Remembering Richard Marceau, 1953-2016

An esteemed member of the Canadian engineering community and a volunteer well-known within IEEE circles, Richard Marceau passed away on September 26, 2016.

Richard is perhaps most broadly known within IEEE Canada as founding editor of the IEEE Canadian Review (1987-1990), the many IEEE conferences he helped organize in the '80s and his contributions to IEEE Montreal Section during that same period. He served as President of the Canadian Academy of Engineering 2012-2014, and held the position of Vice President Research of Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) since 2013.

Most of Richard's professional life was spent in academia. Before his appointment at MUN, he was Provost and V.P. Academic of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, taking office only three years after the University's founding. Prior to that, he was Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the Université de Sherbrooke, and Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, École-Polytechnique de Montréal. He supervised 17 graduate students, published 21 peer-reviewed journal articles and held five patents. In 2014, he published The Canadian University Business Primer, which was updated in 2016.

Richard began his career in industry. After graduating with a B.Eng. from McGill University in 1977, he worked at MONENCO Inc. from 1978 to 1982 as a transmission system planner and power station designer. He joined Hydro Quebec in 1982, then moved to Hydro-Québec Research Institute (IREQ) in 1984, staying with that organization until 1989. His last position at IREQ was special advisor to the Director of Technology Planning for electricity transmission technologies. Having earned his M.Sc.A. part-time, in 1990 he enrolled as a full-time Ph.D. student at McGill University specializing in electric energy transmission. He was granted his doctorate in 1993, and that same year was hired as assistant professor of electrical engineering at École Polytechnique de Montréal.

Richard's involvement with IEEE Montreal Section began with giving local presentations as Chair of the section's Power Engineering Chapter. He then joined the section executive as secretary, progressing upwards to be Section Chair, 1985-1986. During this period, he helped organize "about eight" conferences in the Montreal area, according to a recent interview he gave to the IEEE Canadian Review (ICR). Included in this group were the events organized by Montreal Conferences Inc., which supported various IEEE activities within Canada. His conference organizational skills drew an offer to serve on Region 7's Conference Organizing Committee, headed by Dave Kemp from 1986 to 1989.

Overlapping this period, Richard worked closely with Wally Read, Region 7 Director 1984-1985, in planning and directing IEEE participation in the Canadian Engineering Centennial Convention, an event held in 1987 bringing together 44 engineering associations and societies, which also led to the creation of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. Richard received an MGA (then called RAB) Innovation Award for this.

Richard began planning the launch of the ICR in 1987 with the late Bob Alden, Region 7 Director 1988-1989. The two had "hit it off" very early on at Region 7 meetings and activities, Richard recalled during the ICR's recent interview. "There was an affinity around conferences, and an affinity around unifying IEEE activities in Canada." Richard quickly came to share Bob's vision of a magazine that would be "a window on IEEE in Canada and was also a mirror of IEEE in Canada."

The first issue was mailed in September 1988, with Richard remaining at the helm until June 1990. With no/few existing issues to point to, recruitment of authors for the first issues required "a lot of time on the phone - pleading and cajoling." Production was a real challenge too. Personal computers were in their infancy in those days, with many manuscripts arriving handwritten. "I worked very hard on that project," Richard recalled.

In the first eight issues of the ICR, Richard brought to fruition editorial content that set the bar high for all editors to follow. Those interested in a sampling of articles from those issue are invited to download the section "Laying out the vision - 1988-1990" from the magazine's 25th Year Anniversary issue. In looking back at those early issues, he was particularly proud of "Technology, R&D and Government," found in this section. The full versions of these issues (and issues #9 to #30) can be found at

Richard's vision of the engineering profession as being a critical voice in Canadian policy making remained constant throughout his career. In 2012, the report "Canada: Winning as a Sustainable Energy Superpower," edited by Richard and Clement Bowman, was released. A chapter in the report of which Richard is a co-author makes the case for full harnessing of Canada's hydroelectric resources, aided by interconnection of existing provincial grids. The latter is now being talked about in the context of the current federal government's planned infrastructure spending. Copies of the report and more recently published similar documents can be found from the following web site:

Throughout his career, Richard demonstrated a boldness and capacity for hard work that brought new ideas and fresh energy to every organization he was a part of. His passing is a loss to the engineering profession across Canada, and particularly to the many who were fortunate enough to work with him.

Some of the covers from the issues produced by Richard Marceau as founding editor of the IEEE Canadian Review. Centre top is the premier issue. Moving counterclockwise, the cover stories of the other issues are: "HVDC in Canada: A Special Report;" "Research Enterprises Ltd. and the Wartime Emergence of Radar;" "The Need to Increase Industrial R&D in Canada;" and, "High Speed Rail in Canada: An Impossible Dream?"

Contributed by Bruce Van-Lane, IEEE Canadian Review

Remembering C.C.(Kelly) Gotlieb, 1921-2016

Calvin Carl (Kelly) Gotlieb, after whom IEEE Canada Computer Award is named, passed away on October 16, 2016 at age 95.

Calvin C. (Kelly) Gotlieb, called the "Father of Computing" in Canada, was a member of the first Canadian team to design and construct digital computers and to provide computing services. He co-founded the Computation Centre at the University of Toronto, where he established the first university credit course on computing in Canada. He founded the first graduate department of Computer Science in Canada, at the University of Toronto. He received his MA and PhD degrees there, and is UT's Professor Emeritus in Computer Science and in the Faculty of Information Studies. He has over 100 publications in computer science and information processing, and has co-authored four books.

Gotlieb was awarded numerous fellowships in the Royal Society of Canada, the Association of Computing Machinery, the British Computer Society, and five honorary doctorates from the University of Toronto, the Université de Montréal, the University of Waterloo, the Technical University of Nova Scotia and the University of Victoria. He was also s a recipient the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals, the Canadian Association of Computer Science (CACS/AIC) Lifetime Achievement Award (2014) and the IEEE C.C. Gotlieb Computer Award, established in 2007 and awarded to him in 2012 when the award was renamed in his honour.

More tribute penned by ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) staff - In Memoriam: Calvin Carl "Kelly" Gotlieb 1921-2016, and by IT journalist Howard Solomon - Calvin Gotlieb, Canadian computing pioneer.

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