Engineering Alumni Hall of Distinction Award: 2017 Recipient
Tom Siddon (UTIAS MASc 6T6, PhD 6T9)
For over 50 years, The Honourable Tom Siddon has contributed to his profession, country and local community. After graduating from the University of Alberta as the gold medalist in his class, he went on to pursue his master’s and PhD degrees at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS). In his early career, he split his time between teaching at UBC and growing his aero-acoustics engineering consulting firm. In 1976, while teaching at UBC, Siddon took on a leadership role as city councillor for Richmond, BC. From there, his participation and achievement in the public service grew. He was successively elected in five federal elections between 1978 and 1993, and worked under several prime ministers in various cabinet roles. His appointment as Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development in 1990 led to what he considers his most significant achievement: the creation of Nunavut. After his federal career, he helped develop a long-range water management plan for the Okanagan river valley and even found time to serve on his local school board and also as a Regional District Director — a role which he continues to hold today.