Biographical Dictionary of Canadian Engineers

Edited by
Rod Millard

ROSS, Robert Alexander , b. 29 Aug. 1865, Woodstock, Ont.; d. 23 Sept. 1936, Montreal. Graduating from the School of Practical Science (University of Toronto) in 1890, he worked for the General Electric Co. at Sherbrooke, Que., and Peterborough, Ont. In 1893, he became chief electrical and mechanical engineer of the Royal Electric Co., Montreal. After 1896, he worked as a consultant for major hydro-electric installations, including the West Kootenary Power & Lighting plant, Bonnington Falls, BC (1905-1906), and, in 1906, the Huronian Co.'s copper plant at Copper Cliff, Ont. He was also retained in hydro-electric disputes by numerous cities including Calgary (1913), Peterborough (1914) and Quebec (1932). This work formed the basis of his professional reputation. He also worked abroad on engineering projects in China, India, Russia, Finland, Scotland, Jamaica, the United States, and other countries. In 1916, he was appointed to the Honorary Advisory Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (National Research Council), later becoming its chairman. From 1918 to 1924, he chaired the Lignite Utilization Board in Ottawa, and, in 1923, was a member of the Royal Commission Inquiry, Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario. He joined the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers (Engineering Institute of Canada, 1918), in 1897, served on its council for eight years, was elected vice president (1914-1916), and was president in 1920. He received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Toronto (1921), and, in 1934, was awarded the EIC's highest honour, the Sir John Kennedy Medal. He belonged to the University Club, Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club, and Montreal Club. An Anglican, he married Beatrice Halladay in 1894, and they had two daughters.

Mario Jozic