Mel Hosain

Obituary of Mel Hosain

It is with considerable sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. M.U. (Mel) Hosain PhD, professor of Civil Engineering. Dad passed suddenly on May 23, 2024 at the age of 86. Dad's life could only be summarized with one word - Amazing. He was a father, friend to many, a scholar and a teacher. Mel was born in Calcutta, India in 1938. He excelled in school and decided to study Civil Engineering (against the wishes of his father who wanted him to be a doctor). He played varsity soccer and was quite the keeper (if the stories are true). After graduating, he was awarded the Commonwealth scholarship and moved to Canada in 1961 to further his studies. His first experience in Canada was arriving in Winnipeg in the dead of winter. He completed his Masters at the University and Manitoba and then moved to Halifax (where he met Joan Kennedy) to do his PhD. After graduating, he worked with a private engineering firm but very quickly quit as he found the work much too boring. Mom and Dad then moved to Edmonton for his post-doctoral studies at the University of Alberta.

He started his first teaching position at the University of Saskatchewan in 1969 where he remained for his career. He retired in 2005 but continued on as a professor emeritus. He taught many students over the years and loved them all. He was also a prolific researcher with numerous journal publications and conference presentations. We like to think that his research ended up influencing building codes such that any modern bridge you cross or high rise building you enter has a bit of him in its design. He was recognized for his teaching skill with the 3M Teaching Excellence award and the University of Saskatchewan Master Teacher award. He was a fierce advocate for getting more women into the profession of Engineering.

Dad fully committed to Canada. He changed his name to Mel. He learned to swim, canoe, camp, fish and BBQ steaks. He was an avid Montreal Canadiens fan. He loved to work in the garden and grew prize winning apples. He loved photography and took many thousands of pictures. He would never allow himself to be photographed without at least a tie (if not a suit). He also had a great love of travelling and would never turn down an opportunity to see a new country.

He was a good father and, despite working hard, always made time for his family and friends. He was also involved in volunteer work serving on many committees as well as working with Save the Children.

Mel is survived by his children, Jason (Sheila), Greg and Lana as well as his grandchildren, Logan, Jillian and Emily. He is also survived by his ex-wife, Joan and her family as well as numerous family members back in India. He is also survived by the many kind friends who he met over the years.

The family would like to hold a celebration of life on Thursday June 27, 7-9 PM at Marquis Hall. Please email to RSVP. In lieu of flowers we would be grateful to take donations to help support the engineering scholarships he has previously created.

Safe travels, professor!

Share Your Memory of