IEEE Vancouver Section Participates in UBC Electrical Engineering Class of ’59 Reunion


On September 28th, the IEEE Vancouver Section joined the UBC Electrical and Computer Engineering department, the IEEE UBC Student Branch, and the UBC Alumni office in celebrating the 60th anniversary of the UBC Electrical Engineering Class of 1959. Seven of the graduates from the class attended the event.

Among the graduates from the class of ’59 attending the event were Don Thom and Settimo Carl Zanon. Mr. Thom was President of UBC’s student branch of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) branch and Mr. Zanon served as its Treasurer. The AIEE later combined with the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) in 1963 to form the IEEE as we know it today. Mr. Zanon is currently a Life Member of the IEEE.

Another graduate of ’59, Dr. John S. MacDonald, later co-founded the global communications and information company MacDonald, Dettwiler, and Associates, Ltd. (MDA). In November 1978, MDA became the first company to digitally reconstruct a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) image downlinked from a satellite. The IEEE recognized this engineering achievement with a Milestone Award in 2014 (click here for more information). Now a part of Maxar Technologies Inc., MDA continues to hire local technology graduates from engineering and computer science programs.

The IEEE Milestones program honors significant technical achievements in all areas associated with IEEE. It is a program of the IEEE History Committee, administered through the IEEE History Center.  To read more about Milestone Awards granted by the IEEE for significant engineering achievements in Canada, click here.

To read more about recent alumni reunions held at UBC, click here.

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