Every spring, the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department staff and students come together to recognize the efforts and achievements of the top 3rd and 4th year students. The awards are named after pioneers in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering who were also significant contributors and mentors at RMC. This year we added a 2nd year award in honour of Mike Gatien, a technician in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department for over 30 years, who passed away last year. This year’s ceremony was held May 9, 2014 in Currie Hall.

The A.C. Leonard Award is given annually to the student group in 4th year judged by the faculty to have presented the best 4th year Mechanical Engineering Project. It honours Dr. A.C. Leonard, former Dean of Engineering, department head and professor of Mechanical Engineering at RMC. He also served in the RCAF in World War II (WWII), in the Canadian Army as an RCEME officer in Korea. Outstanding teacher, scholar and mentor, Dr. Leonard displayed a mastery of the orderly and logical communication of engineering knowledge, which the award is intended to recognize. This year’s award was presented by Carol Leonard (A.C. Leonard’s daughter) to M1005 NCdt (IV) Robert Desaulnier and M1003 NCdt (IV) Ryan Luciano.

(L to R): M1005 NCdt Robert Desaulnier, Carol Leonard (A.C. Leonard’s daughter) and M1003 NCdt Ryan Luciano

The W.C. Moffatt Award is given annually to the 4th year Aeronautical Engineering student who best demonstrates the qualities of a person driven to excellence by their own enthusiasm, intellectual curiosity and strong motivation to learn. 3342 Dr. Craig Moffatt is an outstanding teacher, and former Dean of Engineering, who inspired his students to excellence for over 40 years at RMC. The winning student must also have contributed to a positive learning experience for his or her entire class through sound leadership in the classroom and laboratories. Dr. Moffatt was in attendance to present the award, but the winner, 26208 OCdt (IV) David Boots, was unable to attend.

The Bussières Prize is awarded annually to the 3rd year student achieving the highest average in design-related engineering courses, and having demonstrated singular excellence in the 3rd year Mechanical Engineering Design Course competition. 2864 Dr. Pierre Bussières was a member of the first class known as the “The New One Hundred”, which re-opened RMC after WWII. He served fourteen years in the RCAF, mostly as a Flight Test Engineer, and retired as a Squadron Leader. Later he became a member of the RMC faculty, also serving ten years as Special Assistant to the Principal and three years as the Mechanical Engineering department head. He always tried to embed his experience with all stages of aircraft design into his teaching and mentoring of RMC cadets. Dr. Bussières presented this year’s prize to 26415 OCdt (III) John DeBoer.

(L to R): 26415 OCdt John DeBoer and 2864 Dr. Bussières

The Lucas Prize is presented annually to the 3rd year Aeronautical Engineering student who demonstrated singular excellence in the 3rd year Aeronautical Design Course competition. 9805 Brigadier General (retired) Dwayne Lucas prompted the implementation of an Aeronautical Engineering Degree program at RMC when he was the Director General Aerospace Equipment Program Management in 2003. He is an Aircraft Structural Engineer who never misses the opportunity to enhance the development of young officers and engineers while also being dedicated to support Air Force operations. The acting Dept Head, 13924 Dr. Dominique Poirel, presented this year’s prize to 26532 OCdt (III) Ryan Metcalf.

(L to R): 26532 OCdt Ryan Metcalf and 13924 Dr. Dominique Poirel

The Mike Gatien Award of Manufacturing Excellence is presented to the 2nd year Mechanical or Aeronautical Engineering student who proved not only their knowledge of the theory of manufacturing processes, but above all, in Mike’s spirit, the drive and determination to create to the best of their abilities the MEE/GMF 233 project (which included lathe work, welding and metrology).  Mike Gatien was instrumental in the fabrication of several Post Graduate devices, the RMC gates, rewelding of the RMC Cordite, the RMC portable trapeze system, and the Civil Engineering Pyroplasma device, just to name a few. He was talented both in building, modifying and repairing machines, as well as in helping students to understand such machines. Mark Gatien, Mike’s son, presented this year’s award to 26376 Élof (II) Guillaume Larivée.

(L to R): 26376 Élof Guillaume Larivée and Mark Gatien (Mike Gatien’s son)

Following the award presentations in Currie Hall, the 4th year Mech and Aero Eng classes as well as the faculty gathered for the iconic class photo that would soon join the collection that lines the halls of the Mech/Aero Engineering Department for future generations to see. Congratulations to the award winners. To the 4th years, may your knowledge and critical thinking learned during your Mechanical or Aeronautical Engineering programs aid you in the careers on which you are about to embark.


Capt Sean Leithead, CD

RMC Mech/Aero Eng Dept Lecturer

23191, Class of 2005