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John Meech

$10,000.00 (raised so far)

About John Meech

A graduate of McGill University and Queen’s University, Dr. John Meech was a professor in the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering for 26 years. During this time he inspired many people with his passion and generosity, and guided many generations of students in their pursuit of careers in mining engineering. Dr. Meech was also the Director of CERM3—the Centre for Environmental Research in Minerals, Metals, and Materials.

While studying at McGill University, Dr. Meech was inspired by Professor Tal Salman, one of Canada’s most outstanding mineral processing engineers, whose knowledge was described as “genius level”. John came to regard Dr. Salman as a father figure in his professional life; it was he who inspired Dr. Meech to pursue the field of mineral processing.

After graduating from McGill, Dr. Meech spent four years in Zambia with Roan Consolidated Mines Ltd working on research and development projects in milling and smelting. When he returned from Zambia in 1973, he joined the Mining Department at Queen’s University, where he conducted research on flotation, processing copper and gold ores, iron ore beneficiation, environmental control, and simulation modeling for process control.

At UBC, Dr. Meech’s teaching and professional activities included process control, unit processes and flotation, and environmental protection and expert systems. His work resulted in over 100 technical publications. As director of CERM3, he led 30 faculty researchers, including some of Canada’s top environmental scientists and engineers, to develop several new methodologies to mine more effectively and efficiently with regard to economic, technical, social and environmental concerns.

Outside of his professional life, Dr. Meech was devoted to his wife, his sons and also his two golden retrievers, Jordan and Sandy. He inspired family, friends, colleagues and students with his passion for life, love of learning, and commitment to excellence in everything that he did. He always went that extra mile to help people, and will be sadly missed by everyone who was fortunate enough to spend time with him.

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The impact of your support

Dr. Meech was an inspiration to the many faculty, staff and students with whom he worked. The establishment of an award in his memory will allow his contributions to the field to live on in perpetuity.

Your donation will support an award in his name. It will be awarded to a mining engineering student, with preference to a student who shows leadership.

Messages of Remembrance

All Messages
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  • John was a dedicated professor and he wanted to provide funds for the 2nd year students as a way to encourage them to follow a mining engineering career. The Mining Engineering Dept is missing a voice to defend the ethical principles badly needed to change the poor public perception about mining. Not always he was understood by people around him but everyone could see that his heart was bigger than his dreams. Rest in peace my brother.

    Marcello Veiga, Friend
  • John showed up one day at Queen's, hot off the plane from Africa. We showed him what we could about the department, Queen's, and Kingston. There were only a few of us in Mineral Processing, so we were somewhat close. We usually met at CIM events in the Vancouver area and occasionally talked on the phone. I admired his endeavours in academia. He will me missed by many. KC Armstrong Classmate at Queen's

    Kenneth C (KC) Armstrong, Classmate at Queen's
  • My sincere condolences to one and all, I am very sorry to hear of the loss of Dr. John Meech. I am even more sorry for the great sorrow this brings to his family, colleagues, and many friends. No death is painless, no death is without suffering for the bereaved. We all suffer from this loss. I only met Dr. Meech a few times in regards to scientific and business opportunities. From these few meetings that I had with Dr. Meech, the thing that most impressed me about the man was his nature. He was a different sort of fellow. He was a large, well built, but was not the type of guy to use his demeanor to boss, bully, or intimidate. He was more of a quiet person who would use persuasion and reason to influence people. Definitely a humanist in outlook and nature. And, I found him to be both charming and very polite. In all my adult life that I have lived so far, and in the world that we now find ourselves living in today, I have not come across many people like Dr. Meech. For me then, it was his character and virtues that made him stand out. Now I am forced to say I only wish that I had had the chance to have meet more often with Dr. Meech. I regret on my part that I did not and could not have the opportunity to do so. World has lost a great man, a kind man, and sadly, if I may use this cliche', the world is not making any more. The world could certainly use more people like Dr. John Meech.

    Keith William Steeves, Business Contact
  • I first met Prof. John Meech in 1996 in a process control seminar in Brazil. One year later he accepted to co-supervise my PhD thesis and I spent the year of 1998 working with him at UBC. Since then he had been one of the most positive influences to my career and a good friend. We would catch up for a conversation at least once a year since, whenever I visited Vancouver or he visited the places I've lived since then. John has taught me many things, the most important being to question my own thoughts and always look for a different perspective. He also taught me the importance of being passionate about my own values and beliefs. That paradox has been pivotal to my development not only as a professional, but as a human being. I wouldn't be doing what I do today - as Head of Investments and Value Management at BHP Billiton - and living in Australia if I hadn't met Prof. John Meech. The experience of being his student changed my life and my perspective, and made me a better person. For this I will always be grateful, and I am sure I am not alone in my gratitude. Prof. John Meech, rest in peace. You will always be my favourite professor and I will always cherish the advice you have given to me over more than a decade. You have built a legacy not only through your own work but also through the work of so many people that you have positively influenced during your lifetime. And your legacy will endure.

    Vanessa Torres, Former PhD Student
  • I am very sorry to hear of loss of Dr. John Meech. My sincere condolences go to his family. Although I didn’t work directly with John or took his courses during my graduate studies, John has inspired me by his warm greetings every time we met in the hallway or lab. We had chat about Chinese politics and some other issues. He is a great man, kind man with warm heart. He will be missed by many.

    Yihong Zhan, Former Ph.D. student in the department
  • I worked with John many years ago with the printing of some of his publications. Very nice man, glad to have known him. Blair

    Blair Fraser, Contractor
  • Dr. John Meech, A real and true man. Man of passion, enthusiasm, drive and LOVE! John is the man with highest integrity I have met in my life. He will be remembered for ever.

    vladimir rakocevic, friend and student
  • When we remember those who have passed, it is comforting to recall who they were through rose-tinted glasses. As I read the comments before mine, they describe a part of the man I knew, and respected, but not the whole man. John Meech was a human - a great human - but a human nonetheless. However, without the parts that made him like me and you (the reader), we risk losing his most important message in the morass: it can be done, even if the path isn't clear. I met John in 2005 after he started the UBC Thunderbird Robotics initiative for DARPA. Professor Meech gathered a group of individuals together with a common interest, but didn't know what to do. I highlight this not to disparage a great man, but to prevent us from putting him on an unattainable pedestal either. John inspired me... Not the John who made no mistakes and had all the answers, but the John who got things started and got the job done. Often, he didn't know the right answer, made a bunch of missteps, and upset more than a few people along the way, but he did something. It is very easy to get lulled into a sense of not acting at all because one is afraid of one or all of the above; fear did not stop John Meech. Be not afraid. Try without understanding. Complete the mission.

    Chad Trytten, Student, through his club.
  • I love you forever

    SHI LEI, your student
List of Donors
All Donors
  • Alex Doll

  • Alex Doll

  • Alex Doll

  • Gumstix Research (Canada) Ltd

  • Sally Finora

  • Marc and Mary Parlange

  • Persio Rosario

  • Harold & Nancy Gall

  • Elizabeth and Lawrence Croft

  • William Gall

  • Simon Houlding

  • Ian & Diana Kent

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