Josef Kates

Dr. Josef Kates was born in Vienna (May 5, 1921). He was the son of Baruch (Bernard) and Anna Katz (née Entenberg). He married Lillian Kroch (deceased), and then Mary K. Hill. His children were Louis, Naomi, Celina and Philip A.


Josef arrived in Canada in 1940. He lived for a short time in New Brunswick and Quebec (1940 - 1942), before settling in Toronto (1942-present).

He received the following education at Goethe-Realschule (Vienna: 1931 - 1938); McGill University (Montreal: 1941, junior and senior matriculation); University of Toronto (Toronto: 1944 - 1948, Honours in Mathematics and Physics; 1948 - 1949: M.A. in Applied Math; 1949 - 1951: Ph.D. in Physics).

He started his career working for the Imperial Optical Company of Toronto in 1942 and was in charge of precision optics for Royal Canadian Navy equipment until he left in 1944.

He then spent time working for Rogers Vacuum Tube Company, (now Royal Philips Electronics), for the next 4 years in the development and manufacturing of radar and radio tubes.

This background gave him a solid foundation on which to pursue his work in 1948 at the University of Toronto, Computation Centre where he participated in the design and building of UTEC the first pilot model of a computer built in Canada. Dr. Kates also built the first digital game playing machine ("Bertie the Brain") which was exhibited at the 1950 Canadian National Exhibition and which used a special electron tube of his own design, the Additron Tube.

He went on to become the President of KCS Ltd in Toronto between 1954 and 1966 and as a co-managing partner in Kates, Peat, Marwick & Co. He served as a computer consultant to numerous Canadian and American firms and organizations.

He was involved in the creation of "Setak Computer Services Corp. Ltd." (his last name spelled backwards) which was based in Toronto. It offered computer access and consulting based on Burroughs computers, e.g. the B5500.

In 1975 he acted as chairman of the, now defunct, Science Council of Canada in Ottawa for 3 years. Other positions as chairman, CEO and Director of companies such as Teleride Sage Ltd. (1977 - 1996) and IRD Teleride (1996 - 1997) followed until his retirement.


He was honoured many times in life, including:
*Canadian Good Roads Association (now Transport Association of Canada (1957: best paper)
*University of Waterloo (Waterloo: 1979-85, Chancellor; 1993: Chancellor Emeritus)
*LL.D. (Concordia University: 1986)
*Medal from the Engineering Institute of Canada (1970)
*Julian Smith Medal (1977)
*Engineering Institute of Canada (1990: Fellow)
*Canadian Association of Management Consultants (1994: Fellow)


He retained membership in the following organizations
*Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto) (member of the Board of Governors)
*Technion University, Israel (member of the Canadian Board)
*Donalda Club (Toronto)
*Canadian Board of the Weizmann Institute (Israel)


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