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Trent University Congratulates Professor Emeritus Dr. Donald Mackay


Dr. Mackay to be invested into the Order of Canada: October 30

Friday, October 29, 2004, Peterborough

Trent University's Dr. Donald Mackay, professor emeritus, will be among the 46 individuals invested into the Order of Canada at Rideau Hall on Saturday, October 30, 2004. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada, will preside at the investiture ceremony.

"On behalf on the Trent community, I would like to extend sincere congratulations to Prof. Mackay," said President Bonnie Patterson. "This highest honour, well-deserved, is representative of lifetime achievement and Prof. Mackay's commitment to furthering the field of environmental science."

It was announced in January 2004, that Prof. Mackay had received Canada's highest honour for lifetime achievement in his appointment to the Order of Canada. Prof. Mackay, the founding director of the Canadian Environmental Modelling Centre (CEMC) at Trent, was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada 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.

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:

Alicia Doris, communications officer, 748-1011, ext. 1456

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Last Updated November 2, 2004