For 12 of his years at the University of Alberta, Adams served as head of the Canadian Petroleum Institute, an Edmonton-based, nonprofit, international training, consulting and networking agency for oil industry professionals. His work in the Institute was done alongside his teaching responsibilities.
Adams left the University of Alberta in 1988 and served as president of the Technical University of Nova Scotia for four years before it became part of what is now known as Dalhousie University. In 1993 Adams joined Churchill Corporation, a Canadian company that provides commercial building construction, industrial construction, industrial insulation, industrial electrical, maintenance and related services throughout western Canada. The corporation is the leading Canadian Contracting company of its kind. Adams has served as a director of Churchill since 1993 and a chairman since 2002. Until recently he also served as interim president and continues to serve as interim CEO.
Adams is a recipient of the Sanderson Award, a career award given by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineers (CSCE) that recognizes outstanding contributions by a civil engineer to the development and practice of structural engineering in Canada. Candidates for this award must be nominated by their CSCE peers for noteworthy achievements and career excellence. Nominees must also have more than twenty years of career experience.
Out of the Classroom
Before coming to Lehigh for his Ph.D., Adams graduated from Dalhousie University in 1954. During his undergraduate studies he belonged to the 1954 Dalhousie championship football team. They were the winners of the Purdy Cup, a symbol of Canadian football supremacy. His team was recently inducted into the Dalhousie Sports Hall of Fame in honor of the 50th anniversary of this win.
Dr. Adams and his wife, Barbara, have three sons and four granddaughters.