URSI CNC: Brief History of the CNC (1952-1999) Histoire brève du CNC

[texte publie en anglais seulement]

URSI - Radio Science Bulletin no. 289, June 1999

Canada - Profile of a Member Committee
G.Y. Delisle, E.V. Jull, & P.H. Wittke

Canada joined URSI in 1952, relatively late compared to its sister commonwealth countries Australia (1922) and New Zealand (1931). Radio research in Canada had grown rapidly under the direction of a National Research Council (NRC) of Canada Associate Committee on Radio Research, during the 1939-45 war. By 1950, with many NRC radio researchers no longer in defence work, an Associate Committee on Radio Science was formed. In 1951, this became also the Canadian Committee for URSI under the chairmanship of D.W.R. McKinley, then Associate Director of the Radio and  Electrical Engineering Division of NRC.

The committee consisted of six senior scientists and engineers from government laboratories and departments concerned with radio science and its applications, and five radio physicists, an electrical engineer and a radioastronomer from the universities. By 1968 the size of the committee had grown to 23 members from government, universities and industry.

In 1971 the size of the committee was cut in half, to consist of a Committee Chairman, a Past Chairman, a Secretary and a Chairman for each of the eight Commissions.

Canadian radio scientists quickly became involved in URSI affairs. G.A.Woonton of McGill University in 1952 became Chairman of Commission VII on radio electronics and later (1957-63) a Vice President of URSI. Woonton also organized the 1952 McGill Symposium on Microwave Optics, the forerunner of the Triennial Commission B Symposia on Electromagnetic Wave Theory. The third such meeting was held in 1959, organized by G.Sinclair, of the University of Toronto, who became Commission VI (Radio Waves and Circuits) Chairman in 1957. The next Commission B Symposium will be held in Victoria, British Columbia, in 2001. Two early committee members were B.G. Ballard and J.H. Chapman. Ballard was appointed President of the National Research Council of Canada and Chapman was the first winner of the John Howard Dellinger Gold Medal. Joint US/Canada URSI meetings were held in Ottawa in 1953, 1962 and 1967 and the 1969 URSI General Assembly was held in Ottawa.

In 1973 an NRC Bureau of International Relations was formed which became the administrative body for all Canadian member committees of the international scientific and technical unions. The Canadian committee ceased to have a dual role as a government advisory committee and an URSI committee. Since then, the committee has been comprised of a Chairman, a Past Chairman, a Secretary and a Chairman for each of the technical commissions. These areselected for three or six-year terms with due regard for geographical, institutional and linguistic representation. Meetings are held usually once a year in Ottawa.

The 1980 North American Radio Science Meeting and IEEE Antennas and Propagation International Symposium was held at Laval University, Quebec, and organized by J.A.Cummins and G.Y.Delisle. This was the first of a series of successful regional meetings jointly arranged by US and Canadian URSI and the IEEE/AP-S. The second followed in 1985 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, organized by K.S.McCormick and E.V. Jull, a third in 1991 at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, under the chairmanship of A.R.Webster, and the fourth in 1997, in Montreal, Quebec, under the joint chairmanship of G.Y. Delisle and S.J. Kubina. The splendid cooperation enjoyed at these meetings is an outcome of the close relations between US and Canadian radio scientists and IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society members.

The National Research Council of Canada, which was instrumental in the establishment of the Canadian National Committee and which is the adhering member for Canada in international scientific and technical organizations, over the past years has been reviewing its participation in these organizations. Its support has been critical in the past to the development and activities of the Canadian National Committee for URSI. Currently, the Canadian National Committee is supported jointly by the International Affairs Office and the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, both of the National Research Council of Canada. We look forward to their continuing participation over the coming years.

In the 1990's, the Canadian committee has seen its greatest participation  in URSI at the international level, with the Presidency of E.V. Jull, 1993-96 and the Vice-presidency of M.A. Stuchly, 1996-99. Commission A was chaired by J. Vanier, 1990-93, Commission C by P. Wittke, 1993-96 and Commission K was chaired by M.A. Stuchly, 1991-93. The Vice-chair of Commission H is currently H.G. James. The climax of this ten year period will be in August, this year 2000, with the intense activity associated with the XXVIth General Assembly, which will be held at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, under the organizing chairmanship of K. Balmain.


 URSI CNC Chairs / Presidents    URSI CNC Secretaries/aires  
1951-57 D.W. McKinley   1951-54 J.C. Scott  
1957-61 J.S. Marshal   1955-58 Ann Marshall  
1961-65 J.T. Henderson   1958-61 D.W. McKinley  
1965-68 R.S. Rettie   1961-63 P.M. Millman  
1968-71 M.P. Bachynski   1966-68 J.H. Chapman  
1971-74 R.E. Barrington   1968-73 J.L. Locke  
1974-80 F.J. Osborne   1973-80 J.Y. Wong  
1980-86 E.V. Jull   1980-86 L.H. Doherty  
1986-93 P.H. Wittke   1986-93 R.F. Clark  
1993-99 G.Y. Delisle   1993-96 R.H. Hayward  
1999-08 Y.M. Antar   1996-97 K.F. Tapping  
2009-17 F. Prato   1997-2011 J.P. Vallée  
2018-20 D.G. Michelson   2011-present A.D. Gray