Alum put careers in space within reach

HOLDING ON: From a file image in 2009, Canadarm supports a NASA astronaut as he performs maintenance work on the Hubble Telescope. (Photo: NASA)
(EDMONTON) A University of Alberta ECE alum has won an award for his role in the creation of the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS).

Not impressed? Well how about now: the award is the Officer of the Order of Canada and the SRMS is the lesser-known name of the mighty Canadarm.

Garry Lindberg was instrumental in the creation of the remote control Canadarm, the muscle behind NASA’s space shuttle program. Moving cargo, astronauts, and satellites, Canadarm did the heavy lifting for the shuttle program for 30 years before it was retired in 2011. Lindberg is also one of the moving forces behind the Canadian Space Agency and its astronaut program. He has put a career in aeronautics and space within reach for more recent engineering graduates.

In the 1960s he started work at the National Aeronautical Establishment at the National Research Council (NRC), leading a variety of research programs and eventually becoming the executive director of the space division and vice-president of research and applications. He retired in 1997.

Lindberg graduated from the U of A’s Faculty of Engineering in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics. On June 30, Canada’s Governor General David Johnston made the presentation to Lindberg at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.