Prof. John. A. Meech passed away Feburary 9, 2015.
Prof. John. A. Meech was a well-established Professor of Mining Engineering
who made an outstanding impact in the Mining Departments at both Queens
University and the University of British Columbia. He first graduated from
McGill with a Bachelor of Engineering in 1970, and then progressed to
Queens University where he completed his master's and Ph.D. in Mineral
Prior to his employment as a Professor at Queens, Meech worked first as a
Metallurgist and then as a Senior Assistant Metallurgical Engineer at Roan
Consolidated Mines, in Zambia, Africa. After an accomplished 16 years at
Queens, Prof. Meech travelled west and began what would become an
extremely successful career with the University of British Columbia, in 1989.
Meech's accomplishments in the Mining Department of UBC were plentiful. In
2000, he founded the Center for Environmental Research in Minerals, Metals
and Materials which has worked with over 30 researchers to improve mining
environments all across the world. One notable accomplishment was the
Millennium Plug Project in 2001, which allowed a previously polluted creek to
become healthy enough for adult pink salmon to spawn and thrive in.
Apart from his work with mining, Prof. Meech had a deep passion for robotics
that inspired him to found 'UBC Thunderbird Robotics'. This club, which was
designed to allow students to work hands on with autonomous ground vehicles, was both popular and successful. One year, the students
transitioned a 1972 Volkswagen Beetle to become completely electric, and
then drove it over a span of 14 days from Vancouver to Halifax.
Prof. Meech was awarded the Fray International Sustainability Award at
FLOGEN SIPS 2014 which took place in Cancun, Mexico. His efforts to
address the impact of past mining on our environments and his
implementation of over 50 sustainability based projects allowed him to present
12 papers at the Summit.
His research activities were vast and focussed on the relationship between
mining and the environment. Later in his career, his interests evolved into the
field of geothermal energy systems and he was deeply involved in reducing
the footprint of mining and processing through batch processes and reducing
energy use. In his career, Prof. Meech made over 200 refereed publications.
Prof. Meech's commitment to mining research and fostering a sustainable
world will not be forgotten.
Prof Meech was an exceptional example of the engineers SIPS strives to
honour. At the 2014 SIPS conference, he exclaimed, "What a pleasure and
honour it is to be a part of this conference, we are very fortunate to have
somebody like Florian who clearly is out to promote science and engineering.
Not just promoting it within society by getting the Queen to give us a new
award in engineering, but also within our own group, I've noticed a
transformation within the group each evening as the gala presentations have
taken place. The first night people were quiet and laid back, typical of
scientists and engineers and last night I think all of us wanted to get up on the
stage and dance! So you are having a big impact, and I really appreciate
seeing how you are helping to change the culture of who we are which is part
of the sustainability." At the conference, FLOGEN had the honour of awarding
Prof. Meech with the Fray International Sustainability Award for all his
Dr. Florian Kongoli
Here is a video of Prof. Meech receiving his award:
John A Meech: Winner of FLOGEN 2014 Fray International Sustainability Award
To be updated
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