N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: May 27, 1993
Discipline / contribution: organic chemistry
Citation / biographical information:
Raymond Urgel Lemieux began his academic career in 1947 as Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Saskatchewan. After a brief period as Senior Research Officer at the NRC-Prairie Research Laboratory (1949-54) in Saskatoon, Professor Lemieux moved to the University of Ottawa as Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science (1954-61). In 1961 he returned to his alma mater, the University of Alberta, where he is now University Professor and Professor Emeritus of Chemistry.Degree received: Doctor of Science
Professor Lemieux has published over 250 scientific papers in refereed journals. Several of his contributions represent landmark achievements m the history of organic chemistry. He inaugurated three successful chemical companies and is one of Canada's leaders in the transfer of biotechnology from the laboratory to the corporate sector. He served as President of the Chemical Institute of Canada in 1985.
The unifying theme of Professor Lemieux's research over the past 50 years involves the reactions and stereochemistry of carbohydrates. The main thrust of his work has been to transform carbohydrate chemistry from a narrow academic specialization into a mainstream field of organic chemistry and into a vital component of the new molecular biology of complex carbohydrates. The practical applications are already apparent as these reagents are now used in the commercial production of antibodies specific to human group determinants.
Professor Lemieux's work has brought him world-wide recognition. In addition to numerous Distinguished Lectureships and thirteen Honorary Degrees, he has won several prestigious awards including: Palladium Medal, C^1111^105^
of Canada (1964); C.S. Hudson Award, American Chemical Society (1966), Officer of the Order of Canada (1968); Haworth Medal, The Chemical Society, England (1978); Izaak Walton Killam Award, The Canada Council (1981); Gairdner Foundation International Award (1985); Rhone-Poulenc Award Royal Society of Chemistry, England (1989); King Faisal International Prize in Science (1990); Gold Medal, Natural Science and Engineering Research Council, Canada (1991).
Raymond Lemieux is one of the most brilliant and creative scientists in the world today He began his career at the University of Saskatchewan and it is most appropriate for our University to recognize his achievements with the award of an honorary Doctor of Science degree.
Degree presented by: David Atkinson, Dean of Arts and Science
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