By: T.S. Sankar, June 1987
Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you William Bothwell Rice, eminent academic and distinguished engineer, who has made immense contributions to the growth of mechanical engineering in Canada. En route to his present stature as professor emeritus at Queen's University in Kingston, he has been a machinist, draftsman, a naval officer during World War II, a design engineer and consultant to diverse Canadian industries, a teacher, a university administrator, president of national engineering societies, and a pioneer researcher in manufacturing processes.
Dr. Rice is a Montrealer by birth and took his education in both English and French language institutions - Bachelor's degree from Sir George Williams, Master's from McGill, and Doctorate from Ecole Polytechnique. He was awarded numerous fellowships and scholarships during his student days and began his engineering career with Northern Electric Company. Later he was at McGill as Assistant Professor and then moved to Queen's University where he served as Head of Mechanical Engineering and as Chairman of Engineering Graduate School.
Directed strongly towards the needs of industry, Dr. Rice's research accomplishments won international recognition to the extent that in 1966 he was the first Canadian to be elected to the famous CIRP (International Institution for Production Engineering Research), in 1981 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and in 1985 he was awarded the Engineers' Medal for Research and Development by the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario. His research has been funded for a quarter of a century by the Defence Research Board and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, for which he served twice as Chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Grant Selection Committee. He is a Fellow and former President of the Engineering Institute of Canada, was a founder of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering and was its President in 1980-81.
Dr. Rice established the North American Metal Working Research conferences (NAMRC) and was Chairman of the Scientific Committee during its first eight years. Dr. Rice is a Fellow of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, a Fellow of the ASME and former Chairman of Production Engineering of the ASME.
Dr. Rice's relationship with this University goes well beyond his role as a 1950 Concordia alumnus. He has interacted with us in our research programs and in our efforts to promote the mechancial engineering profession nationally and internationally.
Mr. Chancellor, it is a privilege to present to you, on behalf of the Senate and by the authority of the Board of Governors, William Bothwell Rice, so that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
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