Bristow Guy Ballard

Bristow Guy Ballard, research engineer (b at Fort Stewart, Ont 19 June 1902; d at Ottawa 22 Sept 1975). Ballard was educated at Queen's and worked for 5 years on Westinghouse high-speed electric locomotives before joining the National Research Council staff in 1930. He became director of the Radio and Electrical Engineering Division in 1948, VP (scientific) in 1954, and president in 1963. His appointment as president took place in the last days of the Diefenbaker government, and Ballard told several friends he had neither wanted nor asked for the post, which he was reluctant to accept since his deafness had inhibited his making himself well known among Ottawa "mandarins."

He had a clear aim, to stimulate Canadian engineering to catch up with Canadian science in its disciplinary development, but his attempts to achieve this were frustrated. In 1955, when he convened a conference of university deans of engineering to offer them the array of research grants and scholarships available to scientists, his proposals were rebuffed. When as NRC president he attempted to reorient the Council towards industrial engineering, he was overborne by the academics who then made up the majority of the Council. Ballard's policies were largely implemented by his successors, W.G. Schneider and J. Larkin Kerwin.