MetSoc Airey Award


The MetSoc Airey 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 MetSoc of CIM.

This award is supported by:

2021 Recipient

Zhenghe Xu

University of Alberta

Citation: Dr. Xu is a world-renowned scholar and engineer in mineral processing and oil sands engineering.

Zhenghe Xu graduated with B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Minerals Engineering in 1982 and 1985, respectively, from Central-South Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Changsha, China; and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering in 1990 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

During his academic career at McGill University (assistant professor from 1992 to 1996) and University of Alberta (associate professor from 1997 to 2000 and full professor from 2000 to 2021), Dr. Xu was Canada Research Chair in Mineral Processing (2006-2017), NSERC-Industry Research Chair in Oil Sands Engineering (2008-2017), and NSERC-EPCOR-AERI Industry Research Chair in Advanced Coal Cleaning and Combustion Technology from 2002-2008. In 2017, he joined the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) in Shenzhen (China) as a Chair Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering and founding Dean of College of Engineering.

Dr. Xu’s main research area is interfacial sciences as applied to natural resource processing and utilization. Dr. Xu was elected to Fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering in 2008, CIM Fellow in 2010, and Fellow of Royal Society of Canada in 2015. He was awarded the APEGA Frank Spragins Award in 2012, The Teck Environmental Award in 2013, Syncrude Award for Excellence in Sustainable Development of CIM in 2015, MetSoc Award for Research Excellence in 2016, and Alberta Science and Technology (ASTech) Leadership Foundation Award in 2018.

1963 – G.M. Young
1964 – L.S. Renzoni
1965 – F.J. McMulkin
1966 – J.M. Carter
1967 – R.D. Hindson
1968 – J.H Walsh
1969 – J.G. Sibakin1970 – H.L. Ames
1971 – R.W. Fraser
1972 – V.N. Mackiw
1973 – D.W. McLean
1974 – G. Savard and R. Lee
1975 – G.R. Heffernan
1976 – H.M. Wright
1977 – P.G. Thornhill
1978 – R.C. Bell
1979 – W. Curlook1980 – W.A. Gow
1981 – T.R. Meadowcroft
1982 – H. Veltman
1983 – T. Dancy
1984 – B.H. Morrison
1985 – M.D. Head
1986 – G.G. Hatch
1987 – J.C. McKay
1988 – P. Tarassoff
1989 – D.R. Weir1990 – C.A. Sutherland
1991 – G. Dube
1992 – M.C. Bell
1993 – J.P. McGeer
1994 – R.A. Bergman
1995 – M.M. Avedesian
1996 – K.V. Konigsmann
1997 – D.G.E. Kerfoot
1998 – B.O. Wasmund
1999 – K.G. Thomas2000 – J.G. Peacey
2001 – M. Rigaud
2002 – No Award
2003 – A. Grau
2004 – P. Duhaime
2005 – G. Bolton
2006 – J. Gruzleski
2007 – C. M. Diaz
2008 – J. J. Jonas
2009 – C. Fleming2010 – J. E. Dutrizac
2011 – E. Ozberk
2012 – P.J. Mackey
2013 – R. Guthrie
2014 – M. Chalkley
2015 – C.Twigge-Molecey
2016 – H. McQueen
2017 – M. Solar
2018 – S. Marcuson
2019 – D. Boyd
2020 – J. Kapusta

NEW Criteria for 2022 Awards nominations


The Airey Award should be seen as the most prestigious award for a MetSoc member in Canadian metallurgy and materials. Recognition of a career contribution or an outstanding individual contribution based on at least 15 years of input. The contributions and impact must be to the benefit of Canada.

Contribution to Canadian metallurgy  and materials can include:

  • Research and development leadership
  • Research and development contribution
  • Development of processes or products of significance
  • Technological leadership
  • Industrial leadership fostering a climate resulting in major technological development

All nominees must have a minimum of five years of CIM National membership and be in good standing.  Membership is not required to be consecutive but the member has to have the current and previous year in good standing. Exceptions to this membership requirement may be made in the case where a candidate has a substantial historical record of contributions to MetSoc.

There is no cash prize for this award.


Start Nomination

Please refer to the METSOC AWARDS page for details on nomination dates and deadlines.



The nominator has a maximum of 6 steps to complete:

  • Fill in the contribution box- a summary of why this person is being nominated (see item 3) with any information listed above that is not included in the CV.
  • Fill in citation – in 15 words this person is being recognized for…
  • Upload a CV of the nominee. The CV should contain the items listed below. If the CV does not contain these items, consider adding them to the contribution box and letter statement.
    • Major contributions relevant to the award​
    • A record of at least five relevant patents and/or papers authored by the nominee plus a count of other patents and papers​
    • A service history related to CIM/MetSoc if applicable​
    • A record of the years of membership in CIM​
    • A listing of volunteer activities if applicable​
    • A listing of awards previously received​
    • A listing of academic achievements​
  • One letter written by the nominator on letterhead describing in full length why this candidate is nominated for the award.
  • A minimum of 3 endorsers (outside of company colleagues) – these endorsers simply must support with an online approval click, however, a supporting letter is also welcomed and encouraged.
  • An additional letter of support by a peer in the field on letterhead for a total of 2 letters included in the nomination package. Additional weight and marks may be considered by the committee if additional written letters of peer support are added to the nomination package (max 5 additional uploads will be allowed).


  • A nominator can put forward only one candidate up for nomination in each award category (as of 2020).
  • No Member of the Executive Board shall be nominated while in office. The nomination will be held until the term on the executive board is expired.
  • The nominators are responsible for verifying that all conditions of the award have been satisfied and all procedures were properly followed in making the nomination.
  • All nominations will stand for three years.
  • The adjudication of the award shall be made by the MetSoc Awards Committee of The Metallurgy and Materials Society of CIM.
  • The award shall be presented at the Awards Banquet of the Conference of Metallurgists.
  • Posthumous awards will be allowed only if the candidate has already been shortlisted.
  • Self-nominations are not permitted.
  • Each award shall be made from time to time as circumstances warrant with no more than one award recipient per year.
METSOC is a constituent society of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM).
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