G.S. Peter Castle, BESc'61, PhD'69
Professor Emeritis/Adjunct Research Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Western University
Dr. Castle received the Lauchland Engineering Alumni Award in 2004.
Q & A
What makes you proud to be Canadian?
Canada is truly a land of opportunity for all. As a young immigrant arriving from Belfast, Northern Ireland at the age of seven I have experienced this first hand. I owe so much to the welcoming attitudes and educational experiences that were open to me. I have always been struck by one of the quotations written on the wall of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax that defines a Canadian as “An Immigrant with Experience”. This emphasizes the fact that the majority of Canada’s population has a family that has come from afar and yet has managed to blend together common values while preserving an interest in their cultural heritage.
Any advice you would offer an incoming Engineering student?
Be sure to select your specialization in engineering based upon what you are most interested in, not what you perceive in first year to be the area with the most job opportunity at that time. Much can change in three years. Remember that engineering offers one of the most flexible educations in terms of preparing you for many different careers.
As you reflect on the 150 year history of Canada, what do you consider the biggest Canadian engineering accomplishment?
As an electrical engineer I would suggest that the technical success of Nortel in introducing the world to the first digital phone network along with their dominant role in applying the use of fibre optics in communication systems is certainly a pivotal moment in the practical application of Canadian technology worldwide. This was a seismic shift that moved the whole communications industry from the analog to the now dominant digital domain. Sadly managerial capability in the company did not match the technological opportunities offered but nonetheless this should not take away from this engineering triumph.