Class of 2000
Gerald Heffernan is a world leader in the development and successful adaptation of new technologies to the steel manufacturing industry. Trained as a metallurgical engineer at the University of Toronto, Heffernan pioneered the efficient self-contained steel production facilities known as a “mini-mills,” which now account for 200 million tons of the world's 700 million ton steel output.
In the spirit of true engineering entrepreneurship, Gerald Heffernan has used his technological expertise to establish six steel mills based on advanced electric arc furnaces and continuous casting technology. He also built an industry-leading Canadian steel-making company, Co-Steel, which has employed more than three thousand people in three countries.
Throughout his career, Heffernan has placed both his business and scientific talents at the disposal of his country. He served as a Director of the Business Council on National Issues, a Director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, a member of the Ontario government Committee on Government Productivity, and a member of the federal government’s Neilson Commission.
Heffernan has served as Chairman of Texas Industries, Inc., as an active Director and Shareholder of Clairvest Group, NRI Industries, and Cesaroni Technology, as Vice-Chairman of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and as President of G.R. Heffernan & Associates Ltd.
Gerald Heffernan holds several awards and designations, including the AIME Benjamin E. Fairless Award for leadership in new design and steel-making techniques, the APEO Gold Medal, Officer of the Order of Canada, and the U.K.’s Institute of Metals Bessemer Gold Medal for technological innovation in the steel industry. He belongs to the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame, and was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1987. He is recognized as a highly skilled engineer and scientist.