Keys, Conrad Roy

BASc, PEng
Inducted: 1982

Conrad Roy Keys (1893-1980) was a leader in the field of aeronautical engineering. During the first World War, he supervised flying boat production in Buffalo, N.Y. for the British, Russian and U.S. Navies. Working with Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corporation from graduation until 1932, he greatly contributed to the development of a series of aircraft engines which set all the world speed records for several years.

Much of his leisure time was spent in the development of watercraft. In 1927, on the Niagara River, he built the first hydrofoil with underwater propulsion, using the patents of A.G. Bell and Curtiss. He won several racing boat trophies.

In 1932, he joined the Roosevelt Administration as Assistant Chief Engineer for various relief projects. In 1938, he became a consultant and patent engineer in private industry, and held several Canadian and U.S. Patents.


  • Pioneered development of amphibious aircraft.
  • Developed technology for high performance watercraft and materials handling equipment.