A pioneer and friend remembered

January 23, 2015

A man considered a pioneer and ardent promoter of clean energy whose wisdom, sense of humour and extensive knowledge impressed all who knew him is being fondly remembered by his friends and colleagues at Ontario Centres of Excellence.

Sandy Stuart died peacefully at age 90 at his home with his family by his side on Dec. 20, 2014.

 “The news of Sandy’s death hit us hard.  He was a very special person, always there to support OCE in any way he could,” says Carole Champion, OCE’s Sector Lead for Energy and Environment.

“When Sandy spoke everyone listened,” says Balinder Rai, Sector Manager. “He would listen hard and then provide very clear-sighted advice based on his solid knowledge of the energy sector.”   

Sandy was a founding member of OCE’s Centre for Energy Board and until last year a valuable contributor to the Energy and Environment Sector Advisory Board (SAB).   He was recruited to the Energy Board when first established in 2005 for his deep understanding of energy technology and his experience as an entrepreneur who understood the workings of energy markets.  

A pioneer in hydrogen technology in particular, Sandy was a principal in The Electrolyser Corporation (later called Stuart Energy Systems, which subsequently merged with Hydrogenics), a firm he founded with his father to build hydrogen gas generating plants and fueling stations as an alternative to carbon fuels.  

Board Members and members of the former OCE Centre of Energy; members of OCE’s Energy and Environment Sector Advisory Board (SAB); and former and current OCE staff reacted to news of his death:

“We are so lucky to have benefitted from his sage advice and enormous wisdom, which helped to guide the fledgling Centre for Energy and the Energy and Environment SAB. Sandy could immediately discriminate between good ideas and those that had no hope of succeeding based on his solid knowledge and experience. He commanded everyone’s respect and admiration. It’s hard to express how much he will be missed and how much we all valued his friendship.” 

Many others have expressed heartfelt thoughts and condolences.

 “This is sad news indeed.  I feel privileged to have known Sandy and shared many good conversations with him.”

Sarah Thorn, Founder, Decision Partners

“He was really a special person and I am so sorry to hear this news.”

Cara Clairman, President and CEO, PlugnDrive

“I greatly enjoyed and appreciated Sandy’s wise and friendly advice. As many have said, Sandy was a fine gentleman and a wonderful friend to OCE.”

Dr. Dan McGillivray, Toronto Hydro Distinguished Fellow, Executive Director, Centre for Urban Energy, Ryerson University, Former Managing Director, OCE Centre for Energy

“He should have been called Sir Sandy or even Lord Stuart as he was gracious, noble and pioneering. He lives on through all of us. We continue his work.”

Nicholas Parker, Global Sustainability Entrepreneur and Investor, Global Acceleration Partners Inc., and Parker Venture Management Inc.

“Very sad. He was a real gentleman and I enjoyed his company whenever our paths crossed.”

David Butters
President & CEO, The Association of Power Producers of Ontario (APPrO)

“He always had something to say that I did not know before. I truly found that twinkle in his eyes most rewarding as he made a point to set the world to rights…What can one say on such a sad occasion other than seek solace that we live in a privileged world of rich intellectual interactions that Sandy helped nurture. He certainly was at the top of the pinnacle”

Dr. Jatin Nathwani, Visiting Professor – Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Baden- Weurttemberg, Germany, Ontario Research Chair in Public Policy for Sustainable Energy, Executive Director, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE), University of Waterloo, Canada

“Sandy's beneficent presence was felt in many sectors.  At times, I'd corner him for advice and he was always on the mark. A quiet man with deep insights and a generous heart.”  

Mark Garscadden, Retired, First Managing Director, OCE Centre for Energy