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A Tribute to Dr. Richard Marceau

Dr. Richard Marceau, vice-president (research)Memorial University lost a great champion and gentleman overnight on Sept. 26, 2016, with the sudden passing of Dr. Richard Marceau, Vice-President (Research).

Dr. Marceau was born and grew up in North Bay, Ont. He graduated from McGill University in December 1977 and began his career at MONENCO Inc. as an electric power engineer in 1978. He joined Hydro-Quebec as an operations engineer in 1982, entered the Hydro-Quebec Research Institute (IREQ) as a researcher in 1984 and became a planner of research and development activities in 1987.

After spending 12 years in industry, he entered a PhD program in electric energy transmission at McGill University in 1990, successfully obtaining his degree in 1993. The same year, he joined the Electrical Engineering Department at École Polytechnique de Montréal and was elected chair in 1998. In 2001 he became dean of the Faculty of Engineering of the Université de Sherbrooke where he led ground-breaking initiatives in both undergraduate education and graduate research capacity-building. In 2005 he became provost and vice-president academic of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), then Ontario’s newest university, where over a period of eight years he grew its academic operations from 1,800 to nearly 10,000 students, and initiated the unprecedented growth of master and doctoral programs of any university in Ontario. In 2013 he became Vice-President (Research) of Memorial University.

Dr. Marceau was an active member of his community. He participated on numerous local, provincial and national committees and boards. From 2009 to 2013, he was president of the Parkwood Foundation, one of Canada’s most beautiful National Historic Sites, and from 2012 to 2014, he was president of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. He was a licensed professional engineer in the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario and Quebec.

The Memorial community hosted a celebration of the life of Dr. Marceau on Nov. 3, 2016, on the St. John's campus. A webcast of the celebration is available online.


Below are submitted message of condolence for the family of Dr. Richard Marceau, vice-president (research). Please click here to leave a message of sympathy or tribute.

I was extremely saddened to learn of Dr. Richard Marceau's passing - In August of 2014, he was visiting a museum where I had been working for the summer and we ended up discussing my education, and what I had hoped to pursue. I explained that I had just completed the first year of my Undergrad and had just been accepted into the School of Social Work. Dr. Marceau took out a receipt from his wallet and wrote his name, position and contact information on the back and told me that if I ever needed anything, just to contact him. He also elaborated how important it is for Newfoundlanders to pursue higher education and contribute that knowledge to Memorial University in order to enhance the learning of students here. At that point, I hadn't even began my program and he was encouraging me to complete my PhD! This conversation has resonated with me ever since, and tonight I sit looking at this old receipt that I have kept for almost three years now. During my sole encounter, it was easy to see how genuinely passionate and kind this man truly was. My thoughts are with his family, friends, and colleagues. He most certainly will not be forgotten amongst the Memorial University community.

Rebecca French
Jan 11/17 12:09am, St. John's

I knew Richard for quite a few years, beginning with his time as Provost at UOIT. He was a great supporter of the Trottier Energy Futures Project, which I had the privilege of managing. I relied often on his wise counsel, which was always appreciated. He was a professional who was truly respected for both his insight into complex issues, but also because he was a very compassionate human being. He will be deeply missed.

oskar sigvaldason
Nov 05/16 11:27pm, st catharines

Richard Marceau: A man who made history with a smile! I had the privilege of working with Richard in his role as Chair of the ACENET Board of Directors and can say, without exception, he gave his heart and soul to his duties as Chair. Richard will be missed by all who were touched by his positive attitude, kindness, strength, and dedication.

Dianne O'Leary
Nov 04/16 1:41pm, CITL