N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: May 23, 1990
Discipline / contribution: science and technology ; particle physics
Citation / biographical information:
Honourable Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate, I present to you Leon Katz.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Dr. Katz has been an outstanding teacher and is an internationally renowned scientist. As well, he has made very significant contributions to science and technology in the province and Canada.
Dr. Katz was born in the Ukraine, but came to Canada at a very early age. He received the B.Sc. degree in engineering physics in 1934 from Queens University and the M.Sc. degree in 1938. In 1942 he received the Ph.D. degree from the California Institute of Technology. He then worked as a research engineer with the Electronics and Electromechanical Division of the Westinghouse Manufacturing Company until 1946.
Dr. Katz joined the University of Saskatchewan in 1946 as an associate professor. He was promoted to professor in 1952, made Director of the Accelerator Laboratory in 1961 and the Head of the Physics Department in 1965. He took leave-of-absence from the University of Saskatchewan in 1975 to become the first director of the Science Policy Secretariat of the Government of Saskatchewan, a position that he held until 1979.
Dr. Katz is perhaps best known for his contributions to the establishment of the Linear Accelerator at the University of Saskatchewan. This first-class facility for particle-research in physics has brought international recognition to the University of Saskatchewan and to Canada. Numerous physicists from around the world have used, and continue to use, this facility. It can be truly said that without his efforts and prestige the Linear Accelerator would never have been established here.
Dr. Katz was always a very dedicated teacher. He inspired students not only to learn their subject material, but to work to their fullest academic potential. Many illustrious graduates of the University of Saskatchewan state unequivocally that they succeeded only because of his inspired teaching.
Dr. Katz has also contributed very significantly to the growth of science and technology, especially in Saskatchewan. Locally, he was on the Board of Directors of SED Systems Limited for six years, on the Board of Directors of Sci-Tec Instruments for two years, and on the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Research Council for eleven years. He chaired the Saskatoon Board of Trade Technology Committee for two years, and is still the Chairman of the Environmental Advisory Committee to the Saskatoon City Council and the Vice-chairman of the Management Advisory Committee of the Saskatoon Research Park.
He was the Permanent Secretary to the Saskatchewan Science Council from 1975 to 1979, a member of the Science Council of Canada from 1966 to 1972, a member of the Trustees Council of the Institute for Research on Public Policy from 1974 to 1989, and a Founding Member of the Canadian Association for the Club of Rome.
He has published more than fifty papers on a variety of topics in physics and engineering, and was the author of three major reports for the Science Council of Canada.
Dr. Katz has received various honours in the past. In 1952 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 1973 he was elected President of the Canadian Association of Physicists and in 1974 was awarded the Order of Canada.
By honouring Dr. Katz with the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, the University is recognizing not only one of its most faithful employees, but an outstanding teacher, an internationally renown scientist and an individual who has made major contributions to the growth of science and technology in Saskatchewan, Canada and around the world.
Honourable Chancellor, I present to you Leon Katz and ask that you confer on him the degree of Doctor of Science honoris causa.
Degree presented by: Peter Nikiforuk, Dean of Engineering
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