Oral history interview with William H. Gauvin

Oral history interview with William H. Gauvin

  • 1991-Jul-11

William Gauvin begins with background information about his childhood experiences in Europe, his formative education, and his emigration during the Depression to join his family in Canada. He describes his education at McGill University, which culminated in both wartime work on RDX as well as several early electrochemistry papers. He next recounts his employment with Frank W. Horner Ltd. and the initiation and development of his lifelong spray drying work. Gauvin relates his recruitment to the Pulp and Paper Research Institute, his move to Noranda, and his associations with Hydro-Quebec and other industrial research centers. While recounting the circumstances behind each of these professional "turning points," he discusses the evolution of the chemical engineering department at McGill and the involvement of his graduate students at these research centers. Throughout the interview, he emphasizes the often difficult balance between research and management views on R&D, and between technical feasibility and economic feasibility of new technologies. Gauvin reviews his contributions to science policy, industry-academe cooperation, and government support for R&D. He concludes the interview with a consideration of chemical engineering in Canada today, and of the highlights of his own career in the field.

Place of interview
Original file type MP3, PDF
  • 64 pages
Rights In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Related URL
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

Physical location


Cite as

William H. Gauvin, interviewed by James J. Bohning in Montréal, Québec on July 11, 1991. Philadelphia: Science History Institute, n.d. Oral History Transcript 0099. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/1z40kt72h.

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Transcript (Published Version)

The published version of the transcript may diverge from the interview audio due to edits to the transcript made by staff of the Center for Oral History, often at the request of the interviewee, during the transcript review process.

Complete Interview Audio File Web-quality download

5 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads