Nautel founder Dennis Covill was recently appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada. The Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honors, was established in 1967 (during Canada’s centennial year) to “recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to the nation.” Over the last 45 years, around 5,000 people from all sectors of Canadian society have been invested into the Order. Mr. Covill was recognized for his contribution to engineering and science.
A pioneer in the transmitter industry, Covill founded Nautel Limited in 1969 to design and build solid state navigational beacons, using technologies that at the time were revolutionary. Existing transmission technologies in the 1960’s were primarily tube-based, requiring large footprints and extensive cooling systems. Designs brought to the market by Mr. Covill and his team introduced much smaller footprints, capabilities for redundancy, hot-swapping of modules, and other technologies now considered “basic” to the transmitter industry. Nautel later expanded its business to develop AM and FM transmitters for radio, and is now considered one of the world’s leading companies in the field. Covill served as Nautel’s president for many years, but felt that his true calling was in the engineering side of the business, designing unique solutions for navigational beacons and broadcast transmission needs.
Covill leveraged a relatively small investment of $35,000 into a company that has become a major player in the RF transmission business. The company recently expanded into the television transmission industry. In addition to the company’s worldwide broadcast transmitter sales, Nautel is also involved in the aerospace industry, providing RF generators for plasma-driven space vehicles. Nautel also manufactures transmitters for NOAA’s weather radio system, and stays true to its original roots, creating new technologies for navigational beacons that are used around the world for maritime and other industries.
“Dennis Covill is a true pioneer in RF engineering and the transmitter business, and we are deeply honored to be associated with him,” said Peter Conlon, Nautel President and CEO. “He set in motion a company that has amazing values, both in terms of quality and in its philosophy of daily operations. Although he has now retired from Nautel, his values live on in our designs and the way we conduct our business. His receipt of the Order of Canada membership is richly deserved.”