Title and Description Page
Family, Childhood and Early Education 1
Background of name William. World War I experiences. Move to England and Belgium. Grandfather in Brussels. Attends gymnasium; rigorous mathematical curriculum. Return to Paris and emigration to Canada. Proposal to bank to save father's company. Influence of Self-help.
Undergraduate and Graduate Education, and Early Professional Career 7
Asked to work on RDX rather than enlist. Ph.D. thesis. Father's business. Context of employment by Frank W. Horner Ltd. Impetus for lifelong spray drying work. Negotiates associate professor position, without salary, at McGill, with the proviso that work on spray drying applications continue. Concurrent work at Pulp and Paper Research Institute.
Noranda Research Center and McGill University 11
Offer from Noranda to create new research center from scratch. Noranda's reluctance about simultaneous McGill position. Joe Stovel. Gauvin's McGill undergraduate courses and graduate work. The atomized suspension technique (AST) process and introduction to plasmas. Evolution of McGill's chemical engineering department. Murray Douglas. Friendships with graduate students.
Pulp and Paper Research Institute 15
Development and influence on his life of spray drying work. Fluidization of bark and anecdote about recruitment to Pulp and Paper Research Institute. Lincoln R. Thiesmeyer. Develops AST to treat waste pulp liquors. Motivations behind move to Noranda.
Noranda Research Center 19
Noranda's Toronto research committee and agenda as position begins. Develops technique to assess R&D contribution to the company. Expansion of research projects. Patents plasma reactor design with Kubanek. Retirement. Contracts with Hydro-Quebec and Industrial Materials Research Institute.
McGill Activities and Review of Education 22
McGill administration and current financial problems. Reasons for dual theses and Ph.D. in physical chemistry. Establishment of chemical engineering program at McGill. Carl Winkler. Work on electrochemical deposition of copper and industrial interest in the work.
Spray Drying and Miscellaneous Remarks 27
Initial spray drying design and subsequent study of significant design factors. Len Torobin and particle dynamics. Computers. Une passion: la SCIENCE. Inaugeral Lamothe Lecture. Purpose of oral history; Beckman Center interviews with chemical engineers. Spray dryer design; subsequent use by Horner.
Views and Influence on Government Support for Industry R&D 35
Oriented freedom in R&D. Paper on benefits to the government of industrial R&D support. Response to the paper. Promotes actions concertées. Involvement in quasi-governmental organizations. Appointed Délégué Général of National Research Council; difficulties of the job, and emphasis on fundamental research and motivation of people.
Science Council Report on Northern Development 40
Heads team on expedition to study industry of the North. Report recommendations. Example of the Lapps. Concerns of the northern peoples. Travelling for Noranda.
Noranda and R&D Difficulties 45
Initial connection with Noranda; Noranda since 1961. Titanium work and Noranda budget. Technical versus economic feasibility. Molybdenum project.
Plasma Processes 47
Davy McKee and other companies using plasma technology. Reasons for slow commercialization of this technology. Peat process and hindrances to application. Plasma torches. Toxic waste disposal and plasma technology.
Chemical Engineering in Canada 50
Current status of chemical engineering in Canada. Demographics of undergraduate student population at McGill. Reasons for high enrollment at University of Toronto. Graduate student population at McGill. Promotion of university-industry projects, and a current example.
Review of Career and Concluding Remarks 53
High point of career. Greatest satisfaction of career. Concluding comments on unusually strong industrial involvement coupled with concurrent thesis direction. Industry-academe cooperation intrinsically important to chemical engineering.