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The Léopold Nadeau Memorial Award for Distinguished Service

Dr. Léopold Nadeau
Dr. Léopold Nadeau

Established in 2008 to commemorate the exceptional contributions of the late Dr. Léopold M. Nadeau, FCAE to the conception and founding of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and his 10 years of exemplary service as its first Executive Director. This award is presented to acknowledge and celebrate truly extraordinary efforts made by a Fellow to further the objective of the Academy.

A builder and leader in the engineering profession for over 60 years, Léopold Nadeau made remarkable contributions to the promotion of engineering in Canada and around the world.  He graduated from École Polytechnique in 1936 and, upon graduation, worked for a number of years with the Consolidated Paper Company.  In the late 1940’s, he became the Secretary General of the Order of Engineers of Québec. Over the next fifty years, he would be one of the leading advocates for engineering in Canada and the principal creator of a number of organizations whose purpose was the advancement of the engineering profession.  In 1958, he became the Director General of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, now Engineers Canada. He served in this position for 20 years.  He put the organization on a sound operational footing and pursued a number of initiatives. Some of the most noteworthy include:

  • He established the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board. This Board accredits Canadian undergraduate engineering programs that meet the profession’s education standards. It also assesses the equivalency of the accreditation systems used in other nations relative to the Canadian system. The Board is one on the principal elements of the self-regulation structure of the profession in Canada.
  • He established the Canadian Engineering Manpower Council in partnership with the Government of Canada. This organization carries out studies and produces reports on the future needs for engineers in Canada.
  • He brought in a number of insurance programs that have been of benefit to engineers and engineering technologists including life insurance, automobile and home insurance, disability insurance and professional liability insurance.
  • He was a founding member and Vice-President of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations. Founded in 1968 under the auspices of UNESCO, WFEO brings together national engineering organizations from over 90 nations and represents some 20 million engineers from around the world.
  • He was the lead for the celebration of the Canadian Engineering Centenary Celebrations in Canada and organized events across the country, a major engineering congress in Montréal as well as the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts. The Centenary also led to the founding of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly to us, is Léopold Nadeau’s role as a founding member and first Executive Director of our Academy.  During his 10-year tenure as Executive Director, he set in place the governance, financial and operational structures for the Academy, and made great strides in establishing the Academy as a voice for engineering advice in Canada.   He was a remarkable man and a great Canadian engineer.

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Award Recipients

2023 – Dr. Eddy Isaacs

“for important contributions to CAE projects and publications from 2010 through 2016. As President, he launched the CAE 2020 – 2025 Strategic Plan. As Past-president he established the Future-of-Engineering Committee which generated more than a dozen seminars through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

2022 – Mr. Kenneth Putt

“for contributions to CAE governance in the development of the Fellowship Committee and the Audit and Finance Committee, as well as to CAE leadership among Canadian engineering organizations including involvement in the Canadian Engineering Leadership Forum (CELF) and the promotion of partnerships and innovation.”

2021 – Dr. P. Kim Sturgess

“for contributions to the development of the Calgary Section an as President of the Academy in 2011/2012. She is credited with moving both the Calgary Section and the Academy towards a more active program, and significantly increasing participation of Fellows in western Canada.”

2020 – Dr. Axel Meisen

“for service and commitment to the Canadian Academy of Engineering as President, as representative to CAETS and International Academies, and regularly providing strategic advice and insight to CAE Executives on new directions for the Academy”

2019 – Dr. André Bazergui

“for his pioneering effort in creating the Montréal Local Section of the CAE, which has served as a model for the establishment of other Local Sections, and which are now recognized by the Board as a promising vehicle for engaging more Fellows in working towards the Mission of the Academy and highlighting noteworthy engineering, research and educational activities”

2018 – Dr. John Leggat

“for long and outstanding commitment to the Academy, including six years on the board and a term as President, major contributions to the International Council of Engineering and Technological Sciences, and the exceptional leadership exhibited bringing the Trottier Energy Futures Project to a successful conclusion”

2012 – Dr. E. Philip Cockshutt

“for enhancing the credibility and sense of purpose of the Academy in the early years of the CAE through his institutional memory, political/professional instincts, quiet wisdom and distinguished manner”

2008 – Dr. Morrel P. Bachynski

“for dedicated and outstanding services to the Canadian Academy of Engineering in developing the concept of a 5-year strategic plan for the advancement of the Academy and stimulating the involvement of members to implement the plan”

2007 – Dr. Clement W. Bowman

“for outstanding leadership of the Energy Pathways Task Force” (then known as the CAE Distinguished Service Award)