Biographical sketch: Dean of graduate studies and professor of electrical engineering at UNB, Robert J. Kavanagh, the son of Alexander and Mary Elsie (Taylor) Kavanagh, was born 7 October 1931 at Whitchurch, Hants, England. He attended the Andover Grammar School (England) before enrolling in the University of New Brunswick, where he earned a B.Sc. in 1953. He continued his studies at the University of Toronto, completing a M.A.Sc. and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1954 and 1957 respectively. He graduated from the Imperial College, London with a D.I.C. in 1960. On 17 September 1956, he married Millicent Constance McRae, and they raised two children, Stephen and Judith.
In 1962 Dr. Kavanagh joined the faculty of UNB as assistant professor of electrical engineering. He advanced quickly through the academic ranks: professor (1968), associate dean of graduate studies (1969-1971), acting vice-president academic (1978-1980), and dean of graduate studies and research (1971-1984). In 1982 he became the first visiting scientist appointed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Two years later he was appointed director-general of NSERC's scholarships and international program, necessitating his relocating to Ottawa.
Dr. Kavanagh was active in a number of associations. He was a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (New York), an associate member of the Institute of Electrical Engineers (London), a member of the Canadian Research Management Association, and was elected Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences. He also served on several other councils, boards and committees. In April 2000, he is retired and living in Ottawa.
American Men and Women of Science, 20th ed., 1998-1999
Who's Who in Canada, 1982-1983
Custodial history: R. J. Kavanagh supplied the material contained in file no. 1 in series 4 to Glenda Turner in March 1998 in connection with the James O. Dineen biography project. The remaining material in Series 4 was supplied to Ms. Turner by Dr. Kavanagh in April of 1999.
Scope and content: This documents Robert J. Kavanagh's administrative career at the University of New Brunswick, particularly with respect to his roles as associate dean and dean of graduate studies and research and as a member of graduate studies committees in the faculty of engineering.
It also highlights the development of the university's graduate programme, during the 1960s and 1970s, and the faculty of engineering's graduate programme, from the 1950s to the 1970s. Original correspondence between James O. Dineen and R. J. Kavanagh, dating to the late 1950s and 1960s, documents Dineen's efforts to recruit scholars for academic positions in the faculty of engineering, including Dr. Robert J. Kavanagh.
This fonds consists of 4 series:
1. Graduate studies and research, UNB
2. Graduate studies and research, engineering
3. Research grants and research funds
4. Correspondence with James O. Dineen
It contains correspondence, memos, minutes of meetings, reports, briefs, and position and policy statements. It also includes applications for research grants, lists of approved grants, regulations for grants and student assistantships, lists of graduate students, and thesis abstracts.
Title: Based on contents of the fonds.
Immediate source of acquisition: The materials contained in series 1, 2 and 3 were acquired by Archives and Special Collections Department from R.J. Kavanagh on 1 August 1984. Glenda Turner deposited the material in series 4 with Archives and Special Collections Department in early March 2000 at the request of Dr. Robert J. Kavanagh.
Associated material:Additional information relating to the James O. Dineen biography project is located in the James O. Dineen biography project fonds (UA RG 353b). Archives and Special Collections Department also houses the James O. Dineen fonds (UA RG 347), as well as other material relating to the faculty of engineering.