René J.A. Lévesque (1987–1993)

René J. A. Lévesque
René J. A. Lévesque

From professor to President

René J. A. Lévesque was the president of the Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB) from 1987 to 1993. Originally a career academic in the field of nuclear physics, Lévesque dedicated his working years to the betterment of nuclear sciences and the Canadian nuclear sector.   

In 1952, Lévesque obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Concordia University. Acquiring a taste for academic life, he spent the next five years at Northwestern University, working towards his PhD.

With a PhD under his belt, Lévesque became fully immersed in his work, delving into a research position at the University of Maryland, a position he held until 1959. The research he conducted there was unique - and widely sought after - attracting the attention of many academic institutions. The physics department at the University of Montreal offered Lévesque a position as an Assistant Professor, which he accepted.

Enthusiasm for Lévesque's research increased and, in 1963, the National Research Council offered to give a particle accelerator to the academic institution willing to make Lévesque the best offer.  Valuing Lévesque's contributions to the University of Montreal, the Faculty of Science prepared an innovative proposal, offering a program designed to accommodate the new technological addition to the department and to enhance Lévesque's research potential. 

University of Montreal's bid for Lévesque won. In turn, Lévesque was given the opportunity to develop a nuclear physics laboratory at the university. The quality of the research derived from this facility was extensively praised.

Lévesque's career at the University of Montreal allowed him to rise in the ranks dash; from physics professor to Director of the Physics department and, finally, to Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.  In 1987, Lévesque left the university to pursue the role of President at the AECB. 

Lévesque's contributions to the nuclear sector were profound and nationally recognized. He was named a Professor Emeritus, an Officer of the Order of Canada and to this day the University of Montreal honours his name with the René J. A. Lévesque Laboratory. 

For additional information regarding René Lévesque's term as AECB president, or for a closer look at the CNSC's history, please refer to the 65th anniversary timeline.

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