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Stanley Hoover Collins

(1917 - 2010)


Born in Toronto to the sound of clip-clop of horses' hooves on pavement. Refused to go to school until dragged there. Moved by parents to the country (Willowdale) in 1924 and walked the wintry miles to school. Was small and puny. Attended Earl Haig Collegiate. Was President of student council in final year when given a job as lab-boy in Optics in the University of Toronto Department of Physics. Made $8 a week for three years and took Matric exams without tuition. Bad idea: entered Maths and Physics with poor background.

Survived for three academic years and one month, when offered a job in the wartime Research Enterprises Limited. A good move, but should have finished degree. Went to Bausch & Lomb to learn glass engraving. Designed extremely precise mechanical and photographic engraving equipment, hired and trained staff. Learned a lot about what a wavelength means in mechanics and optics. Designed and used optical test equipment.

Returned to Physics in 1945 and completed B.A. and M.A. Stony broke with wife (Gary, God bless her) and three kids, took summer job in research department of Massey-Harris. Stayed for nine years, another bad move but varied and interesting work. Investigated patent ideas, designed and tested a forage harvester, worked on aerodynamics of grain separation. Invented a forage cutter. Designed tractor and combine transmission testers, and test-track instrumentation.

Back to the U. of T. as lecturer in optics in Engineering in 1956. Learned photogrammetry from K. B. Jackson while trying to teach elliptically polarized light to petrology students.

In 1958 became an Associate Professor, School of Engineering, University of Guelph. Taught most basic engineering subjects, vector and tensor analysis, photogrammetry and photo interpretation, surveying and positional astronomy. In 1965/66 lectured at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad, and returned to Canada determined to concentrate on photogrammetry. In 1967 visited the National Research Council and invented Stereoscopic Orthophotography. Worked on optical-mechanical systems for eight years, and then started to go digital. Was given Professorship.

Hosted the Second Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing in 1972, and the first Canadian symposium on Digital Terrain Models in 1973.

Helped to organize the Ontario Association for Remote Sensing in 1972, and served as first president.

Organized inter-university graduate course on Integrated Aerial Surveys, involving Toronto, Waterloo, McMaster and Guelph.

Served as visiting professor of photo interpretation in northeast Brazil, 1976-77, and in Curitiba, Brazil for one month in 1979.

Founded Collins & Moon Limited in 1978 for development of what is now GIS. Retired from U. of Guelph in 1982 and from Collins & Moon in 1986.

Since retirement, served as consultant in photo interpretation and photogrammetry in many legal disputes over land boundaries. Played with mathematical computer graphics. Played a lot of golf. Now learning to make a very little work or play last a long, long time.

Website maintained by jim f.

Last modified: March 26, 2014