Dr. Philip A. Lapp of Toronto Canada passed away yesterday (Sept. 25). He had suffered from a protracted illness. Dr. Lapp was a board member of the Canadian Air and Space Museum. His achievements in the field of space engineering were considerable.
Dr. Philip Lapp, P.Eng was President of Philip A. Lapp Limited. He was also the former Senior Vice President and Director of Spar Aerospace Limited and was the recipient of numerous awards, medals and distinctions for his work.
Dr. Lapp held engineering degrees from the University of Toronto (Bachelors in Engineering Physics 1946-50) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Masters and Doctoral degrees 1950-54).
He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute and Ryerson University.
He was awarded the Gold Medal from the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario, the Centennial Medal and the Golden Jubilee Medal.
Dr. Lapp served as Chief Engineer at de Havilland Aircraft of Canada, Special Products Division. He went on to serve as Director of Technical Operations and then Senior Vice President of Spar Aerospace Limited — retiring as Deputy Chair.
Recognized internationally as an expert in aerospace, Dr. Lapp was named an Officer of the Order of Canada; awarded Honorary Doctoral degrees from McMaster University, Carleton University and York University; and appointed Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute.
Dr Lapp was instrumental in the construction of Canada's first satellite Alouette, leading to Canada becoming the third space nation.
He was also oversight chairman on the Canadarm and Dextre robotic arm programs.
He was co-founder of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) through its predecessor the Canadian Astronautical Society.
He was instrumental in getting Canada's Radarsat program off the ground.
He authored the paper "Extendable Boom System for Space Vehicles" which led to the legendary STEM antennas going to the American and Soviet space agencies while Chief of Engineering at SPAR. The STEM booms then flew to the moon with the Apollo J missions and to Mars with the first Soviet Mars probes.
Dr Lapp was co-author of the "Chapman Report" which launched Canada's Space Policy in 1967 and he could be considered one of the principal architects of Canada's space program.
He volunteered his time as a member of the board at the Canadian Air & Space Museum in Toronto until becoming ill in 2013.
He will be sorely missed by all of his colleagues at the Canadian Air and Space Museum and by people throughout the space and engineering communities.