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MEI Online: People News: North America: July 18th 2014


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:: Gerald G. Hatch, 1922-2014


Gerald G. Hatch founder of the engineering firm Hatch Limited died June 9, 2014 at 91. The company has grown from six people in 1958 in one office in Toronto to over 11,000 employees in 65 offices worldwide.

Gerald Hatch was born in Brockville, Ontario on July 30, 1922 where he received his primary education. His secondary and university training was in Montreal where he graduated from McGill in 1944 in metallurgical engineering. He was employed by Shawinigan Water and Power Company where he worked in the research department on developing metallurgical processes which required major quantities of electrical power. In 1945 he received a fellowship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he obtained a doctor of science degree in 1948. His thesis was on the distribution of sulphur between blast furnace slag and iron saturated with carbon.

Gerald Hatch
Gerald Hatch


During the four years that followed, he worked at Armour Research Foundation in Chicago where he was engaged in the development of ductile titanium. In 1952 he joined the ilmenite smelter Quebec Iron & Titanium Corporation at Sorel in Quebec. as director of research. QIT was created by Kennecott Copper and the New Jersey Zinc to mine the massive ilmenite deposit at Havre St. Pierre, Quebec and to treat this material at its plant at Sorel, Quebec. The Sorel plant employed a new process to deliver titanium slag for the pigment industry, and iron to be sold to the steel industry. At the time, QIT had operated one furnace for a year and five were under construction. Hatch then became Works Manager.

In 1958, he became President of W.S. Atkins & Associates in Toronto, a large consulting engineering firm in the UK. The organization soon expanded to include clients in the transportation field. By 1965 the firm had grown from 6 to 60 people. In 1964, Gerry purchased the company and set up a system of employee ownership. The company became known as Hatch Associates and subsequently, Hatch Limited. By 1976 it had grown to some 700 people.

He supported a number of science and engineering programs including long-time technical and philanthropic support of the engineering and science institutions and faculties. He created the Gerald G. Hatch Scholarship, awarded annually around the world to students entering their first year of university education. Hatch received many honors and awards including the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Gold Medal in 1961. He received an Honorary Doctor of Science from his alma mater McGill University and another from McMaster University. In 1995 he was the recipient of the Gold Medal of the Ontario Association of Professional Engineers. In 1997 he became a Member of the Order of Canada and the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame. He retired in 1990. His wife was an architect, died in 2003, and he is survived by four children and their families.

Fathi Habashi, Laval Univerity, Quebec City, Canada, Fathi.Habashi@arul.ulaval.ca




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