Engineering Professors Recognized with Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal

February 15, 2013 

By the end of this year, 60,000 Canadians will have received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of their contributions to Canada.

The medal was established to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty’s accession to the throne, and among this esteemed group of recipients are many members of U of T Engineering.

On February 14, Professor Emeritus Alex McLean (MSE) and Professor Paul Young (CivE), Vice-President, Research & Innovation, were honoured. On February 28,Milica Radisic (ChemE, IBBME) will also be awarded the distinguished medal. They join past recipients, Professors Levente Diosady (ChemE) and Molly Shoichet (ChemE, IBBME).

Professor McLean served as Chair of the Department of Metallurgy & Materials Science (now known as ‘Materials Science & Engineering’) from 1992 to 1997. During this time, he commissioned and led a Departmental Strategic Planning Committee that transformed the undergraduate curriculum to reshape broader fundamental learning areas and applied knowledge in materials engineering. He is also one of the world’s most distinguished scientists studying the physical chemistry of steelmaking. His pioneering research has revolutionized industrial practice and led to significant improvements in steel quality. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) and was also honoured with the Thomas W. Eadie Medal for his substantial and sustained contributions to metallurgical engineering.

A leader in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, Professor Radisic has achieved international recognition for developing patches of engineered tissue that mimic a beating heart. She was the first to use electrical stimulation during cellular growth, resulting in tissues behaving in the same manner as normal heart tissue. In June, she received the Young Engineer Achievement Award by Engineers Canada, and was named one of the world’s Top 35 Innovators Under 35 by MIT’s Technology Review in 2008.

Over the last 25 years, Professor Young has been a global leader in the fields of rock mechanics and geophysics, significantly advancing the understanding of fundamental mechanics of fracturing in brittle materials, induced seismicity, micromechanical modelling and geophysical imaging. His contributions to engineering sciences have had international applications in mining, underground disposal of radioactive waste and petroleum engineering. Professor Young served as President of the British Geophysical Association from 1999-2003. And in 2005, he received the John A. Franklin Award from the Canadian Geotechnical Society, given to outstanding researchers who have made significant contributions to the field of rock engineering. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Geological Society of London. In 2009, he received the Royal Society of Canada’s Willet G. Miller Medal for outstanding research in earth sciences.

“I would like to congratulate the latest U of T Engineering recipients of the Diamond Jubilee medal; all three of whom richly deserve the honour,” said Acting Dean Yu-Ling Cheng. “Professors McLean, Radisic and Young have all made their mark in their respective fields. Their contributions advance our profession – and make the world around us better.”