Henry George Thode | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Henry George Thode

Henry George Thode, scientist, university administrator (b at Dundurn, Sask 10 Sept 1910; d 22 Mar 1997). He graduated from the University of Saskatchewan, earned his doctorate from Chicago in 1934 and worked in the labs of Nobel winner Harold Urey at Columbia before joining McMaster in 1939.
Thode served as McMaster's vice-president (1957-61) and president (1961-72). He was the moving force behind the university's developing science, engineering and health-sciences faculties and its research and graduate programs. A brilliant nuclear scientist, Thode's work led to the construction at McMaster in 1957 of the first nuclear-research reactor at a Commonwealth university. Thode managed to acquire pieces of lunar rock after the moon landing and his work provided insights into the origins of the moon. When he became president in 1961, he molded McMaster into a top research institution and a world-renowned medical school. A fellow of the RSC (and its president, 1959-60), the Chemical Institute of Canada and the Royal Society of London, he was named an MBE in 1946 and was the first scientist appointed Companion of the Order of Canada, in 1967. Author of over 150 articles and professor emeritus at McMaster after 1979, his last research focused on isotopes and fission products, including isotopic abundances in terrestrial, meteoritic and lunar materials.

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