Terrance Cotter   2006 Distinguished Service Award Recipient

G. Terrance Cotter completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at UNB Fredericton and his doctorate in Electrical Engineering at Purdue University (1969). He started his teaching career as an Assistant Professor at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) where he worked during 1969-72. In 1972, he joined the University of New Brunswick, Saint John.

Dr. Cotter’s tenure at UNB Saint John has been marked by his unflagging support for engineering studies in Saint John, both through his teaching and through his administrative service.  He has understood and appreciated that engineering undergraduate programs are important attractors of “1st generation” university students – just those students that UNB Saint John was created to serve -- and has worked tirelessly to maintain and enhance such students’ access to programs in Saint John. He has been a role model, an inspiration and mentor to our students who have excelled in their professional career at various other academic institutions, in research organizations, and industries.

Terry’s commitment to students through teaching has been appreciated, quite literally, by generations of students at UNB Saint John.  It is not uncommon to find students in any year’s class who have parents, uncles, and (sometimes) aunts that started their electrical engineering studies under Dr. Cotter.  In the early years he was a “one man show”, delivering 1st and 2nd year lectures and labs to multiple sections of students, but always willing to take the time necessary to ensure that an interested student had their questions answered.  Dr. Cotter has demonstrated his commitment to students and colleagues through his service in many ways. He has provided leadership and initiatives within the Department of Engineering and UNB Saint John in various capacities such as Department Chair, Chair of the K.C. Irving Hall user’s committee. He has been instrumental in maintaining a quality program in Engineering at UNBSJ and successfully led it through several accreditation reviews by the Canadian Accreditation Review Board (CEAB). Dr. Cotter has served as Chair/Member on various professional societies and organizations such as Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Point Lepreau Nuclear Operator Program Advisory Committee.

Beyond the confines of the campus, Dr. Cotter has made a large and lasting contribution to continuing professional education at Saint John in the form of the Pt. Lepreau Nuclear Operator Training Program.  He has participated in this program for over two decades, from its start in 1981 and continued through to 2005, at various times as a teacher and an administrator, and is perhaps the one person who is uniquely responsible for the many benefits that it has provided to the campus, the community and the energy sector in this region.

Dr. Cotter had served this university with dedication for the last over 33 years. His contributions are numerous and significant, and in his final year of service at UNB, worthy of the highest recognition, the President’s Medal or the Distinguished Service Award.


Ramesh C. Prasad

Chair, Department of Engineering

April 19, 2006