Research Council: Profile
was founded in 1921the first provincial research organization in Canada.
Established as the Scientific and Industrial Research Council of Alberta (SIRCA),
its mandate was to document Alberta's mines and natural resources for industry.
Important figures in ARC's early
development: founder Dr. Henry Marshall Tory, first president of the University
of Alberta, who was considered Canada's foremost educator of the day, and was
instrumental in the founding of the National Research Council and Carleton
University; provincial secretary Jean L. Coté and Premier Charles Stewart, who
championed SIRCA; University of Alberta geologist John Allan; chief mines
inspector John Stirling, and mining professor Norman C. Pitcher.
With no shortage of potential
research projects to explore, SIRCA quickly attracted a nucleus of widely
respected professors and researchers, including Dr. Robert C. Wallace, second
president of the University of Alberta; chief chemical engineer Edgar Stansfield,
and Dr. Karl Clark, chemist,
who became internationally recognized for his oil sands research.
In 2001, the Alberta Research Council celebrates its
anniversary in headquarters on Edmonton's Karl Clark Road, named for the
researcher who unlocked the secrets of the sands.
In 1925, he demonstrated a workable paving process on a
stretch of the St. Albert Trail. But he also viewed the sands as a huge deposit
of petroleum and by 1929 patented a process for separating the oil from the
sand, a hot-water method with which Syncrude and Suncor now produce 17 percent
of Canada's domestic oil.
Cashman. A Historical Review of 75 Years of Service. Edmonton:
Alberta Research Council, 1996. With permission from the Alberta Research Council.