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Professor earns highest award in his field of study

January 16, 2014 — 
Frank Hawthorne

Frank Hawthorne

Dr. Frank Hawthorne, Geological Sciences, received the Roebling Medal, the highest award of the Mineralogical Society of America, at the 125th annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Denver, Co.

Dr. Hawthorne is a Canada Research Chair in Crystallography and Mineralogy and a Distinguished Professor of Geological Sciences in the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources.

“He is an extremely imaginative scientist and continually introduces new ideas and approaches across a wide range of mineralogy,” Faculty Dean Norman Halden said of Dr. Hawthorne at the event.

“He refuses to gloss over difficulties, to accept ‘woolly’ solutions to difficult problems, or to publish before he feels that he understands the problem at hand. These are the reasons why he has made such fundamental and widespread contributions to mineralogy, and these are the reasons why he has been awarded the Roebling Medal.”

Dr. Hawthorne’s research program examines what controls the arrangements of atoms in minerals and how these arrangements determine the mineral’s behavior in Earth processes. His work enhances our understanding of near-surface Earth processes and how pollutants behave in the environment. In short, his work will help us to develop safe ways to dispose of nuclear waste, and efficiently and effectively react to toxic and radiogenic spills.

Dr. Hawthorne is an Officer in the Order of Canada, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

In his career, he has published over 600 refereed papers in scientific journals and 30 chapters in books. He was listed by Thomson Scientific as the most cited Geoscientist in the world for 1997-2006. Between 1990 and 2000, Sciencewatch listed him as the most cited Mineralogist/Crystallographer and the third most cited Solid-Earth Scientist. In 2008 he was awarded the Canada Council Killam Prize in Natural Sciences and in 2009 he was recognized with the Carnegie Medal of the Hillman Foundation.

Dr. Hawthorne was presented with the award in October.

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