One of the founders and champions of Golder Associates, Victor Milligan, P.Eng., died March 4 of what was apparently a heart attack. The 79-year-old of Oakville, Ont., was vacationing with his wife in Mali.
Born and raised in Northern Ireland, he was the first scholarship student to become head boy at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. He went on to gain a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in civil engineering from Queen’s University Belfast.
Four years after emigrating to Canada in 1960, Mr. Milligan became a founder of Golder. His guidance helped the company grow from one office in Toronto with five employees to the global ground engineering and environmental services company it is today. A legacy is the Milligan Prize, an annual award to the Golder employee who authors the best technical paper on geotechnical engineering.
Mr. Milligan received the Canadian Geotechnical Society’s highest award, the R.F. Legget Medal, and was a fellow in the Engineering Institute of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Royal Academy of Engineering, U.K. In 2002 Mr. Milligan was the presenter of the prestigious 38th Terzaghi Lecture to the American Society of Civil Engineers, and in 2005 he was awarded the most distinguished award of the EIC, the Sir John F. Kennedy Medal.
As well as his professional and leadership skills, Mr. Milligan was also an accomplished athlete. He gained fame as a world-class middle-distance runner, winning the Northern Ireland gold medal for 880 yards in 1950. Later he was selected for the U.K. team in the 1952 Olympics, but had to be dropped due to an injury.
Mr. Milligan was the captain of the Northern Ireland team in the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver. He came in fourth in the race that became known as the Miracle Mile. British runner Roger Bannister beat Australian John Landry with a 3:58.8 after Landry looked over his shoulder.
Mr. Milligan is survived by his wife, Donna, two sons, a grandson and a great niece. Make donations to: the Golder Trust for Orphans, attn: Pat Whitman, Golder Associates Ltd., 2390 Argentia Road, Mississauga ON L5N 5Z7, with cheque payable to Golder Associates Ltd., Orphans’ Trust Fund (not a registered charity); or the Canadian Cancer Society.