1996: Dr. Frederick D. Otto, P.Eng., FCAE, FEC, FGC (Hon.)


Dr. Fred Otto was born in Hardisty, Alta., and attended secondary school in Mannville. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.Sc. in chemical engineering (with distinction) in 1957. He subsequently obtained an M.Sc. in 1959 from the U of A and a PhD from the University of Michigan (1963).

He was a professor of chemical engineering at the U of A (1962-96) and served as chair of the department of chemical engineering (1975-84) and dean of the faculty of engineering (1985-94). He was appointed professor emeritus in 1996.

Otto became a member of APEGGA in 1964. His service to the association included: member of the continuing education committee (1965-67); chair of the committee on metric conversion (1973-79); member and subsequently chair of the honours and awards committee (1980-83); member (1975-95) and chair (1982-95) of the board of examiners; member of council (1985-88); member of the board of education (1985-92); and member of the executive committee in the positions of vice-president (1995-96), president (1996-97) and past-president (1997-98). He was the APEGGA director on the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (now Engineers Canada) from 1997-2003 and was appointed to the APEGGA appeal board in 2004.

Otto was president of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineers (1986-87) and was a member of the governing council of the National Research Council (1991-94). He was a member and subsequently chair of the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (1990-98).

He was a member of the advisory board for the industrial safety and loss management program at the U of A (1996-2003) and served as project director and then project advisor for the CIDA-funded U of A / Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology linkage project (1986-2000). He was a public member of the discipline and appeals tribunals for the Institute of Chartered Accountants for Alberta (2001-07).

Otto was president and CEO of DBR International (1998-2002), an Edmonton- and Houston-based group of companies providing specialized hydrocarbon phase behaviour studies, laboratory equipment and engineering software for national and international organizations in the petroleum and petrochemical industries.

Otto was the author of over 90 technical papers. A major area of research was the development of gas treating technology and computer software for the design and simulation of separation processes. In 1998, the Gas Processors Association gave him the Donald L. Katz Award in recognition of outstanding accomplishments in gas processing research and technology and for excellence in engineering education.

APEGGA recognized his contributions to the professions by awarding him the L.C. Charlesworth Professional Service Award (1990), the Centennial Leadership Award (1993) and Honorary Life Membership (1997). He was a fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada (1975), the Canadian Academy of Engineering (1991), and Engineers Canada (2009). In 2013 Otto was named an honorary fellow of Geoscientists Canada.

Fred Otto passed away on May 1, 2022.