Hector Jacques received his general certificate of education from the University of Cambridge, his bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, and his MEng from the Technical University of Nova Scotia. His postgraduate research was in the field of soil mechanics under the able direction of Dr. G.G. Meyerhof.
After graduating in 1967, Hector joined Warnock Hersey Int. Ltd. in their Halifax office and two years later was appointed manager of the Geotechnical Services Division for the Atlantic Region.
In 1972, along with Michael Whitford, Hector formed Jacques Whitford and Associates Limited to offer services in the earth sciences disciplines in the Atlantic Region. Under his guidance as CEO, the firm grew rapidly to 45 offices across North America and internationally with more than 1,700 highly trained professionals worldwide. The company was sold to Stantec in 2009. The last position he held at the firm was chair of the board. Under his leadership, Jacques Whitford was chosen by the Financial Post and Arthur Andersen & Co. as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Private Companies in 1994, the very first year of the program and the only engineering firm to be honoured that year.
Hector has received numerous awards over the last four decades, including the Engineering Award for Distinctive Achievement in the Practice of Engineering by the Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia (1983), the Beaubien Award, again for distinctive achievement in the practice of engineering, from the Association of Consulting Engineers (1986), and the Canada 125 Anniversary Medal (1993) for his significant contributions to compatriots, community, and country.
He has received honorary doctorates from Saint Mary’s University (1995), Acadia University (2001), the University College of Cape Breton (2001), and Dalhousie University (2005).
He was named Atlantic Canada Entrepreneur of the Year (1996) and became a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (1997) and the Engineering Institute of Canada (1994). .
In 2001, Hector was inducted into the Nova Scotia Business Hall of Fame. Additionally, the Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia presented him their Gold Medal in2002, an award designed to bestow distinction on outstanding engineers in Nova Scotia and to recognize exceptional achievements in their chosen fields.
More recently, Hector was named Petroleum Pioneer for 2006 by the Offshore Technologies Association of Nova Scotia, which honours individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of the Nova Scotia petroleum industry. In 2007, Hector was made an officer of the Order of Canada.
He currently serves on five boards and has also previously been director and chaired numerous other business and institutional boards.