For immediate release
December 15, 2014
Induction of three new members into the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame
OTTAWA, December 15, 2014 – Today, the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame welcomed three new inductees whose research and innovations provided invaluable contributions to the advancement of sciences and technology in Canada.
Dr James Milton Ham, Dr Lawrence Whitaker Morley, and Dr Vernon Douglas Burrows were significant contributors to the advancement of their respective fields of study. Their outstanding achievements have earned them a place amongst the greatest scientists and engineers in the history of Canada.
Dr Ham (1920-1997) was a leading Canadian engineer, the tenth President of the University of Toronto, and a public servant who made enormous contribution to the safety of Canada’s mining and metallurgy industries and the development of the Occupational Health and Safety Act in Ontario. After enrolling in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War, Dr Ham benefited from a fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He later ascended through the ranks at the University of Toronto, where he was Head of Department of Electrical Engineering, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, President of the Research Board, and finally President of the University of Toronto. He also took part in the Ontario Royal Commission on the health and safety of mine workers, as well as the NRC Laboratories committee, among others.
Dr. Morley (1920-2013) was a Canadian geophysicist who studied the magnetic properties of ocean crust and their effect on plate tectonics. He also pioneered the use of advanced sensors on aircraft and satellites to monitor activities on the Earth’s surface. His interest for remote sensing began at an early age as a radar officer for the Royal Canadian Navy in the Battle of the Atlantic during the Second World War. The war had interrupted his studies, and he graduated in physics and geology from the University of Toronto in 1946. He went to work for Gulf Oil’s research and development department, pioneering the use of an airborne magnetometer for mineral and oil exploration. After earning a Ph. D. in geophysics from the University of Toronto, he became – at 32 – the first geophysicist appointed to the Geological Survey of Canada. His work underpins the now widely-accepted theory of plate tectonics that explains the Earth’s crust as a series of moving rigid plates interacting with each other.
Dr Burrows is an internationally-recognized authority on the breeding and use of oats. He has bred and registered 28 new varieties of oats, including naked oats, bald oats, forage oats, oats that are insensitive to daylight length, as well as high-nitrogen oats, which has been the first high-protein oats released for human consumption. His volunteer work with the advisory board of the Canadian Celiac Association has led to greater nutritional choices for persons suffering from celiac disease.
The Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame has honoured the outstanding contributions of 57 illustrious Canadian scientists and engineers since its inception in 1991. The Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame is intended as a tribute to Canadians who have greatly improved society by developing science and engineering, and to promote role models that will help attract young Canadians to careers in those fields. Every year, the CSTM accepts nominations of individuals who have brought great benefits to society and their communities as a whole. To suggest a nominee, please visit the CSTM’s website.