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Dr. Omond M. Solandt

Omond McKillop Solandt (September 25, 1909 – May 12, 1993) was an important Canadian scientist who was the first Chairman of the Canadian Defence Research Board.

1948 drawing of Omond Solandt from U.S. government Research
and Development Board biography on Solandt


Born 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, England.

In 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 tank personnel.

He was appointed Deputy Superintendent of the Army Operational Research Group in 1943 and Superintendent in May 1944.

Dr. 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.

Returning 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.

The 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.

From 1956-63, he was vice president for research and development at Canadian National Railways.

From 1963-66, he was vice president for research and development at De Havilland Aircraft.

From 1963-67, he was president of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

From 1965 to 1971, he was Chancellor of the University of Toronto.

He 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.

In 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 Bangladesh).


• 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 of Toronto.
• 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 Canada.
• 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

Dr. Solandt and UFOs

He is mentioned both in Wilbert Smith’s 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.



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