MacDonald, Donald Hugh

4T5 Civil 
Inducted: 1989 

Donald MacDonald’s technical contributions to civil engineering practices began while he was a student when he attacked the problem of the settling of buildings. The work resulted in a number of papers, which are still referred to in current practice.

Since that time, he has contributed to solutions for many engineering problems, including a variety of dam designs, water retaining structures in the area of permafrost, large underground openings, a precedent-setting concrete-faced-rock-fill dam and other civil engineering areas too numerous to list.

Before 1962, Donald was responsible for the geotechnical engineering of HG Acres and Company Ltd. and has since served as Vice-President, President and a Director of Acres International and its related companies.

In his association with Acres Ltd., Donald has had a hand in many Canadian projects—from Newfoundland to British Columbia–
including hydro-electric and dam projects. He also contributed technical innovations to such projects as structures of the Red River Floodway, Saint John Thermal Station, Thorold Tunnel and studies for offshore drilling in the Arctic.

In the international field, he has been active with International Commission on Large Dams and the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering; he  has represented the Society in the UNESCO Working Group on Seismic Phenomena Associated with Large Reservoirs.

His public service work has not been neglected and includes Chairman, Board of Governors, Niagara College of Applied Arts and Technology (1972) and Board Member, Shaw Festival Theatre.

His technical work has been recognized throughout the years: Professional Engineers Gold Medal (1978), The Athlone Fellowship (1951-53), Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada and Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers.


  • Contributions to the solution of many geotechnical problems
  • Athlone Fellowship (1951-53)
  • Professional Engineers Gold Medal, APEO (1978)
  • Fellow of Engineering Institute of Canada
  • Fellow of American Society of Civil Engineers