Gerald Hatch’s global impact

This article was originally written and submitted as part of a Canada 150 Project, the Innovation Storybook, to crowdsource stories of Canadian innovation with partners across Canada. The content has since been migrated to Ingenium’s Channel, a digital hub featuring curated content related to science, technology and innovation.

Gerald Hatch (left) was able to grow his engineering firm into a company of over 12,000. Source: McGill University.

Bryson Masse

Algonquin College Journalism Program

Canada is known for its natural resources and the ways that we have extracted them from our countryside. And because of stewards like Gerald Hatch guiding the technological advances, responsible use and sustainability have taken a far higher priority. Hatch helped create new metallurgical practises, reduced the impact on our environment and created one of the most successful engineering firms in Canada.

Hatch grew up in eastern Ontario, attended McGill University for his undergraduate and proceeded to earn his doctorate in metallurgical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – a rare field for the time. He signed on to a less than successful Quebec Iron & Titanium Corp., and turned the organization around. His goal was to create a company that combined all the different facets of research, development, marketing and production, rather than just focusing on one aspect.

In 1958, W.S. Atkins brought Hatch’s metallurgical experience to his engineering consulting firm. With a tiny office in Toronto, the company grew from five employees to 60 over the next decade. The company became known as Hatch Ltd., and is now a global leader in operations support, technologies and construction management. Hatch Ltd. has taken on projects that have pushed the boundaries of technology and maintained sustainability.

For his roles and contributions to the field, Hatch was inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame in 2011. He died in 2014.

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