Powlesland, John William

BASc, PEng 
3T5 Civil 
Inducted: 1980 

John William Powlesland was a pioneer in the development of air curtains for the controlled flow of fumes and dust. Upon graduation, he joined the Alpha Manufacturing Company (Eastern Division) which specialized in air conditioning, and rose to become President.

In 1963 he formed his own company, Powlesland Engineering Limited to further the air curtain concept.

He found time to give outstanding service to his church, community, and University. He was People’s Warden at Woodbridge Anglican Church. He was Chairman of the Woodbridge School Board. In 1956, he became President of the Toronto Central YMCA.

His enthusiasm led him to become President of the University of Toronto Engineering Alumni Association in 1968. He was largely instrumental in creating the 3T5 Second Mile Annual Award for University of Toronto engineering students.


  • Developed “air curtain” concept
  • Leader in Community and University Alumni Affairs