Thorvaldson, Thorbergur, 1883-1965 (Professor of Chemistry)

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Thorvaldson, Thorbergur, 1883-1965 (Professor of Chemistry)

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Thorbergur Thorvaldson was born in Iceland in 1883, and emigrated to Canada with his parents in 1885, settling near Gimli, Manitoba. Thorvaldson received a BSc (1906) from the University of Manitoba, and both his MSc (1909) and PhD (1911) from Harvard. From 1911-1913, on Fellowships, he studied in Dresden, Germany, and at the University of Liverpool. Thorvaldson returned to Harvard for one year as a Research Associate before joining the University of Saskatchewan as Assistant Professor of Chemistry. He was promoted to Professor of Chemistry in 1918 and named Head of the Department the following year, a post he held until 1948. In 1949 he was name the first Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, and in 1959, named Dean Emeritus. Thorvaldson gained an international reputation for his research into the chemistry of cements and the development of sulphate-resistant cement and concrete. He remained active after his retirement, as co-ordinator of research for the Saskatchewan Research Council and as a member of the National Research Council. He was also retained as a consultant on major construction projects such as the South Saskatchewan River Dam The Chemistry Building on the U of S campus was named in his honour, as was Thorvaldson Lake in northern Saskatchewan. Thorvaldson died in Saskatoon on 4 October 1965.

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