The School of Journalism and Communication congratulates PhD student Peter Garland for winning the British Commission for Maritime History’s (BCMH) 2020-21 MA Dissertation Prize. Mr. Garland’s thesis, The Ionosphere: Undermining Britain’s Imperial Power – Wireless and Its Impact on Geopolitics and Naval Operations, 1919-45 was completed at University of Portsmouth.

In announcing the award, the BCMH lauded Garland’s study for the ways it “brought together the technological, operational and political factors that contributed to the Royal Navy failing to establish a lead in wireless communications.”

Garland’s career in communications started as a sixteen-year-old apprentice in a short-wave wireless transmitting station in his native United Kingdom. This station was one of the original links in the Marconi Imperial Beam System. He came to Canada in 1980 and worked on satellite communications for more than three decades. In 2014, Garland was awarded the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) award for achievement in Aerospace Communications. He retired from his professional life in 2019 to begin his graduate studies.

“I will always be grateful for the opportunity that Portsmouth gave me to complete my Masters in this subject area,” Garland says. “It is interesting that I have now landed at Carleton, as I will credit Dwayne Winseck’s book Communication and Empire for sparking my interest in pursuing this area of study, enabling me to forge a connection between communications, commerce and sea power. I believe that my working experience and interest in naval history came together in a way that gave me an ability to contribute to this field of study.”

Garland’s doctoral research will take a wider view and deeper dive into the history of wireless communications and the impacts of communications technology on geopolitics and society. He also continues to be interested in improving rural communications access in Canada and hopes to play a part in that endeavour.

Monday, March 22, 2021 in ,
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