Dr. Ernest Wilmot Guptill was born September 5, 1919 to Arthur E. Guptill and Hope Reade at Grand Harbour. He received his early education at the Grand Harbour School. His family moved to Wolfville, N.S. when he and his two siblings were of college age.
Ernest completed his BSc at Acadia University in Wolfville, his MSc at the University of Western Ontario and his PHD in Physics at McGill University in 1946.
He married Miriam MacKay and they had four children: Douglas, Larry, Fred, and Mary. The family moved to Halifax when he was appointed the assistant professor of the Physics Department at Dalhousie University. In 1958 he became the George Monroe professor of Physics and Department Head, serving as head for 10 years. During his 10 years at the department he established a superbly equipped laboratory and gained the admiration of colleagues and students alike. His most important work was in nuclear magnetic resonance, acoustics and low temperature research. But he is probably most remembered by his students as a much loved, respected and creative teacher.
His “Slotted Array” co-invented with W. H. Watson, resulted in nine patents on a radar device now used on commercial vessels. This provided much higher resolution radar which contributed to successes of Allied Air Forces operating in Europe.
Guptill was an experienced sailor who tragically died in a boating accident, 20 March 1976.