Biographical Dictionary of Canadian Engineers

Edited by
Rod Millard

DAWSON, Alexander Scott , b. 6 Sept. 1879, Pictou, N.S.; d. 8 Aug. 1941, Guelph, Ont. Educated in Pictou public schools, he was graduated with honours from McGill University 1894, second in civil engineering, Bachelor of Applied Science. He began his career that year as an assistant hydraulic engineer with the Metropolitan Water Works Department, Boston. In 1898, he joined the Canadian Pacific Railway maintenance of way staff at Winnipeg, and, by 1903, rose to division engineer, Calgary. He was appointed chief engineer, Department of Natural Resources, in 1912, retiring in 1931. The development of the Bow River Irrigation Project, (with Hugh B. Muckleston), then the biggest irrigation plant in North America was his greatest engineering achievement. Between 1910 and 1914, the project included the design and construction in Alberta of the Brooks Aqueduct, the Lake Newell Reservoir, and the Bassano Dam. In 1988, the Canadian Society for Civil Engineers designated the Brooks Aqueduct a National Historic Civil Engineering site. A member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Engineering Institute of Canada, he served as chairman of the EIC's executive committee in 1917, and was elected vice president of the EIC in 1925. He served on the University of Alberta's senate, was an Anglican and a member of the executive board of Western Canada College, Calgary, the Ranchman's Club and the Calgary Golf and Country Club.

Dmytro Bodak