McKillop Solandt (September 25, 1909 May 12, 1993)
was an important Canadian scientist who was the first
Chairman of the Canadian Defence Research Board.
drawing of Omond Solandt from U.S. government Research
and Development Board biography on Solandt
in Winnipeg, Manitoba, he graduated in medicine from the
University of Toronto. He served his internship at Toronto
General Hospital and following post-graduate work at the
London Hospital, he accepted a permanent position on the
staff of the Department of Physiology at Cambridge University,
January 1941, he was appointed Director of the Medical
Research Council Physiological Laboratory at the Armoured
Fighting Vehicle School at Lulworth, England. He researched
problems with tank design and physiological problems of
was appointed Deputy Superintendent of the Army Operational
Research Group in 1943 and Superintendent in May 1944.
Solandt joined the Canadian Army in February 1944 with
the rank of Colonel and continued as Director of the Army
Operational Research Group until 1945 when he was appointed
Director of the Operational Research Division, South-East
Asia Command, and scientific advisor to Lord Louis Mountbatten,
then Commander-in-Chief S.E.A.C.
to England in June 1945, he was soon appointed to the
War Office as a member of the joint Military Mission sent
to Japan to evaluate the effects of the atomic bomb.
Canadian government appointed him Director General of
Defence Research on December 28, 1945, and Solandt helped
plan postwar military research. In 1947, he became the
founding chairman of the Defence Research Board and served
as such through 1956. His Chairman position was at the
same level as the Canadian Military Chiefs of Staff, and
the Deputy Minister of National Defence.
1956-63, he was vice president for research and development
at Canadian National Railways.
1963-66, he was vice president for research and development
at De Havilland Aircraft.
1963-67, he was president of the Royal Canadian Geographical
1965 to 1971, he was Chancellor of the University of Toronto.
was the founding Chairman of the Science Council of Canada.
From 1966 to 1972, he acted as chairman of the council
and was thus one of the most influential voices in the
science policy debate of that period.
retirement, Solandt was active as a company director and
consultant, specializing in agricultural research in a
number of developing countries (e.g., Peru, Kenya and
In 1946, he was awarded the Order of the British
Empire in the King's Birthday Honours List.
In 1947, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science
from the University of British Columbia.
In 1950, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science
from the University of Manitoba.
In 1954, he honorary Doctor of Law from the University
In 1968, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law
from the University of Saskatchewan.
In 1970, he was made a Companion of the Order of
In 1975, he was awarded the Vanier Medal from the
Institute of Public Administration of Canada.
He was a member of the Royal College of Physicians
Solandt and UFOs
He is mentioned both in Wilbert Smiths Top Secret
flying saucer memo, and in the 1951 Smith/Canadian Embassy
Correspondence. During the late 1980s and
early 1990s, Solandt was interviewed and exchanged a number
of letters on UFOs.