Bert Wasmund, a Hatch employee for 51 years this fall, has been named to the Members of the Order of Canada. He joins our founder, Dr. Gerry Hatch, who, in 1997, was also bestowed this highest national civilian honor. One of 99 individuals invested in 2017 as part of Canada's 150-year celebration, Dr. Wasmund is a world-renowned leader in metallurgical plant engineering and design; an innovator, philanthropist, and long-time mentor to fellow industry experts.
Raised on a farm in Monteagle, near Bancroft, Ontario, Dr. Wasmund attended a one-room public school. He went on to Queen's University, earning his BSc and MSc degrees in Chemical Engineering in 1961 and 1963, respectively.
Upon obtaining his PhD from the University of Toronto in 1966, he joined Hatch, then a small, but dynamic engineering firm serving the mining and metallurgical industry. He soon became known for his technical skills and innovative approaches to solving long-standing industrial problems. His breakthrough contributions to many metals operations in Canada and abroad have greatly improved their productivity, cost effectiveness, and energy efficiency, as well as their environmental and workplace safety performances. Throughout his career, his development of multiple patents for specialized metallurgical reactors, as well as his delivery of innovative technologies such as the cooling systems used for protecting the walls of smelting furnaces in the metals sector, have earned Dr. Wasmund worldwide recognition.
The accolades presented to Dr. Wasmund include the Noranda Airey Award in 1998, induction into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame in 2011, and the Ontario Professional Engineers' prestigious Gold Medal in 2012. He was also granted honorary doctorate degrees from Queen's University and the University of Toronto.
The very educational institutions that gave Dr. Wasmund a head start in his career remain an important part of his lifelong dedication to the industry. He has served on the Queen's University Applied Science advisory board, as well as the advisory board at the University of Toronto's Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry. He has lent his support to research initiatives and personally developed significant endowment scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students at both universities. For example, the Wasmund Family Aboriginal Scholars Award, established in 2011, provides funding for worthy students to earn honorary four-year degrees and achieve the highest level of academic accomplishment and achievement.
John Bianchini, Hatch's chief executive officer, said, "The exceptional work of Bert Wasmund and his appointment to the Order of Canada should serve to inspire us all. It reinforces our ability as engineers to evoke positive change and make a powerful difference in the world. His contributions, while vast and varied, have not only been instrumental in solving some of the industry's most complex engineering challenges over the last fifty years; he has impacted the many generations of engineers that have followed him—including me. We are proud to celebrate his passion and leadership today, as he receives one of Canada's highest honors.
About the Order of Canada
Established in 1967 by Queen Elizabeth II, the Order of Canada is one of Canada's highest civilian honors. Members are recognized for outstanding achievement in the community and for service to the nation. The Order recognizes individuals in various sectors who have enriched the lives of others and made a significant contribution to Canada.