Robert M. Hardy was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1906. He graduated in 1929 from the University of Manitoba with a B.Sc. degree as the gold medallist in civil engineering.
He went on to obtain his M.Sc. degree from McGill University and did graduate work at the University of Michigan and Harvard University.
He retired from the University in 1959 to devote his time to his consulting practice. He was re-appointed Dean of Engineering in 1963, a position he held until 1971, when he again retired to private practice.
He was co-founder of R.M. Hardy and Associates Ltd. in 1951, the forerunner of Hardy Associates, a major nationwide engineering firm.
Dr. Hardy received his commission as a Dominion Land Surveyor in March 1935.
In May of the same year he qualified as an Alberta Land Surveyor.
Dr. Hardy held many public and professional offices, including serving as president of the Association of Professional Engineers of Alberta in 1949-1950, president of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers in 1953-1954, and president of the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association in 1946.
He received numerous prestigious awards, including the Order of Canada, and he was also awarded honorary doctorate degrees from three Canadian universities.
Dr. Hardy pioneered the development of building houses, roadways and railways on permafrost, and helped plan the Alaska Highway, Arctic Railway, MacKenzie Valley Pipeline, initial development of the oil sands in Northern Alberta, and the West Coast Transmission gas pipeline in British Columbia.
Dr. Hardy was survived by his wife, Frances, and three sons: Stephen of Vancouver, Tony of Victoria, and Alex of Edmonton.
Kevin B. Beatty, ALS