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Trent University Professor Emeritus Dr. Donald Mackay appointed to The Order of Ontario

Friday, March 19, 2004


Trent University's Dr. Donald Mackay, professor emeritus, has received Ontario's highest honour for lifetime achievement in his appointment to The Order of Ontario, as announced yesterday by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.

Prof. Mackay, the founding director of the Canadian Environmental Modelling Centre (CEMC) at Trent, was also appointed to the Order of Canada in January 2004.

The Order of Ontario recognizes and honours those who have enriched the lives of others by attaining the highest standards of excellence and achievement in their respective fields. This year's honourees will bring to 373, the total number of recipients since 1987, when the honour was first presented.

Prof. Mackay is one of Canada's leading scientists and 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.

Susan Clark, Vice-President (Academic), paid tribute to Prof. Mackay's record of teaching and his extensive contributions to scholarly research. "Prof. Mackay is an international leader in his field of scientific research. The work he has done to establish the Canadian Environmental Modelling Centre at Trent University and the development of the "Mackay models" has advanced our understanding of the behaviour of environmental contaminants. With its focus on high standards of achievement and excellence, it is fitting that Dr. Mackay be awarded the Order of Ontario. On behalf of Trent University I would like to congratulate Prof. Mackay for this latest award honouring his distinguished academic career."

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.

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 prestigious 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.

Prof. Mackay will be invested into The Order of Ontario by Lieutenant-Governor James K. Bartleman at a Queen's Park ceremony on March 31.

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For more information, please contact:

Prof. Emeritus Donald Mackay, (705) 748-1011, ext. 1489 or

Prof. Susan Clark, Vice President (Academic), (705) 748-1011, ext. 1694


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Last Updated March 19, 2004