Heffernan, Gerald Robert

4T3 Metallurgical 
Inducted: 1992 

Gerald Heffernan’s legacy to the University and to the community is an example of how engineering talent, business determination and respect for other people can combine to create new industries. In Gerald’s case, this meant electrical “mini-mills” for casting steel in Canada, the US, UK and third world countries.

Gerald’s career as engineer, scientist, inventor and entrepreneur began after World War II when he entered UBC with staff appointment for advanced studies in metallurgy and industrial management. He built his first steel mill in 1955 and he later gained wide recognition as Founder and President of Co-Steel Inc. in Whitby, Ontario.

Gerald Heffernan always moved fast and far, not only in business, but also in numerous contributions to his country and profession.


  • Officer of the Order of Canada
  • Royal Canadian Engineers (Lieutenant) (1943-1945)
  • Pioneering developments in steelmaking
  • Successful business expansion in to the US and UK
  • Fellow of the American Society for Metals (1974)
  • LLD, Queen’s University (1979)
  • APEO Gold Medal (1989)
  • Engineering Alumni Medal, U of T (1989)
  • Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (1990)
  • McGill Achievement Award (1990)
  • Renowned world-wide as a founder and developer of major steelmaking organizations and a gentleman who accomplished much of note for Canada and for engineering