I am told that I am a man of vision, yet I am very practical, too. Over the course of my engineering career, I have worked on a range of projects, enjoyed the challenges of running large teams, and taken a lead role in the development of nuclear research in Canada.
After studying engineering, like so many Maritimers, I left the region and headed west in search of work. I did engineering consulting work in Alberta until I was invited to the University of Saskatchewan in 1912. Six students were registered for an engineering course which did not yet exist! I developed and taught the program until 1916 when I enlisted for military service. I eventually served as the Dean of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan for seventeen years.
People have given me credit for being the first to link pure research to engineering inquiries. I used basic chemical research to solve the serious problem of concrete disintegrating when exposed to groundwater containing salts.
In 1932, I took a leave of absence from the University to design and supervise the building of Saskatoon's Broadway Bridge: a relief project aimed at helping the community cope with hard times. In fact, I held positions on several public committees for Saskatoon and was a city alderman for a term.
Seven years later, I left Saskatoon for Ottawa to serve as President of the National Research Council of Canada where I guided Canada's wartime research and later planned the transition to peacetime operations. I also became President of the Atomic Energy Control Board, and President of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. I had a knack for organizing teams and finding the right people for the job.
And, do you know, when I was 92 years old, I passed my automobile driver's renewal test!