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Former president named to Order of Canada

By Jeff Green

It was quite the Canada Day for one of Memorial’s leading past presidents.

Dr. Axel Meisen was named a member of the Order of Canada by Governor General Michaëlle Jean. He was among 75 new appointments.

The Order of Canada is the highest civilian honour in Canada.

Dr. Meisen stepped down as Memorial’s seventh president and vice-chancellor in December 2007 to take up a new position with the Alberta Research Council in January.

Under Dr. Meisen’s leadership, Memorial witnessed major growth. Student enrolment increased, research funding expanded, the university’s infrastructure was improved and new programs and areas of study were added.

Those accomplishments were noted by the Advisory Council on the Order of Canada which makes recommendations for the honours.

In a news release issued on July 1, it said Dr. Meisen was being recognized “for his important contributions to the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador through his leadership of the Memorial University of Newfoundland, which led to a significant increase in enrolment, unprecedented funding and enhanced research capacity.”

Dr. Meisen is a professional engineer with a career in both academia and the private sector. He came to Memorial in 1999 from the position of dean of Applied Science and professor of chemical engineering at the University of British Columbia.

He has been a strategic advisor to both national and international petroleum and chemical companies. He holds degrees in chemical engineering from McGill University (PhD), California Institute of Technology (master’s) and Imperial College of Science and Technology (bachelor’s) in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Meisen was recently chair of the Atlantic Association of Universities, chair of the board of Petroleum Research Atlantic Canada, and has served as a member on the board of both the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities. He was recognized in 2005, 2006 and 2007 as one of the top 50 CEOs in Atlantic Canada.

Currently he is chair of foresight with the Alberta Research Council.

Awarded for the first time in 1967, during Canada’s Centennial Year, the Order of Canada launched the creation of our country’s own system of honours.

Recipients will be invited to accept their insignia at a ceremony to be held at a later date.