McGill Metals Processing Centre       






Leo Derikx 2010 Synergy Award for Innovation

Ottawa, Ontario, November 2, 2010 – The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) and Dr. Suzanne Fortier, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), today announced the recipients of NSERC’s 2010 Synergy Awards for Innovation. These awards recognize the type of university-industry research and development collaborations that lead to new products that are key to economic growth. The 2010 Synergy Awards recognize collaborations that have resulted in the development of lightweight materials for automobiles, refinement and commercialization of new reinforcement materials for concrete structures, efficient wastewater treatment applications, and applied technologies that enhance the processing of liquid and solid metals.

"Science, technology and innovation contribute greatly to fostering productivity, competitiveness and growth in Canada,” said Minister Clement. “The advances made by the winners of the Synergy Awards are examples of the best of Canadian innovation, and showcase the types of partnerships that will drive our economy forward."

"Our government supports science and technology because of its importance in strengthening the economy and improving the lives of Canadians,” noted Minister of State Goodyear. “The Synergy Awards recognize the talent we have here in Canada and the success we have had in getting new research from the labs out into the marketplace."

Roderick Guthrie and Mihaiela Isac of McGill University, and the member companies of the McGill Metals Processing Centre (MMPC)-Hatch, Novelis, Heraeus Electro-Nite, Sumitomo Metals Industries, and Rio Tinto, together with its subsidiaries QIT-Fer et Titane, and Alcan—who have garnered NSERC’s prestigious Leo Derikx Award, for their innovative contributions to global advances in the processing of liquid and solid metals.

Award-winning researchers receive a $200,000 research grant, while each industry partner has an opportunity to hire an NSERC Industrial R&D Fellow for two years, with NSERC supporting the industrial portion of the fellow’s salary. Recipients will be recognized at ceremonies to be held at later dates.

"The strategic investments that NSERC has made over the years have led to numerous successful collaborations such as those we are recognizing today,” says Dr. Fortier. “The Synergy Awards highlight partnerships that bring together the best researchers from Canadian universities and the leading innovators from the private sector, resulting in the transfer of tangible research results to those who can translate them into economic and social benefits for Canadians." projects.

2013 Airey Award - R. Guthrie

The award is a memorial to the late H.T. Airey, who played a role of fundamental importance in the creation and organization of the Annual Conference of Metallurgists for the Metallurgy and Materials Society of CIM.

The Airey Award should be seen as the most prestigious award in Canadian metallurgy, and a recognition of a career contribution or an outstanding individual contribution based on at least 15 years of input.

“In recognition of his outstanding achievements in the research and in the development of process metallurgy for the light metals and ferrous industries." Roderick Guthrie has enjoyed a sustained career in the Canadian metallurgical industry, working both in, and with, industry, and also as an academic. Spending more than forty years with the Canadian steel and aluminum industries, while working as a Professor at McGill, he is the founding Director of the McGill Metals Processing Centre.

This Centre has been supported by the Canadian and global metallurgical industry, ever since being formed in 1990. He has been the recipient of many awards, including the prestigious Killam Prize for Engineering, in 2006, honoring the “top” engineer in Canada. He is the author of about 450 archival publications, two textbooks, and many chapters in handbooks. He is also the holder of some 200 patents from eleven inventions, including the important LiMCA series for detecting inclusions in liquid metals, and the Horizontal Single Belt Caster, Near Net Shape Casting Concept, for steel strip production.

2013 Xstrata Innovation award - Limca system

The award is to support the important role of innovation as a fundamental foundation to the development and growth of the Canadian metallurgical industry. The award recognizes outstanding innovation in the industry, specifically innovations which have been implemented and are practiced technology, and to which a company or group of individuals are the prime contributors. This award is supported by XPS, Consulting & Testwork Services, A GLENCORE Company.

2013 recipient – Liquid Metal Cleanliness Analyzer system "In recognition of the LiMCA System from its invention by the McGill Metals Processing Centre, McGill University, to its development and application by RioTinto Alcan and ABB." LiMCA (Liquid Metal Cleanliness Analyzer) is now the sensor in world-wide use for the detection of inclusions in liquid metals, including molten aluminum and molten steel, in situ, and in real time.

Conceived and patented by Rod Guthrie and Don Doutre, at the McGill Metals Processing Centre, it was further developed by Rio Tinto-ALCAN, and commercialised by BOMEM, now ABB. In this method, a resistive pulse is generated during the passage of a non-conducting particle through an Electric Sensing Zone, which is located within the orifice. The technique involves drawing a sample of liquid aluminum or steel into an insulating glass tube through the sensor’s orifice, and simultaneously passing an electrical current through the entering metal. By continuously monitoring the electrical resistance during the melt sampling period, one can detect the electrical changes during the passage of entrained non-metallic inclusions as they pass through the ESZ into the tube. The size of each inclusion detected can be calculated, based on the peak height of the voltage pulse generated, the current strength, the diameter of the orifice, and the melt’s electrical resistivity. For continuous measurements, a heavy conditioning current is used to reverse the flow of metal, before each successive filling of the sampling tube, to prevent inclusion build up at the orifice.

The group leaders are Roderick Guthrie, Don Doutre, Mihaiela Isac, Frédéric Laroche, Claude Dupuis and Daniel Gagnon.

2006 Killam prize in engineering - R. Guthrie

McGill researcher Roderick Guthrie has been awarded the 2006 Killam Prize in Engineering for his groundbreaking work in the field of process metallurgy. The Killam Prize is Canada's most prestigious award for career achievement in research.

Professor Guthrie's Killam Prize recognizes his enormous contribution to the steel and aluminum industries in applying modern experimental techniques using mathematical and physical models to predict and improve the performance of metal processing and refining operations. His revolutionary technique for detecting foreign particles during metal processing has enhanced and assured quality control in a range of products the world, over from soft drink cans to refrigerators to Boeing 747s to high-performance cars. In his 30-year career at McGill, he has authored over 400 publications, including two textbooks. He also holds some 200 patents based on 11 different inventions. His singular contribution to research and development in the Quebec aluminum industry is evidenced by his longstanding support from Alcan, among others.

"Canadian engineers are renowned around the world for their competence and skills," declared Dr. Guthrie, Director of the McGill Metals Processing Centre and Macdonald Professor of Metallurgy in the Department of Mining, Metals and Materials Engineering. "Global demand for process and extraction metallurgists is higher than it has ever been. I proudly call myself a Canadian engineer, and consider this award a great privilege and honour."