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: April 3, 1997
Special Convocation: 90th Anniversary Convocation
Discipline / contribution: engineering ; business and industry
Citation / biographical information:
Elvie L. Smith was born in Eatonia, Saskatchewan. He graduated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering with Great Distinction in 1947. He went on to earn the Master of Science in Engineering degree from Purdue University in 1949. After graduation he spent seven years with the National Research Council as a Research Engineer. His research centered on gas turbine projects including the effect on airplane performance of applying anti-icing systems to propulsion engines and to thrust boosting of gas turbine engines by after-burning.Degree received: Doctor of Science
Mr. Smith joined Pratt and Whitney Canada in 1957 as an analytical engineer where he was involved in the design, development and manufacture of gas turbine engines. In 1958 he was made Chief Projects Engineer and in 1962 Engineering Manager. In 1966 he became Vice-President Engineering, in 1970 Vice-President Operations, in 1978 Executive Vice-President Operations and in 1980 President and Chief Executive Officer. In 1984 Mr. Smith was made Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and in April 1985 Chairman of the Board. He retired as an active employee in 1987 but remained Chairman. In 1994 he retired as Chairman but remains a Director of the Company.
Mr. Smith has also served on the Boards of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute, CAL Corporation and Dupont Canada. He has been active in fund raising activities for the University of Saskatchewan, Pierre Boucher Hospital, Charles Le Moyne Hospital, Montreal Chinese Hospital, and Centraide (Red Feather). He recently assumed the Chair of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.
Mr. Smith has won numerous honours during his career. He received an honorary Doctor of Law’s Degree from Concordia University in 1983, a Doctor of Engineering Degree in 1984 from Carleton University and a Doctor of Engineering Degree in 1987 from Purdue University for his contributions to the development of gas turbine engines. In 1976 he received the McCurdy Award from the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute and the C.D. Howe Award in 1988, also from this Institute. In 1985 he was honoured with the Thomas W. Eadie Medal from the Royal Society of Canada and in 1986 with the R. Tom Sawyer award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineering. In 1989 he received the Prix Annual of the Conseil de Ia recherche et du developpement en transport for his outstanding contributions to transportation. In 1992 he was appointed a member of the Order of Canada, and in 1993 a member of the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame. In 1994 he won the Society of Automotive Engineers’ Aerospace Leadership Award.
Degree presented by: Franco Berruti, Dean of Engineering
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