Gordon Richard Slemon

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GORDON RICHARD SLEMON, OC Peacefully, on Monday, September 26, 2011, at home surrounded by his family, beloved husband of Margaret Jean (nee Matheson), his wife of 62 years. Born on August 15, 1924 in Bowmanville, Ontario to Selena Ethleen Johns and Milton Everett Slemon; predeceased by brother Lloyd and cousin Velma Johnston. Loving father of Sally Thorne (Mary Adlersberg), Stephen (Jo-Ann Wallace), Mark (Jennifer), and Jane (Bob Ennenberg). Adored grandfather of Leah (Ron), Allie, Michael, Kathleen, Geoffrey, Douglas and Megan. Educated at the University of Toronto (B.A.Sc. Class of '46 and M.A.Sc.'48 in electrical engineering), Imperial College (D.I.C '51), and the University of London (Ph.D '52 and D.Sc. '68). Professor Emeritus in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto where he served as Head of the Electrical Engineering Department from 1966 to 1976, and as Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering from 1979 to 1986. His research specialty was magnetics as applied to electric machines and drives. In particular he made major contributions to the development of permanent magnet motors and high-speed magnetically-levitated and propelled interurban vehicles. In conjunction with his academic activities, he was consultant to some 70 industrial corporations and organizations nationally and internationally, including serving as Technical Advisor under the Canadian Colombo Plan in setting up Karnataka Regional Engineering College (now a National Technical University) at Mangalore, India (1963-4), and setting up graduate programs in engineering at the University of Havana, Cuba (1971-6), Xi'an Jaiotong University and Huazong Institute of Technology in China (1982-7), and King Ibn Saud and King Abdul Aziz Universities in Saudi Arabia (1982-6). Founder of numerous early innovations in such areas as electric cars and elevated railways, he played a major role in the establishment and early operation of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and was its President in 1998. He was an elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (1975), and the Engineering Institute of Canada (1989) and was only the fourth Canadian to be elected as an Honorary Fellow, Institute of Electrical Engineers (UK) in 1995. Among the major honours he received throughout his career were the IEEE Centennial Medal in 1984, the Third Millennium Medal in 2000, the Nikola Tesla Award and Gold Medal in 1990. He received the Canadian Centennial Medal in 1967 and the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002. In 1995 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2011, he was awarded the Engineering Institute of Canada's highest award, the Kennedy Medal. A man of ideas, with boundless intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm, a warm and loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. A memorial service will be held Saturday, October 1, 2011 at 2 p.m. at Jubilee United Church, 40 Underhill Drive, Toronto. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the University of Toronto (Professor Gordon R. Slemon Graduate Scholarship in Science & Technology) or a charity of choice.

Published in the Toronto Star from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1, 2011