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ROBERT WALTER BESANT Obituary pic ROBERT WALTER BESANT Obituary pic

ROBERT WALTER BESANT

Born: Feb 05, 1935

Date of Passing: Oct 31, 2021

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ROBERT WALTER BESANT
February 5, 1935 - Winnipeg, Manitoba
October 31, 2021 - Calgary, Alberta

The death of Robert W. Besant, Professor Emeritus, University of Saskatchewan, occurred on Sunday, October 31, 2021.
A graduate of the University of Manitoba, BScM.Eng in 1957, Professor Besant spent time at National Research Council in Ottawa on his way to graduate studies at Princeton University in New Jersey, United States. In 1960, he joined the faculty of University of Saskatchewan and began a distinguished career of teaching and research, producing over three hundred refereed publications, plus many other technical reports, international conference presentations, seminars and invited talks.
In 1991, he was named "Engineer of the Year" by the Saskatoon Engineering Society and honoured with an award of merit by the Canadian Housing Design Council. He served on the board of directors and was a founding member of the Saskatchewan Energy Conservation and Development Authority. In 1992, he received the "Solar Person of the Year Award by SESCI (Solar Energy Society of Canada) for passive solar and energy efficient design. He was made a fellow of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Condition Engineering) in 1993. He received two large grants from ASHRAE for research for the ASHRAE Technical Committees that set the standards for Industrial Heating and ventilation and frost growth in energy recovery.
Professor Besant served eleven years as head of the Mechanical Engineering Department and during that decade was able to increase the number of graduate students in the college from ten to ninety. In 1999, he was honoured with the University of Saskatchewan Distinguished Research Award. In 2006, he became a Canadian Academy Engineering Fellow. Over the years he was granted several ASHRAE technical paper awards. Following formal retirement, he continued research on the technical committees and with the graduate students, an activity that he loved dearly.
In 2015, Professor Emeritas Besant and Doctor Carey Simonson were recipients of a Synergy award for innovation from NSERC (National Scientists, Engineering and Research Council) for collaboration with industry NORTECH (formerly Venmar CES Inc) at Rideau Hall in Ottawa as a model of effective partnership, receiving a two hundred-thousand-dollar grant plus a thirty-thousand-dollar grant to NORTECH for future collaborative research development.
His research continues to have a major impact on the energy conservation of building design in Canada and other industrial countries. The work he pioneered in developing the first heat recovery ventilators for small buildings has spawned an industry. The internationally recognized research on ventilation and exhaust air, heat and moisture recovery has coincided with a ten-times increase in the use of recovery exchangers in large buildings in North America over the last twenty-five years, and his work on super-insulated houses provided key inputs for the Federal Government R2000 housing program.
Over the years he maintained an active interest in his growing family's activities and was president of the Goldfin Speed Swimming Club for ten years. He enjoyed membership and activities with the Saskatoon Natural Historical Society. The Audubon Annual Boxing Day Bird Count was a favourite activity and never missed. He always maintained a large garden of both flowers and vegetables, planting hundreds of trees in our city garden, and in the last couple of decades, on our acreage. He was a dedicated camper with the family, with tent and car, and covered all the provinces and most of the American states. Regardless of any problems or unpredictable surprises he never lost his wonderful sense of humour. A devotee of Rachel Carson and her famous "Silent Spring" the deterioration of the environment and lost species became a major concern, and he added his support to most of the wildlife and environmental charitable foundations.
Much loved and loving husband for over sixty-four years of Joyce, he is also survived by daughter Joan (Calgary), sons, Jeff (Vancouver) and Garth and daughter-in-law Lisa in Calgary; and granddaughters, Madison and Lauren. Robert is also survived by sister Geraldine (Frank) Prouten, Nanaimo, BC, and youngest brother David, Toronto, ON, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and friends.
Born in Winnipeg in 1935 he is predeceased by parents, William and Lilian; eldest brother Don (Edith) and older brother Alvin (Jean).
A gentle and loving soul to the end. Cremation has taken place and at the request of the deceased, no public service is planned.

In living memory of Robert, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, HERITAGE, 1708 - 16th Avenue NW, Calgary, AB, T2M 0L7, Telephone: 403-243-8200.


Publish Date: Nov 6, 2021

BESANT, Robert Walter, February 5, 1935 (Winnipeg, MB) – October 31, 2021 (Calgary, AB). The death of Robert W. Besant, Professor Emeritus, University of Saskatchewan, occurred on Sunday, October 31, 2021. A graduate of the University of Manitoba, BScM.Eng in 1957, Professor Besant spent time at NRC in Ottawa on his way to graduate studies at Princeton University in New Jersey, United States. In 1960, he joined the faculty of University of Saskatchewan and began a distinguished career of teaching and research, producing over three hundred refereed publications, plus many other technical reports, international conference presentations, seminars and invited talks. In 1991, he was named "Engineer of the Year" by the Saskatoon Engineering Society and honoured with an award of merit by the Canadian Housing Design Council. He served on the board of directors and was a founding member of the Saskatchewan Energy Conservation and Development Authority. In 1992, he received the "Solar Person of the Year Award by SESCI (Solar Energy Society of Canada) for passive solar and energy efficient design. He was made a fellow of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Condition Engineering) in 1993. He received two large grants from ASHRAE for research for the ASHRAE Technical Committees that set the standards for Industrial Heating and ventilation and frost growth in energy recovery. Professor Besant served eleven years as head of the Mechanical Engineering Department and during that decade was able to increase the number of graduate students in the college from ten to ninety. In 1999, he was honoured with the University of Saskatchewan Distinguished Research Award. In 2006, he became a Canadian Academy Engineering Fellow. Over the years he was granted several ASHRAE technical paper awards. Following formal retirement, he continued research on the technical committees and with the graduate students, an activity that he loved dearly. In 2015, Professor Emeritas Besant and Doctor Carey Simonson were recipients of a Synergy award for innovation from NSERC (National Scientists, Engineering and Research Council) for collaboration with industry NORTECH (formerly Venmar CES Inc) at Rideau Hall in Ottawa as a model of effective partnership, receiving a two hundred thousand dollar grant plus a thirty thousand dollar grant to NORTECH for future collaborative research development. His research continues to have a major impact on the energy conservation of building design in Canada and other industrial countries. The work he pioneered in developing the first heat recovery ventilators for small buildings has spawned an industry. The internationally recognized research on ventilation and exhaust air, heat and moisture recovery has coincided with a ten-times increase in the use of recovery exchangers in large buildings in North America over the last twenty-five years, and his work on super-insulated houses provided key inputs for the Federal Government R2000 housing program. Over the years he maintained an active interest in his growing family's activities and was president of the Goldfin Speed Swimming Club for ten years. He enjoyed membership and activities with the Saskatoon Natural Historical Society. The Audubon Annual Boxing Day Bird Count was a favourite activity and never missed. He always maintained a large garden of both flowers and vegetables, planting hundreds of trees in our city garden, and in the last couple of decades, on our acreage. He was a dedicated camper with the family, with tent and car, and covered all the provinces and most of the American states. Regardless of any problems or unpredictable surprises he never lost his wonderful sense of humour. A devotee of Rachel Carson and her famous "Silent Spring" the deterioration of the environment and lost species became a major concern, and he added his support to most of the wildlife and environmental charitable foundations. Much loved and loving husband for over sixty-four years of Joyce (nee BROWN), he is also survived by daughter Joan (Calgary), sons, Jeff (Vancouver) and Garth and daughter-in-law Lisa in Calgary; and granddaughters, Madison and Lauren. Robert is also survived by sister Geraldine (Frank) Prouten, Nanaimo, BC, and youngest brother David, Toronto, ON, as well as numerous nieces and nephews and friends. Born in Winnipeg in 1935 he is predeceased by parents, William and Lilian; eldest brother and sister-in-law Don and Edith and older brother Alvin (Jean). A gentle and loving soul to the end. Cremation has taken place and at the request of the deceased, no public service is planned. In loving memory of Robert, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, HERITAGE, 1708 – 16th Avenue NW, Calgary, AB, T2M 0L7, Telephone: 403-243-8200.
Publish Date: Nov 6, 2021

As published in Brandon Sun, Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 06, 2021, Nov 06, 2021

Condolences & Memories (1 entries)

  • My Uncle Bob was a wonderful man. His presence enriched family reunions and celebrations with his wit, charm and great sense of humour. My father (Dr. Don) and the Professor had many great telephone conversations over the past few years of which I was lucky to partake in a few. Uncle Bob left an imprint on many hearts and will be dearly missed. My deepest sympathies to my Auntie Joyce, my cousins Joan, Jeff, Garth (Lisa) and his granddaughters Madison and Lauren. It has been an incredibly hard year for the Besant family. May we find peace, strength and love from each other as we navigate this very sad time. - Posted by: Brenda Besant-Thompson (niece ) on: Nov 06, 2021

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