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Mourning the passing of retired faculty member Ralph Francis

Author: Communications Office

Posted on Oct 24, 2019

Category: News and Notices

Please join me in offering condolences to family and friends of retired faculty member Ralph Francis, who passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019 in Fredericton, NB. He was 90.

A graduate of UNB’s bachelor of science in civil engineering program (’60), Ralph was awarded the Ketchum Silver Medal, which is given to the student with the highest standing in their senior year of civil engineering at UNB. Ralph first began working at the faculty of engineering on the UNB Fredericton campus immediately following graduation. In 1981, he became the head of the department of civil engineering. He retired as professor in 1995 after 35 years of service.

Throughout his career, Ralph did a considerable amount of consulting work on the structural analysis of New Brunswick firms and government projects. His UNB MScEng thesis, Photoelastic study of gusset plate stresses, was completed in 1964. Before coming to UNB, he also worked for a large consulting firm in Montreal. In 1996, he received a lifetime membership to the Association of Professional Engineers of New Brunswick.

To honour Ralph’s work, the Professor Ralph Francis Bursary and the Francis Vanicek Prize in Civil Engineering were created—both of which recognize and celebrate student achievement in civil engineering.

Ralph was remembered by colleagues as an excellent and disciplined teacher with a very strong work ethic. He was also very supportive, but strict with his students—they had to meet every deadline.

Condolences can be made online. Flags were lowered on both the Fredericton and Saint John campuses on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. Ralph will be missed by all who knew him and our thoughts are with his family.


Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle

President and Vice-Chancellor

Category: News and Notices

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