Honorary Degree Citation - Byron Cavadias

by T.S. Sankar, June 1985

Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Byron Cavadias, distinguished aerospace engineer and eminent industrialist, who heads a Canadian company which is the world leader in the manufacture and application of sophisticated computer based systems for aviation and other high technology applications.

Born in Bombay, India, his family moved to Athens where he received his early education. His professional interest in aviation was evident when he took his first job as a member of the installation and calibration crew for navigational systems with the TAE (now Olympic) Airlines. Mr. Cavadias later moved to England where he served with the Royal Air Force as a radar system specialist and at the same time received his education and aerospace engineering training at the University of Southampton. Mr. Cavadias then emigrated to Canada to join CAE Electronics as a radar systems engineer. During the past 28 years he has steered the company through its changing directions and roles to its unique place within Canada and the world, meeting all the challenges of a rapidly changing aerospace technology and its business demands. Mr. Cavadias held the positions of Vice President Operations and Executive Vice President, before becoming President of the company in 1974. During this period the company employees grew from less than 500 to over 1700, and its sales exceeded $150 million, 20% of which is spent on Research and Development. More than 40% of company employees are technical, making the company one of Canada's largest employers of engineers and scientists. It may also be noted that CAE flight simulators hold a 30% share of the world market and have secured several national and international awards for technical excellence. Mr. Cavadias' deep sense of practical engineering and technological innovation have developed CAE as a major component of Canadian leadership in international aerospace technology.

Mr. Cavadias is a permanent member of the Board of Aerospace Industries Association, Member of the Board of the Canadian Nuclear Association, Member of the Board of the City of St. Laurent Industrial Development Commission, Member of the Board of the Romeo Vachon Foundation, etc., through which he has made many contributions to business and other communities.

Byron Cavadias' unassuming manner and friendly personality conceal a talented engineering mind with innovative skills. Through his dedication and support, a large number of Concordia' s young engineers have had the opportunity to acquire learning experience by exposure to many of the ongoing Concordia/CE research programs representative of future aerospace technology.

Byron Cavadias is a credit to our country and has played a leading role in building a diversified Canadian high technology company to a position of world leadership. He is a classic example of those ethnic Canadians who have contributed immensely to the growth and success of modern Canada.

Mr. Chancellor, I am honoured to present to you, on behalf of the Senate and by the authority of the Board of Governors, Byron Cavadias, that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.