Uncle Władek – One Katyn Family Story: Major Władysław Julian Siemek, Geographer (1897 – 1940)
About the lecture: This lecture will focus on the forgotten human aspect of the 1940 Katyń massacre of Polish officers by the NKVD. Dr. Alexander Jabłoński will discuss the life of one Polish officer – Major Władysław Julian Siemek, a staff member of the highly regarded pre-war military institution, the Military Geographical Institute (Wojskowy Instytut Geograficzny) in Warsaw, Poland. More than 30% of its staff perished during WWII, with the majority killed in Katyń forest.
About the speaker: Alexander M. Jabłoński received his BSc & MS in civil engineering at the Technical University of Cracow, Poland (1970), MS in mechanics and materials engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (1982) and PhD in structural dynamics at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada (1989).
He has more than 50 years of experience in various fields of engineering, and reconnaissance projects, project management and strategy planning. He worked as an engineer in Poland, Finland, Norway, Germany, and in the USA. Since 1992, he has been working as Research Scientist, Research Engineer and Manager in Canadian Public Service. He was one of Managers of the Space Plan Task Force (SPTF) for the development of the Long-Term Space Plan III for Canada (1999-2009). Currently, he is working at the David Florida Laboratory, Canadian Space Agency in Ottawa. He is also an Adjunct Research Professor at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Carleton University in Ottawa. He is Fellow of CASI, Associate Fellow of AIAA, Member of Aerospace Division of ASCE, and recipient of various engineering and scientific awards.
Since his early life in Poland, he has studied the Polish and world history for decades. He writes historical essays and presentations, especially on the modern history of Poland including the World War II and the postwar era of the Soviet occupation. Currently he serves as President of the Oskar Halecki Institute in Canada and as a member of the Program Council of the newly established Institute of the Heritage of the National Thought in Warsaw, Poland.