IEEE Mourns the Loss of 1996 President Wally Read

Read was first IEEE president from Canada

7 October 2011
read Photo: IEEE

Wallace Stanley Read

Former IEEE president

Life Fellow, 81; died 16 August

Wallace Stanley “Wally” Read, the 1996 IEEE president, spent most of his career working for hydroelectric utilities in Canada.

Read started out at a paper mill in Corner Brook, Nfld., in 1951. He was reassigned in 1955 to Deer Lake, a hydroelectric plant in the same town. He left there in 1964 to become senior engineer at the Newfoundland and Labrador Power Commission (now Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro), a company with headquarters in St. John’s that generates and delivers electricity to Quebec and parts of the northeastern United States as well as Newfoundland. In 1985, he became the first full-time president of the Canadian Electricity Association, a utilities trade group. After retiring from CEA in 1995, he formed REMAS, an electric-power consulting firm.

In 2003, he was inducted into the Order of Canada, an honor society that recognizes citizens who have made outstanding contributions to the country. It is considered Canada’s highest civilian honor.

Read had been an active IEEE volunteer since 1965. He was a member of the IEEE Canadian Foundation—a group that funds humanitarian projects and grants scholarships to IEEE members in Region 7—from 1986 until this year. He was vice president of the IEEE Standards Board in 1993 and 1994 and was on the IEEE Board of Directors for 10 years before becoming the 2006 IEEE president. He was director of the IEEE Foundation from 1998 to 2003 and chair of the IEEE History Center Trustees’ Committee from 2003 to 2006, among many other leadership roles.

He received several IEEE awards, including the 2005 IEEE Charles Proteus Steinmetz Award for “sustained leadership in organizing IEEE standards activities to be responsive to industry and the global marketplace.” In 1995 IEEE established an award in his name: the W.S. Read Outstanding Service Award, which recognizes volunteers for sustained service to IEEE Region 7 and IEEE as a whole. For more on Read’s involvement with IEEE, read the transcript of an oral history he recorded for the IEEE Global History Center.

Read received his bachelor’s degree in engineering in 1951 from Nova Scotia Technical College (now Technical University of Nova Scotia), in Halifax. He received honorary doctoral degrees in engineering from Technical University of Nova Scotia and from Memorial University of Newfoundland, in St. John’s.

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