Douglas Stewart Ellis obtained his MA from Queen's in 1908 and his BSc in 1910.
While he was still a student, he worked as a demonstrator in physics and upon graduation from Arts, he lectured in mathematics for a few years.
During WWI, he served as a Lieutenant in the Queen's Fifth Field Company. Also, after spending two and a half years with Canadian Engineering in France and Belgium, Ellis was a Lt. Col. and O.C. of the Canadian Engineers Training Centre in Sussex, England. He was awarded a Distinguished Service Order by King George V on June 3, 1918.
After the war, Ellis went to graduate school at Cornell University and then returned to Queen's to join the Department of Civil Engineering. Much of his work focused on hydraulics.
Ellis was made Head of Civil Engineering in 1940 and served as Dean of Applied Science from 1943-1955. He had a difficult role as Dean because in the postwar years, the interest in science and engineering classes increased dramatically and the faculty was so overcrowded that chemistry experiments were being conducted in hallways. Ellis guided the faculty though these tumultuous times and encouraged the University to greatly expand its teaching and research facilities for engineering students.
Ellis Hall is named in his honour.