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Doug Ruth smiles as he reveals a sign. The sign says "Doug Ruth Laneway"

Remembering Dean Emeritus, Douglas Ruth

Dr. Douglas Ruth passed away on Monday, January 11, 2021, after a battle with cancer.

January 12, 2021 — 

It is with heavy hearts that the Price Faculty of Engineering announces the passing of Dean Emeritus, Dr. Douglas (Doug) Ruth. 

Dr. Ruth [B.Sc. (1970), M.Sc. (1972), Ph.D. (1977), P.Eng.] served as the Dean of the Price Faculty of Engineering from 1999-2010, overseeing the construction of the Engineering & Information Technology Complex and further expansion of the Faculty’s programs and services.

In addition to serving as Dean, Doug Ruth was a core faculty member for more than 30 years. He was Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Dean of Engineering for Design Education. Doug was the second of the University of Manitoba’s three NSERC Chairs in Design Engineering and championed new concepts such as Engineers-in-Residence, and industry-based design courses, both of which have seen tremendous success with students. He was honoured as Dean Emeritus, and he officially retired at the end of December 2018.

Dr. Ruth’s legacy was honoured many times within the Price Faculty of Engineering. In 2018, the laneway entering into EITC was officially renamed the “Doug Ruth Laneway”, in recognition of his years of service to the Faculty and to celebrate his retirement.

“His contributions to our community were many, including the legacy of the building & refurbishment of the EITC complex which opened in 2007,” said Dean Marcia Friesen. “He was always immensely proud of our Faculty, our students, and the engineering profession, and encouraged us all to be proud of our roles in a profession hiding in plain sight.”

The Price Faculty of Engineering extends our condolences to the Ruth family and to all who had the pleasure of calling Doug a colleague, mentor, peer, and friend.

The Ruth family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Doug and Beverly Ruth Centenary Award in Engineering.

The flag at the University of Manitoba will be lowered on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, in memory of Dr. Ruth.

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41 comments on “Remembering Dean Emeritus, Douglas Ruth

  1. Mark Petursson

    I am sorry for the loss of a wonderful leader and educator. But I am honored to have known the Dean.
    A heartfelt thanks to Doug for all your service to our school, your help in getting the engineering band back together, and condolences to his family.

  2. David Chalcroft, P Eng, FCAE

    Dean Doug Ruth was a wonderful gentleman and an Engineering Giant. Over the past 20 years I’ve had the uplifting pleasure of working for Doug on the campaign to raise funds for the new EITC complex, on Engineers Canada, and more recently marveling at his leadership as President of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. I will remember him best for his shameless promoting of “ENGINEERS as the ENABLERS OF CIVILIZATION.”
    My deep condolences to Doug’s family.

  3. Jacinta O'Brien

    I served on the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board with Dean Ruth. He was a wonderful colleague and I can’t believe he’s gone. I am truly sorry about his passing and extend my sincerest condolences to Bev and his family.

  4. Grant Koropatnick, PEng, FEC

    I will miss the enduring, optimistic spirit Doug showed every day. I encourage all grads to donate to the fund set-up in his memory and to promote a spirit of optimism in your daily practice as a graduate of the Price Faculty of Engineering. RIP – Dean Doug Ruth.

  5. Garry Bolton, P.Eng.

    I am deeply saddened at the passing of my Engineering classmate from the Mechanical Class of 1970, my friend, and a tireless worker during our EITC project’s fund raising, design and construction periods. All while carrying a full academic and administrative workload; yes David he truly was an Enabler of Civilization. Our most heartfelt condolences to Bev and family. Rest in peace my friend.

  6. Brian Peck, M-Eng, P-Eng

    I am saddened to hear of the passing of Dean Ruth. He was my dean when I attended the Faculty of Engineering from 2002 to 2008. He lead many great initiatives, got the new Engineering buildings built and ran the faculty with competence and integrity.

    He will be missed for the role he played in progressing Engineering at University of Manitoba and the profession at large.

  7. Andy Chen

    So shocked and saddened by the news of the passing of Dr. Ruth. My condolences to Bev and the family! I am among a handful of Dr. Ruth’s PhD graduate students in the early 1990s, and it was a lifelong bearing experience to be his student and witness how to pursue researches, and particularly how to be a good human being. Years ago I sat with Dr. Ruth in an NSERC research grant peer review committee, it was the first time I felt I made him proud, while I still I drawn lifelong inspiration from him!

    RIP, Dr. Ruth

  8. Ted Braun

    It was a pleasure to know Doug through our memberships in the Society of Core Analysts. I could count on seeing him at the annual conferences, and working with him as an officer and technical reviewer. His presentations had a refreshing way of emphasizing basis engineering principles.

    Condolences to Bev and to Doug’s colleagues at the University.

  9. Ostap Hawaleshka

    Doug Ruth was a true gentleman and engineer! I had the honour of working with him and under his leadership. I always held the highest respect for him!
    May he rest in peace!

  10. Lisa Landrum

    This is very sad news. Dr. Ruth’s professionalism and good humour helped the Department of Architecture with two recent accreditation visits. My sincerest condolences to Dr. Ruth’s family and all our friends in Engineering.

  11. Vern Greenway

    Saddened at the loss of such a fine gentleman who was the penultimate example of an engineer. He was truly blessed with grace and dignity and left a mark on all those who embraced the idea of design within engineering. He made me a better person and I am thankful for the gift.

  12. Malcolm Reeves

    I served with Doug on CEAB for many years. I am deeply saddened to hear of his passing. He was one of the best of us.

  13. Claude Laguë

    Doug and I served together on the NCDEAS during seven years. I will remember him for his commitment to the engineering profession and for the pride that he had for his faculty, his university, and his province. I am so sad that he did not get to enjoy more time with his family and friends after he retired from the UofM. My sincere condolences to his family and loved ones and to the entire UofM engineering community.

  14. James Peters

    I am shocked and saddened to hear of his passing. I was a Mech.Eng. student in the 1990s while he was head of that department and it was abundantly clear that he put students first. To this day, I still tell stories of his generosity. By far, my favorite prof.


    Deepest condolences to Dr. Ruth’s Family and Friends. Enjoyed my time working in Engineering with Doug at the helm, also our chats at the Re-Fit center. RRIP dear friend

  16. Jim Raftis

    Really sad to hear of his passing. Travelled with the Dean when Alumni President and meeting engineer alumni. A sincerely nice person. RIP

  17. Shelley Sweeney

    Very sorry to hear of Doug’s passing. He was always a strong booster of Engineering history and Archives & Special Collections was always grateful for his support. He will be sorely missed by the community.

  18. Michael J Mark

    I spoke with Doug on the phone after my 1st $25,000.00 donation in 2007 and he was a real nice guy. Funny too. He did lots for the
    U of M. God Bless.

  19. John Markiw P.Eng.

    Dean Ruth was instrumental in my time at the UofM, He was willing to take time out of his day to sit down with a 17 year old kid and explain the engineering program. Then later when the program was changing and there was some question as to my path forward, he personally got involved and helped to sort it out. Oddly, I got to know him better afterward graduation. He will be missed, a real advocate for the university and for his students.

  20. Dr. Peter Frise, FCAE, FEC

    I was saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Doug Ruth. He was a good friend, a wonder booster of engineering and of the Univ. of Manitoba and a great gentlemen. He made a tremendous contribution to our profession and he will be missed and never forgotten.

  21. Gary Wang

    This is a shocking news! Doug was my Dean when I joined U of Manitoba as an assistant professor in 1999. I had the privilege of working with him till the end of 2007. Doug as a leader and “shameless promotor of all things engineering” have a deep imprint in my career. I will miss you Doug! May God bless your soul and comfort your family!

  22. Ross Peters

    It was a great shock to hear that Doug had passed away. We served together for many years on the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board. He was a great person to work with, full of energy, ideas, and intelligent analysis. He was a great builder of the engineering profession, in Manitoba, and for that matter, the whole country.

  23. Professor Kamran Behdinan, PhD, PEng, FCAE

    I was deeply saddened to learn this shocking news! Professor Doug Ruth was a great leader in engineering and an outstanding mentor for many of us -such a big loss for engineering profession! I learned a lot from him at our personal and group conversations, over the years, at the Design Chair’s events. He was profoundly proud of engineering education at UofM and the “friends of engineering” group that was established under his leadership. Doug will be fondly remembered and greatly missed.

  24. A. Alfa

    Over the years that I worked with Doug I found him to be an affable person who was always very cheerful. He will certainly be missed. My condolences to Bev and family.

  25. Jonathan Bartley

    I am very saddened to hear of Doug Ruth’s passing. I was one of Doug’s PhD students while he transitioned among various administrative roles within the Faculty of Engineering. Doug always made me feel valued and he empowered so many other people to stand tall. I’m forever grateful for all that I have learned from Doug, technical and otherwise. I have so many fond memories with him at SCA conferences, a society that he loved and I know he will be missed deeply by so many close friends there. His was a bright light that has now been dimmed far too soon. My deepest condolences to Beverly and his entire family.

  26. Chonghui.Shen

    I am so shocked and saddened to hear the news of Dr. Ruth’s passing. We lost a true giant of role model. I am really honored to be one of his PhD graduate students who benefited greatly from his kindness and sincerity.
    RIP, Dr. Ruth.

  27. Ke Wu

    I am heartbroken by this sad news. Doug together with his sense of humour and dedication will be dearly missed. My condolences to the Doug’s family! RIP

  28. Robert Bachman

    I first met Doug at the annual Calgary Christmas pub luncheon parties organized by Don Zver for Engineering alumni. He was an engaging and charismatic man and had no difficulty connecting with everyone in that room, whether he knew them or not. That is a rare and special gift, to add to the many other talents he possessed. He will be missed.

  29. Ed Hohenberg

    I still can’t find words to properly express my heartbreak. I’m thankful to have known him, and thankful for all the opportunities and support he gave me in the Faculty. A great human being, he left behind a better world, due to his efforts and influence.

  30. Wayne Pethrick

    I met Doug at UCalgary and subsequently worked with him. I thoroughly enjoyed his intelligence, wit, and optimism. As a U of M engineering grad, I am grateful for his incredible vision for the faculty.

  31. Leslie E Hajdo

    My deepest sympathies to Bev and their daughters.

    Doug and I started together in 1977 at the University of Calgary, and we remained colleagues for years and friends for life. He was a cheerful scholar and gentleman.

  32. Kevin Peck

    I’m also saddened to hear of Dr. Ruth’s passing. Of course, we all will not be here for ever, but in the moment, it felt as if he was a natural fit to lead the Faculty and it was for ever. His presence was strongly felt and his openness and spirit of support for all was pervasive in my years within the Engineering Faculty (I’d spent 2 years in the Faculty of Arts too in my time there, not to cast shade between faculties, but I can tell you with some authority that it was noticeably different). I grieve with his family, friends, and all for whom were graced with his presence.

  33. Nikos Pontikakis

    I just learn the passing of Dr Ruth through a friends of Engineering letter I received today from the faculty of engineering and my heart broke. I was a master student of him back in the late 90s and he was an inspiration to my entire life as an Engineer. He was a kind man always with a smile and a giant as a professor faculty member and a Dean. As I have spend 20 plus year in engineering community I never met anyone else more passionate about our profession. I feel sad of his passing and wish his family all the best.

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