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John Spencer MacDonald

Canadian aerospace pioneer, engineer, academic, loving husband, and gentle father, John Spencer MacDonald, O.C., Ph.D., F.C.A.E., P.Eng, IEEE­FL, passed away peacefully on 26 December 2019. The only child of Alice and Neil MacDonald, born in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, on 13 August 1936, he demonstrated an aptitude for electronics at a young age repairing marine radios for the local fish boats while in high school. John obtained his undergraduate degree in Applied Science from The University of British Columbia (UBC) in 1959. He was accepted into the post­graduate engineering program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he earned his master’s degree in 1961 and his doctoral degree in 1964 and thereafter was appointed to a teaching position at MIT.

However, he loved his homeland more. Together with his wife, Alfredette, and two young sons, Neil and Jay, John returned to Vancouver in the fall of 1965 to teach electrical engineering at UBC, his alma mater.

In 1969, John co­founded MacDonald, Dettwiler, and Associates (MDA), an aerospace, information systems, and technology company. He served as President and CEO of MDA until 1982, and as Chairman of the Board from 1982 to 1998, at which time he became Chairman Emeritus. In addition to professorships in engineering at MIT and UBC, John served in an advisory capacity to various governments and on the board of directors of numerous companies. He was a Fellow of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) and a Founding Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE) and has received many awards for his contributions to the technology industry including the British Columbia Technology Industry Association (BCTIA) Impact Award for Person of the Year in 2008, and the first ever given Air Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) Life Time Achievement Award in 2018. In 2001, based on his observation in RADARSAT imagery of shrinking Arctic sea­ice due to climate change, John co­founded Day 4 Energy, a solar energy technology company, and served as its CEO until his retirement in 2014. From 2010 through 2016 he served as the Chancellor of The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC).

Dr. MacDonald was teacher to hundreds, mentor to many, and friend on all seven continents of the earth. For those who knew him well, he will be remembered for the constancy of his friendship, his integrity and loyalty, and for his true smile, honest laugh, and booming voice.

John is survived by his loving wife and partner of 60 years, Alfredette, by their two sons, Neil (Ashly) and Jay (Kristin), and their three grandchildren, Lochlann, Tyne, and Tristan MacDonald.

A celebration of life reception for all of John’s family, friends, and acquaintances will be held at a date to be announced. On­line condolences can be made at http://www.amherstcremation.com/memorials/macdonald2.html.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks to please consider a “Memorial Gift” donation to the Alzheimer’s Society of British Columbia (www.alzheimerbc.org) in memory of John Spencer MacDonald.

Fifty-five new Fellows inducted into the Canadian Academy of Engineering

Ottawa – (21 June 2019) – President Eddy Isaacs inducted 49 new Fellows, five new International Fellows and one Honorary Fellow into the Canadian Academy of Engineering on 21 June 2019. The ceremony took place in Quebéc City, in conjunction with the Academy’s 2019 Annual General Meeting and Symposium.

For more information, click here.

For more information on our Honorary Fellow, click here. 

 

 

Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE) appoints new Executive Director

Dear Fellows of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE),

On behalf of CAE’s Board of Directors. I am pleased to introduce and welcome Robert Crawhall as our new Executive Director with a starting date of May 27, 2019. Robert has an excellent technical and executive leadership background and we believe that he fits well with CAE and our ambitions for the future. Robert will be at our Quebec City AGM, Symposium and Induction Dinner and Fellows attending will be able to meet Robert in person. Read Robert’s biography here.

Best regards and hope to see many of you in Quebec City.

Eddy Isaacs

President, CAE

2019 CAE Scholarship Winners Announced

The Canadian Academy of Engineering is pleased to announce the winners of its 2019 national scholarship competitions.

The winner of the 2019 CAE William G. Belfry SAE Award is Mr. Keegan Richter, a final year Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Victoria. He has participated in a number of design projects, including the Formula Hybrid Design Team.  His reference commended him on his teamwork, attention to detail, and communication.

The winner of the 2019 CAE Bruce Aubin SAE Aerospace Design Award is Mr. Keagan Shedden, also a Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Victoria.  He has been actively involved in rocketry projects and is currently employed in a 10 month co-op placement with a rocket company based in New Zealand.  His reference from that company noted that he is exceptionally diligent and self-motivated.

To view our official press release, click here.

2018 CAE Scholarship Winners Announced

The Canadian Academy of Engineering is pleased to announce the winners of its 2018 national scholarship competitions.

The winner of the 2018 CAE William G. Belfry SAE Award is Mr. Anston Emmanuel, a 4th year mechanical engineering student at the University of Toronto. A Dean’s honour list student, he has gained experience as an intern with General Motors in autonomous vehicle developments.

The winner of the 2018 CAE Bruce Aubin SAE Aerospace Design Award is Jane Illarionova, a 2nd year computer engineering student at the University of Toronto. Ms. Illarionova was commended for her skills in AI and neural networks, and for her teamwork skills through her copious volunteer and community activities.

To view our official press release, click here.

 

 

The next generation of transportation engineers to be supported with national scholarships

Ottawa – (26 June 2017) – As part of Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations, and in recognition of the importance of aerospace, automotive and general transportation design engineering for the future of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE) has partnered with SAE Foundation Canada to offer an undergraduate scholarship in transportation and mobility engineering and an award for university students’ outstanding aerospace design. The CAE Bruce Aubin SAE Aerospace Design Award will be valued at $800, and the CAE William G. Belfry Memorial SAE Scholarships is $2000. The award and scholarship will be given annually to top engineering students from across Canada.

Click here to read more.

New administrative structure at the CAE

We are pleased to announce that the CAE has engaged Megram Consulting Services Inc. to provide member, administrative and financial services. Megram, based in Renfrew, Ontario, provides a number of non-profit organizations with such services. Amongst their clients are the Canadian College and University Environmental Network, the Canadian Evaluation Society and the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation. Megram’s staff offers full bilingual services.

Our primary point of contact will be Ms. Lynn Burgess, Director of Client Services. Lynn may be contacted at lburgess@cae-acg.ca or at 613-235-9056. Supporting Lynn in the day to day administration of CAE will be Nanci Lines who can be contacted at info@cae-acg.ca or 613-235-9056. The whole Megram team is looking forward to developing a strong working relationship with CAE and will be focusing on the upcoming AGM and Induction Event to be held in Ottawa in June.

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