Released Documents

After waging a year-long legal battle aimed at banning certain students from submitting ATI requests about military research ever again, the McGill administration shifted tactics and agreed to respond to certain access requests, beginning in February 2014. McGill released several hundred pages of contracts, with most substantive content redacted. You can review the entirety of what McGill released below. Each set of documents is followed by a summary of the most significant information contained therein.

McGill ATIs – Released Documents – CFD Lab

  • p. 1: The research agreement indicates that Bombardier holds a substantial amount of control over CFD Lab activities. Bombardier provides “coordination” to the research program, must approve changes to it, and may block publication of research that includes proprietary information, among other terms and conditions.
  • p. 62: A letter from SGI Canada to the Dean of Engineering reveals previously unreported financial support by SGI, a defence contractor, for CFD Lab activities. SGI describes itself as the ‘trusted leader in high performance computing’. Its list of customers includes the US Army, Air Force, and Navy, the NSA, and military contractors Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman.
  • p. 87: A previously undisclosed research agreement with major weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin, heavily redacted. Likely connected to the Falcon Project, a major US defense research initiative, which involves the development of a number of unmanned aircraft able to travel at hypersonic speeds and beyond the atmosphere while carrying missiles. Any disclosure of research results by McGill is subject to Lockheed Martin’s approval.

McGill ATIs – Released Documents – David Frost

  • p. 1: A subcontract and other documents relating to McGill research for the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency on the topic of using thermobaric explosives to counter biological weapons of mass destruction.
  • p. 50: An agreement with the Canadian military and armor manufacturer Stedfast concerning research with applications to “ballistic protection” (armor).

McGill ATIs – Released Documents – Andrew Higgins

  • p.1: A contract with the Canadian Space Agency relating to the development of hypervelocity launcher technology. The section “Milestone/Phase Authorization” on p. 5 indicates the involvement of the Canadian military (Defence Research and Development – Suffield). Researchers have conceived hypervelocity launchers as a means of launching objects into space; the technology has also been developed into missile launchers.

McGill ATIs – Released Documents – SWPG Activity Reports

  • Annual activity reports for David Frost and Andrew Higgins. Various research contracts redacted.
  • Many reports indicate NSERC funding for military-oriented research. At p. 40, for instance, NSERC grants totaling $296,000 support research on “detonation propagation in energetic materials” and the purchase of a high-speed camera for recording explosions.

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