The provincial government has appointed David Besner as the chair of the New Brunswick Energy Institute for a three-year term.

David Besner

David Besner has agreed to a three-year term as chair of the New Brunswick Energy Institute that advises government on the science surrounding emerging energy technologies, such as shale gas extraction. (Radio-Canada)

​Besner had been acting as the body's interim chair since last October, when Louis LaPierre resgined after his academic credentials were called into question.

Besner is a professional chemical engineer and former assistant deputy minister in the provincial government.

Prior to being the institute's interim chair, he was a member of its scientific advisory council.

The energy institute was created as an independent body by the provincial government with a mandate to examine the science surrounding emerging energy possibilities, including the possible development of a shale gas industry in New Brunswick.

"I am honoured to accept the role of energy institute chair," Besner said in a statement released through the government's communications service.

"The institute has a vital role to play in the provincial energy landscape and I am pleased to be leading a team of world-class experts and scientists who are dedicated to researching topics that could have a significant impact."

Energy Minister Craig Leonard said he was pleased that Besner accepted the assignment.

"With an ambitious research agenda in the months ahead, I know that [the institute] will benefit from his experience and expertise," said Leonard.