Robert Tanner, Former Director of IEEE Canada, has recently received the
Degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from Concordia University.
Educated at Imperial College of Science and Technology in London,
England, he began his career with the British Broadcasting Corporation
as a pioneer in the world's first high definition television station
developing audio techniques and researching the acoustics of studios and
In 1947, he emigrated to Canada and commenced an outstanding engineering
career with Northern Electric, Bell-Northem Research, and subsequently
the Canadian Department of Communications. He contributed to Canadian
engineering in many fields, managing the development of products and
systems from audio equipment to microwave relay stations. His skill as an
engineer and a manager was recognized by his appointment in 1973 as
Director of Industrial Research of the Canadian Department of
As a consultant, he was responsible for the acoustical design of many
important buildings, including the Royal Canadian Mint and the Stratford
Festival Theatre in Ontario. He dedicated himself to this work after
leaving the Department of Communications in 1975, and has since carried
out the acoustical design of many buildings, including an Air Force
Academy for Saudi Arabia, and the new Canadian Embassy in Washington.
In his remarkable career, Mr. Tanner has received many awards for his work.
He has been honoured with IEEE Canada's McNaughton Gold Medal, IEEE's
Haraden Pratt Award and the Robert H. Tanner Lecture Series in Toronto.
Four professional societies have conferred their highest honour on him:
he is Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, Fellow of lEEE,
Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada, and Fellow of the
Institution of Electrical Engineers (of Great Britain). He is also a
Member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineers.
Mr. Tanner has expressed his dedication to his profession not only in
his outstanding work in engineering, but also in his contribution to the
advancement of science and engineering. He has been for many years
active in the IEEE. He held the office of Director of the Canadian
Region (Region 7), Secretary, Executive Vice-President, and in 1972, President,
becoming the first and only member of the Canadian engineering
Profession so far to hold this high office. In fact, he is the only
non-American ever to have been elected to this position. To this day, he
continues to be active in many of the Institute's committees.