Paul DiNovo (JCI 1950) B.A.Sc., M.B.A., P.Eng.
Paul wrote: He graduated from JCI in 1950 getting a “J” for athletics (Football mainly, some basketball and floor hockey) and excellent marks. He graduated with honours from UofT in Mechanical Engineering in 1954 and later earned an MBA. at McMaster. He is the elder brother of Cheri DiNovo, a former NDP MPP for Parkdale-High Park and now minister of Trinity-St. Paul’s Church on Bloor St.
Relatively few engineers in Canada used to be involved in product design as most was done in the U.S. Paul was the exception, as even when he worked for U.S. subsidiaries, his designs and design improvements proved to be exceptionally successful. He did so well in his career that he has been nominated for a UofT Alumni Award, an honour indeed. He has been given Certificates of Appreciation by three separate groups, an Ontario Volunteer Service Award, a Certificate of Fellowship by Engineers Canada and has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Honour by the Professional Engineers of Ontario, one of the association’s highest honours.
He held positions of President, Director of Engineering and Product Design Manager at several companies in Canada. He designed a wide range of products ranging from plumbing fittings to industrial and commercial steel buildings. He designed blast-cleaning, finishing and air pollution control equipment. He was project manager for two Toronto-area YMCA complexes. He developed a way that people could obtain normally unaffordable homes. He helped entrepreneurs in First Nations Reservations. Most of the firms he worked for became the leaders in their industry. One product, a farm building, was adapted by a U.S. affiliate the year following its sale in Canada. It was the most successful new product the U.S. company had ever introduced.
His reputation led to part-time teaching positions at UofT, Sheridan College and McMaster University. At the latter, he taught creative product design. Design assignments included everything from a steerable toboggan to oil and gas pipelines that crossed from the Arctic to central Canada. He may have been one of the best engineers Canada has ever produced. His work has done much to improve the environment and the standard of living of Canadians.
Due to the tremendous success of the products he introduced during his working career, he likes to joke that he was a Canadian version of Steve Jobs and since retiring on his investments, he is now a relatively poor version of Warren Buffet.