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Alumni wall of fame

The Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes a UNB engineering alumnus (any discipline or degree) who has demonstrated core values of excellence, integrity and leadership and has attained prominence and achievements through his or her career. Consideration will be paid to candidates who have been trailblazers in industry, or who have demonstrated commitment to community through volunteer, philanthropic or advocacy efforts, and/or service and support to UNB.

UNB honours new exceptional engineering alumni each year with the Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award and the recipients are inducted into UNB’s Engineering Wall of Fame.

Henry George Clopper Ketchum (1862), 1839-1896

Henry George Clopper KetchumHenry Ketchum enrolled in the first engineering courses offered at the University of New Brunswick and in 1862 was awarded the university’s first diploma in civil engineering. He earned an international reputation in railroad engineering through his work on the great Mogy Viaduct on the Santos and Sao Paulo Railway in Brazil.

Returning to New Brunswick at age 26, he helped to build some of the province’s most important railways. His bold plan for a ship-railway across the Chignecto Isthmus, connecting the Bay of Fundy with the Northumberland Strait, ended in financial failure; nevertheless, his vision and energy continue to inspire.

J. Herbert Smith (BScEE’32, MScEE’44), 1909–1995

J. Herbert SmithHerb Smith spent his entire professional life with the Canadian General Electric Co. Ltd. in Ontario, where he went to work upon graduation from UNB in 1932. After earning the MScEE degree from UNB in 1944, he moved into management at General Electric and ascended the corporate ladder to become the corporation’s first Canadian head, serving as CEO from 1957 until his retirement in 1972.

An enthusiastic supporter of the UNB Technology Management and Entrepreneurship program, he provided the university’s largest-ever endowment of nearly $5-million to fund the program in perpetuity.

M. Patrick Gillin (BScCE’49), 1925 - 2009

M. Patrick GillinAfter completing his civil engineering degree at UNB in 1949, Pat Gillin returned to Ottawa and set up the small construction business that became the corporate empire Gillin Engineering and Construction Limited. An involved citizen, he has played a central role in the revitalization of the nation’s capital city.

Scores of UNB engineering students have benefitted from the scholarships and bursaries he established in 1974. His million dollar donation to UNB in 1984 funded the establishment of the chair in construction engineering that bears his name. In 1987 UNB named the new wing to Head Hall for this outstanding alumnus.

William Anderson Devereaux (BScEE’71, BA’73)

Andy DevereauxAndy Devereaux holds to degrees from UNB, a BSc in electrical engineering (1971) and a BA in psychology (1973). A resident of the Boston area since 1980, he is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

In 1988 he formed American Capital Company to initiate and manage investment activities in the areas of media, telecommunications and information services. His Devereaux Foundation supports youth leadership and scholastic achievement. A driving force among UNB alumni in the Boston area, he marked the new millennium with a million dollar gift to energize alumni support.

Alistair Cameron (BScCE’42), 1920-2001

Alistair CameronAlastair graduated from UNB in 1942 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. He had a notable student life at UNB from the start, having entered UNB as a Beaverbrook Scholar. After a successful career in the Royal Canadian Artillery, he joined Montreal Engineering, later called Monenco.

His many responsibilities included VP, Utility Management of Monenco, President, Newfoundland Light and Power and Chairman, Maritime Electric Company Ltd. The latter part of his career included work in Malaysia, Bhutan and India.

Reginald Tweeddale (BScEE’35), 1914-2009

Reginald TweeddaleReg earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from UNB in 1935. He then joined the RCAF on a top secret program based in the Middle East, known later as Radar. Upon his return, he began his career with NB Power, first as Distribution Engineer and ultimately the first General Manager of NB Power.

To recognize his achievements, UNB awarded Reg an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1973.

Kenneth Cox (BScEE’42, DSc’79), 1922-2002

Kenneth CoxKen enjoyed a 47-year career with NB Tel and its related companies after graduating from UNB in 1942 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He held a variety of positions included President, CEO of NB Tel and Chairman of Bruncor.

In recognition of his outstanding career achievements and community spirit Ken has been honoured by several groups including recognition from UNB in 1979 as a Doctor of Science.

Desmond Green (MScCHE’67)

Desmond GreenDr. Desmond Green came to the Department of Chemical Engineering at UNB from Ireland in the 1960s and taught in the department until graduating with his master’s degree in 1967. He began his career with jobs in Canada and the United States before returning to Ireland where he founded MinChem Environmental Services, now Indaver Ireland, an international waste management company and the leading provider of hazardous waste recovery, treatment and disposal services in Ireland.

He is one of the founders of the Dalkey School project, which established multi-denominational schools--a first in Ireland. Today there are 58 schools throughout the country under the organization that is now called “Educate Together.” Dr. Green is also a board member of the Ireland Canada University Foundation, which facilitates links between scholars and institutions in Ireland and Canada. In recognition of his achievements and public service, UNB awarded Dr. Green an honorary degree in 1995.

Ben McCrea (BScCE’63), 1940-2013

Ben McCreaMr. Armour M. (Ben) McCrea, graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a degree in civil engineering in 1963, he continued his education at the University of Illinois where he received an MSc. Ben returned to New Brunswick and began working for Dineen Construction and managed the construction of the University’s Tucker Park campus as well as the Faculty of Law building and Toole Hall on the Fredericton campus.

Ben went on to found Armour Group Limited in 1972, a company which he has built into one of Atlantic Canada’s leading integrated real estate development, management, and construction firms. As a visionary in the profession of real estate development who has enriched Maritime communities through his enlightened approach to design and restoration, Ben is redefining how corporations create a “sense of place”.

Joe Ng (BScEE’73)

Joe NgDr. Joseph (Joe) Ng graduated from the University of New Brunswick in 1973 with a degree in electrical engineering and an education that provided the foundation for an exceptional business career, one that included significant contributions to his community and beyond. Shortly after graduating from UNB, Joe joined Stelco in Hamilton and later worked as a consultant to Dofasco.

In 1980, he created JNE Engineering, a full-service multi-disciplinary engineering firm that grew to include JNE Consulting, JNE Automation, JNE Chemicals, JNE Biotech, and JNE Power, with professional staff and offices around the world including Canada, the U.S., and China. Throughout his career, Joe has given both his time and financial resources to many worthy organizations including the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Junior Achievement, Hamilton Health Services and the United Way. He has been especially supportive of higher education including McMaster University and his own alma mater, the University of New Brunswick.

In recognition of his many business and community achievements, Joe has received prestigious awards from the Professional Engineers of Ontario, the City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce as well as honorary degrees from McMaster University, the University of Prince Edward Island and the University of New Brunswick.

Dr. Robert (Bob) Neill (BScME'54, DSc'85)

Bob NeillBob Neill worked for the New Brunswick Electric Power Commission for 10-years after graduating from UNB and advanced to Chief Design Engineer before retiring from the utility. In 1964, Bob and Harold Gunter agreed to incorporate Neill and Gunter Limited and the company grew to become one of the largest consulting and design engineering firms in Atlantic Canada. Bob acted as Chairman and CEO of Neill and Gunter Limited, and together the Neill and Gunter companies employed over 700 people at the time the firm was acquired by Stantec in 2007.

Bob served on UNB’s Board of Governors as well as the Board of Governors of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and a number of university and government advisory boards. He volunteered with Junior Achievement and is a past president of the Association of Professional Engineers of New Brunswick. In 1985 he received an honorary Doctorate of Science from UNB for his contributions to industry, community and the university. In 1991 he received the Gold Medal Award from The Canadian Council of Professional Engineers and in 1999 he was inducted into Junior Achievement New Brunswick Business Hall of Fame.

Dr. Roderick (Rod) Nolan (BScEE'57, MScEE'63, DSc'04)

Rod NolanRod Nolan enrolled at UNB as a Beaverbrook Scholar. Upon graduation from UNB in 1957, he took a job with Bailey Meter Company for $325 per month and gained hands-on experience as a design engineer for boiler installations. He returned to UNB and completed his Master’s degree in 1963, and continued his studies at the University of London’s Imperial College as a Beaverbrook Overseas Scholar. He was then hired at Neill and Gunter as employee number two, eventually becoming President of the company and a director of its three subsidiaries.

Rod served as a member of UNB’s Board of Governors for nine years, was vice-chair for two, and chairman of the board for five years. He has gifted his time, talent and financial support to the Red Shield Campaign, Run for the Cure, the New Brunswick Breast Cancer Network and the United Way Central New Brunswick. He has also given his time to APEGNB, the UNB Engineering Faculty Advisory Committee, the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation and as a trustee of the Portage Program for Drug Dependencies Inc. and founding chairman of Portage Atlantic at Cassidy Lake NB. Rod was granted an honorary Doctorate of Science from UNB in 2004, was inducted as a Fellow in the Canadian Academy of Engineering and received the commemorative medal for Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee.

Dr. Chris Huskilson (BScEE'79, MScEE'82, DSc'14)

Dr. Chris HuskilsonAfter earning a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from UNB in 1979, Chris Huskilson joined Nova Scotia Power in 1980 and completed a Master's degree at UNB in 1982. He was named President and CEO of Emera in 2004, serving in that role until 2018.

Chris is a champion of delivering cleaner, affordable and more reliable energy for customers. His innovative vision helped to drive major initiatives including the Maritime Link project, the Ocean Supercluster, and the formation of the Emera & NB Power Research Centre for Smart Grid Technologies at UNB. He has served as Chair of the Greater Halifax Partnership, the Canadian Electricity Association, and the Energy Council of Canada, as well as Director of the Nova Scotia Community College, the Edison Electric Institute, and InnovaCorp. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from UNB in 2014.

Denise Laforge (BScME’88)

Denise LaforgeOriginally from Edmundston, New Brunswick, Denise has a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from UNB and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Calgary. She is also a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Denise is Chairman and CEO of Denco Financial Holdings, a company with investments focused in technology, energy, real estate and the wholesale distribution sector. In 2003, she co-founded and served as Chairman of the Board of Tarpon Energy Services, a leading supplier of electrical and instrumentation services, control systems and modular solutions. The company was sold in 2014 to a U.S. private equity fund and at the time of the sale had over $500 million in annual revenue and over 40 offices throughout the world, employing more than 2300 people.

Prior to co-founding Tarpon, Denise was Vice President of Marketing and Sales of Zedi Inc. which specialized in production operations management and the delivery of systems and services that help oil and gas producers better manage people, assets and information. Her career began when she applied during her last year at UNB to become an EIT at Petro Canada’s head office in Calgary.

Denise has given generously of her time for community and charitable organizations in New Brunswick, Calgary and Montreal, and has invested back into UNB. She received UNB’s Alumni Award of Distinction in 2008.

Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande (MScEE ’75, DSc ’01)

Desh Deshpande is the President and Chairman of Sparta Group LLC and Chairman of Tejas Networks. He has also been involved either as the founder, a founding investor or Chairman of several companies including Cascade Communications, Sycamore Networks, Coral Networks, Tejas Networks, Cimaron, Webdialogs, Airvana, Sandstone Capital, A123 Systems and Curata.

Dr. Deshpande holds a B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology – Madras, an M.Eng. from the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and Ph.D. from Queens University in Canada.

He is a Trustee of the Deshpande Foundation along with his wife Jaishree, with a mission to strengthen ecosystems that create significant social and economic impact through entrepreneurship and innovation. He serves as a life-member of the MIT Corporation, and his support has made possible MIT’s Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation.

The Deshpande Foundation has supported the work of hundreds of emerging entrepreneurs by the setup of five other centers around the world, including the Pond-Deshpande Centre at UNB, which focuses on merging technological innovation and social innovation.

Dr. Michael Po-Ko Wu (BScME'64, Hon.LLD'89 UNB)

Dr. Michael Po-Ko Wu is a graduate of the Mechanical Engineering Class of 1964. After working as an engineer with Canada's Department of Environment for 14 years, he returned home to Hong Kong to take the helm of the family business, the Wing Lung Bank of Hong Kong. Under his leadership as Executive Director and Chairman as well as his father's leadership before him, the Wing Lung Bank became one of the largest Chinese-owned bank in Hong Kong until it was sold in 2008.

Dr. Wu has been a tremendously loyal and generous alumnus, having established and led a UNB Alumni Chapter in Hong Kong and created prestigious graduate and undergraduate bursaries for UNB students in his parents' name. He also supports the Class of 1964 Eric E. Wheatley Memorial Fund in Mechanical Engineering and the Harold Tam Wing-Ming Scholarship for UNB students. The Wu Foundation made a major gift to enable the construction of the Wu Conference Centre on campus.

Dr. Wu is also an active philanthropist and community member in Hong Kong. He was awarded with a Doctor of Laws at UNB in 1989, a Doctor of Laws from Mt. Allison University in 2005, a Doctor of Business Administration from Hong Kong Baptist University in 2007 and a Doctor of Social Science at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2008.

William Press Cooper (BScCE '62)

William Press Cooper, P.Eng., FCSCE is CEO of Cooper Construction, a third-generation family-owned Canadian construction and real estate development company in Oakville, Ontario.

Bill came to UNB's Civil Engineering program and graduated in 1962. He went straight to work at the family company, first as a Project Engineer then working his way up to President and Chief Executive Officer in 1978. Under his leadership, the company has become an industry pioneer in design/build and expanded to commercial and industrial real estate development as well as facilities management.

Bill has served as a director of other corporations including Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Clarica Life Insurance Company, Laidlaw Inc., Ontario Place Corporation, CTV Inc., Stelco Inc. and Cogeco Communications Inc.

A deep commitment to serving the community is a family and company tradition that Bill is passionate about. He's served as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and co-chair of the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital Fundraising Campaign. He was President of the Hamilton Wentworth Business Advisory Council, the Hamilton and District Chamber of Commerce and the Hamilton YMCA. He is a former member of the Board of Governors and past chair of the Business Advisory Council for the business school at McMaster University.

Bill is a generous donor to McMaster University, local hospitals and numerous other organizations, including UNB. In addition to gifts to the President's Fund and various campaign projects, he also established the prestigious William P. Cooper Scholarship awarded each year to two civil engineering students at UNB.