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Trent University Professor Emeritus Dr. Donald Mackay appointed to the Order of Canada

Prof. Mackay among 102 new appointments announced by the Governor General of Canada

Wednesday, January 28, 2004, Peterborough

Trent University's Dr. Donald Mackay, professor emeritus, has received Canada's highest honour for lifetime achievement in his appointment to the Order of Canada, as announced yesterday by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada.

Prof. Mackay, the founding director of the Canadian Environmental Modelling Centre (CEMC) at Trent, has been appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada and is among 102 new appointments, including 33 Officers.

The Order of Canada was established in 1967 to recognize outstanding achievement and service in various fields of human endeavour. Appointments are made on the recommendation of an Advisory Council, chaired by the Chief Justice of Canada. The Governor General is the Chancellor and Principal Companion of the Order.

"As one of Canada's leading scientists, he has greatly contributed to the quality and our stewardship of the global environment. Recognized internationally for his models describing the behaviour and effects of oil spills, he later developed an innovative system to predict the fate and effects of chemicals in the environment. The 'Mackay models,' as they are known, are used as the basis of regulatory and environmental policy decisions around the world. In 2001, he was the first Canadian recipient of the prestigious Honda Prize for his work on eco-technology," states the award citation.

After 28 years as a member of the faculty of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto, Prof. Mackay came to Trent in 1995. Prof. Mackay retired as a full-time faculty member in Environmental and Resource Studies and Chemistry in July 2002, but continues his research and the supervision of three graduate students, as director of the CEMC.

President Bonnie Patterson praised Prof. Mackay for research accomplishments that have had incredible influence globally.

"Prof. Mackay's research has augmented the study of environmental science in the Trent community and around the world," she said.

"On behalf of Trent University, it is indeed a pleasure to congratulate and compliment Prof. Mackay on this highest of honours. Though his scholarly work has been widely recognized, this is truly an appropriate and well-deserved acknowledgement of Prof. Mackay's lifetime achievement."

Prof. Mackay was the first Canadian to receive the prestigious Honda Award for his work in Eco-Technology and the development of leading edge 'Mackay Models' in 2001. That same year, he was the recipient of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Award of Excellence and one of three finalists for the 2001 Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal For Science and Engineering.

The aim of Prof. Mackay's research is to contribute to "green chemistry" or "eco-chemistry" through the improved design and use of chemicals of commerce in which environmental issues are more fully evaluated. Society can then enjoy the benefits of modern chemistry without risking problems of chemical pollution and toxicity which have been characteristic of the past.

The objective of the CEMC (see is to contribute to improved management of chemicals in our environment locally, regionally, nationally and globally by acquiring and analyzing information on chemical properties which influence their fate in the environment, and developing, proving and distributing computer-based mass balance models which describe and predict the fate and effects of these chemicals in the environment.

These models essentially predict where chemicals will go throughout the environment, how long they will persist and how humans and other species become exposed to them. This understanding can provide a sound foundation for managing or regulating chemicals, and in some cases banning them completely.


For further information, please contact:

Prof. Donald Mackay, via Eva Webster - 748-1011, Ext. 1005

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Last Updated January 29, 2004