operated and upgraded by Explora. That transition is now underway. Ian worked with Carlos Alberto Escobar, Andres Roldan and Claudia Aguirre in Medellin and in the beautiful Rio Claro region of Northern Colombia.

• H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, Vancouver
Ian served on the Board of Directors of this institution, and in recent years, the Centre has called on him to provide a variety of professional services: (1) draft a tourism positioning strategy; (2) conduct a theatre planning analysis; (3) define management and governance options—with recommendations; and (4) participate in a $9 million capital fund raising program leading to new attractions, including upgraded planetarium theatre and major exhibit plan, complete with a popular new simulator.

• Sciencenter of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa


Ian provided content review and technical specifications assistance as sub-consultant to White Oak Associates of Boston and Talking Spaces (Victor Becker), Sanbornville, New Hampshire. The unique and very popular “Cosmic Jukebox” concept arose out of one of his on-site workshops.

• B.C. Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, B.C.
Ian headed a team consisting of Merrick Architecture, Economic Planning Group, Bastion Consultants and Karo Design to devise a Master Plan and Partnership Strategy for re-visioning and revitalizing this potential treasure on Vancouver Island. Associated consultants included Christine Lintott, David Hall, Bjorn Simonsen and Barry Marshall.

• Saskatchewan Science Centre, Regina, Saskatchewan


In 1996, Ian was contracted by the Provincial Government to conduct an operational and planning overview and options report for the Board of this landmark centre in the historic Powerhouse. More recently, he was brought back to Regina to conduct a series of workshops with trustees and to engage in high-level coaching and options analysis for the executive director, Scott Langen, and other key management people.

• North Vancouver Museum
This civic museum has embarked on an ambitious expansion plan. In collaboration with Ballantyne & Associates, Ian drafted a report outlining a range of possibilities, and later was Project Manager on a major feasibility analysis of a destination attraction on the city’s harbour. He also assisted Busby Associates Architects define broad, conceptual options for the future public profile of the downtown North Vancouver waterfront.

• Minneapolis Library and Planetarium, Minnesota


Ian helped draft future redevelopment options with HGA Architects (Juan Stoleson) and p.r. firm Cincinnatus (Diane Herman), including a series of public focus groups. Three major options were presented to the City of Minneapolis; the City decided to advance the grand “destination attraction” scheme, subject to additional State funding. This new facility is currently under development.

• Children’s Museum of Victoria, B.C.


In collaboration with Haley-Sharpe Design, UK, Ian acted as Project Manager of Phase I Design and Feasibility Analysis, working with DMRussell Consulting, Small Planet Consulting and Merrick Architecture. Under Ian’s direction, conceptual drawings were created in order to facilitate the fund-raising phase and a business plan was produced for review by the community trustees. The project is currently under active planning.

• Parksville Nature Interpretation Centre, B.C.


In collaboration with Lanarc Consulting and Economic Planning Group (David Hall), Ian assisted with innovative ideas and sponsorship development opportunities associated with this regional initiative.

• Pender Harbour Regional Museum, B.C.


In collaboration with EPG Victoria, Ian provided workshop facilitation skills, comparative research and original ideas for this community economic development initiative.

• Town and District of Fort Nelson, B.C.


This far northern community in B.C. required an external consultant to help the town museum, the chamber of commerce and tourist visitor centre complex create a unified plan – which Ian was able to facilitate through a dedicated workshop involving all the key stakeholders.

• Fairbanks Museum, St. Johnsbury, Vermont


Ian was contracted to assist this facility to investigate redevelopment of its planetarium to an upgraded facility with “atmospherium” capability. The museum is known as the regional weather centre. Lord Cultural Resources conducted the overall Master Planning effort. The museum has recently been given the green light to undertake the required improvements—and the old planetarium facility will be among the elements of the museum to be substantially upgraded.

• National Air & Space Museum, Washington, D.C.


NASM is the heaviest attended museum in the world, yet management and staff do not rest on their laurels; they are determined to keep abreast of latest developments in the museum, large format film and planetarium fields. Ian was brought in to organize a series of workshops - and propose recommendations on future development options.

• Fels Planetarium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


The Franklin Institute is one of the world's great science museums, and although the Fels Planetarium has undergone upgrading over the years, its directors wanted it to be brought up-to-date. Ian ran an internal workshop for management and key staff - leading to resolution of planning priorities, and identification of key options, including which foundations to approach, and when.

• Rochester Museum & Science Center, Rochester, New York


Ian was brought back to the institution he once headed to facilitate a special Board retreat to address future planning options for the once legendary Strasenburgh Planetarium.

• International Planetarium Society - IPS


The IPS governing Council asked Ian McLennan and Robert Ballantyne to conduct a survey and analysis of membership and related services—with recommendations for future planning guidelines for this world-wide organization. Ian currently serves on the IPS Council as the official Canadian delegate—representing the Canadian Association of Science Centres.

• Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta


Ian was contracted to coordinate and facilitate workshops and a public forum dealing with re-design of one of the major floors of this cultural institution. Eminent thinkers from all over the USA and Canada considered various possibilities, and Ian followed this up with an implementation report and plan, taking into account the Museum's mission in the community, and mandate.

• Project FARSTAR, Tel Aviv, Israel
This visionary operation will eventually see major new science and technology exhibitions being brought to the citizens of Israel for the first time. Ian assisted in defining planning options and criteria, as well as identifying exemplary operations for the principals to tour as part of their orientation. The project has been on hold during unsettled times in the Middle East, and will be resumed some time in the future.
• EXPO 2000
Early in the planning of EXPO 2000 in Hannover, Germany, Ian was engaged as one of the international experts to help event planners establish theme days and weeks—consistent with the Exposition's focus on nature and the environment.