Honorary degree citation - Josef Kates
By: John McKay, June 1981
Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Josef Kates, distinguished scientist, engineer and business executive.
Mr. Kates was born in Austria. The upheaval of World War II brought him to Toronto where, already at the age of 21, his talents were recognized by the Imperial Optical Company and he was placed in charge of production of precision optics for the navy. Later he joined Philips Electronics as special projects engineer and then entered the academic world. At the University of Toronto he designed and built the first pilot model (UTEC) electronic computer in Canada. He also pioneered today's electronic frivolities by designing Bertie the Brain, a gameplaying machine exhibited at the Canadian National Exhibition.
Whilst pursuing such serious matters, he found time to obtain three degrees in three subjects in three years.
He has established many computer consulting companies with international reputations. He has pioneered computer applications and communications technology to city infrastructure, land use and transportation control. He improved the capacity of the Welland Canal. He personally designed the world's first computer-controlled traffic signal system in Toronto in the mid fifties. He has been chairman of the Science Research Council and president of the Operations Research Society. He is president of Teleride Corporation, and a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada.
Also, he is thoroughly familiar with the ceremonies of higher education, being Chancellor of the University of Waterloo.
Mr. Chancellor, it is a privilege to present to you, on behalf of the Senate and by the authority of the Board of Governors, Joseph Kates, that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.