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Memorable Manitobans

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Memorable Manitobans: Frederick William Gilbert (1910-1966)

Nuclear engineer.

Born at Winnipeg on 24 April 1910, son of Rev. Henry E. Gilbert and Lora Gilbert, he attended Greenway School, Daniel McIntyre Collegiate, United College, and Queens University, graduating from the latter with an Engineering Physics degree, in 1936. He worked in several gold mines before joining Defence Industries Limited where he was employed during the Second World War. From there, he joined the Chalk River nuclear reactor construction project, Canada’s first major nuclear reactor. Prominent amongst Canadian nuclear engineers, he played a large role in the formation of hazard review regulations which now govern all atomic activity in Canada. He was the manager in charge of branch that commissioned the Canada-India Reactor near Bombay, India.

In 1961, he became the General Manager for the Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment (WNRE) and is credited with advancing its early growth and development, as well as that of the Town of Pinawa. He and wife Mabel C. Gilbert had five children: Kenneth Gilbert, William Gilbert, Kathleen Gilbert, Lynne Gilbert Bigg, and Judy Gilbert. He was a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario and the United Church of Canada.

He died suddenly at Pinawa on 27 August 1966 and is commemorated by F. W. Gilbert School.


1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 29 August 1966, page 24.

“Fred W. Gilbert, WNRE Manager, passes suddenly,” The Springfield Leader, 30 August 1966, page 1.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 11 January 2014

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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