Blog Post

In Memoriam: John Grace, O.C., FRSC, FCAE

It is with great sadness that we learned that John Grace passed away on May 26, 2021. Dr. Grace was a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CHBE) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and served as Chair of CCA’s Expert Panel on Gas Hydrates (2008). He was a tremendous friend to the CCA and was very generous with his time and expertise as Chair on one of our earliest assessments.

At the time he served as Chair, he was a Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Canada Research Chair in Clean Energy Processes at UBC.

Dr. Grace graduated with a B.E.Sc. from the University of Western Ontario in 1965, obtained a PhD from Cambridge University, England in 1968 and was awarded an honorary D.Sc. from the University of Western Ontario in 2003. For the first 11 years of his distinguished academic career, Dr. Grace was a faculty member in the Chemical Engineering Department at McGill University. In 1979 he joined UBC as Head of the CHBE department, and later became Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies (1990 to 2006).

Dr. Grace served as President of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering, Chair of the Chemical Institute of Canada, member of the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board, editor of the journal Chemical Engineering Science, Council member of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, member of the Advisory Board on Energy Science and Technology for Natural Resources Canada, and Director of the Division of Applied Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada.

He received numerous awards in his lifetime including the R.S. Jane Award of the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (1995), the International Fluidization Award of Achievement, Engineering Foundation (1998), a Canada Council Killam Fellowship (1999 to 2001) and the Career Achievement Award of the Science Council of British Columbia (2003). In addition to being a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of Canada, he was a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada, and of the Engineering Institute of Canada. Among the many prestigious honors he received, Dr. Grace was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2014 for his contributions as a chemical engineer, notably to the development of cleaner technology for industrial processes and energy production.

For those who would like to donate in honour of his memory, the Grace family has asked that donations be made to the John Grace Graduate Scholarship in Chemical and Biological Engineering, for graduate students in Chemical and Biological Engineering who demonstrate academic excellence and potential for service to society by performing research on energy, the environment, and/or multi-phase systems. More details are available at: