- UTA 1293
To varying degrees, records in this fonds document key components of Prof. French’s career both within UTIAS and as an outside consultant. His education in the newly developing field of aerospace science is documented in his course notes found in Series 10. These notes were kept specifically to document the early teaching of this subject since Prof. French took courses from Professors Ben Etkin and Irvine Glass whose papers are also held by the University Archives. General correspondence files in Series 1, talks and papers found in Series 2 and 3 as well as course lectures found in Series 7 document his broad role as a university professor including his publishing activities, his relationship with other professionals and his role as an academic advisor and teacher. His role as an administrator both at the University and on the boards of professional associations are only marginally documented in two small series of records: University of Toronto, Series 6 and Professional Associations Series 8.
While Series 5 Research is by far the largest series in this fonds, it is mainly confined to the latter part of his career relating to research supporting SCIEX. Except for a few files, early research files are absent from this accession and researchers interested in research in the 1960s leading to Prof. French’s participation in the Viking project will have to make due with records found in Series 2 and 3 and possibly some correspondence in Series 1. The strength of this fonds is how well it documents the research at SCIEX, one of Canada’s most successful companies to evolve from a university research facility. Most records in Series 5, as well administrative files in Series 6 SCIEX, give a good picture of SCIEX’s evolution including the research undertaken, the funding sources available at the time, the business strategies that let to its success and specifically the instrumental role Prof. French played in this commercial enterprise. These records will be of interest to anyone researching the commercialization and marketing of technology in the Canadian setting. SCIEX is also a successful example of cooperation between industry and a university with the support of government agencies.