Fariborz Goodarzi

Fariborz Goodarzi
University of Calgary

2012 Gilbert H. Cady Award

Presented to Fariborz Goodarzi

Citation by Thomas Gentzis

Dr. Fariborz (Fari) Goodarzi obtained his BS degree from the University of Tehran in 1963, his MS from the University of Newcastle‑Upon‑Tyne, England, in 1971, and a PhD from the same university in 1975. Since then, he held the following positions: Assistant Professor and then Head, Department of Mineral Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology (1975‑1979); Dean, Faculty of Materials, Arya-Mehr University of Technology (1979‑1980), and Research Scientist, Natural Resources Canada (1982-2008). He has been a UNDP expert since 1981and represented Canada at the International Energy Agency since 1998. He served as an Adjunct Professor of Geology at four Canadian universities from 1984 to 2010.

During his lustrous career, Dr. Goodarzi has received a variety of awards, including the Government of Canada Award of Excellence in Executive Leadership, the ICCP Rheinhardt Thiessen Medal, the CSCOP Hacquebard Award, the AAPG Vincent E. Nelson Memorial Award, and an induction to the Royal Society of Canada.

Dr. Goodarzi was the Geological Survey of Canada’s most senior research scientist who made significant and lasting contributions that can be described as a triangle whose base is coal and sedimentary organic petrology and chemistry sciences, and the sides comprise fossil fuels and energy resources as well as environmental sciences. He has been a selfless leader in building a coal expertise network around the world. In Canada, he has gained the respect and support of experts in all levels of government, industry, and academia.
Dr. Goodarzi has supervised and mentored an impressive list of students to advanced degrees in earth sciences. He has a quality that many leading scientists lack: he is a great educator and mentor. His PhD and MS students are eminent scientists. His high standing in the international scientific community is shown by the invitations to serve as visiting scholar in highly regarded academic institutions. Such invitations are testimony to his outstanding research output. As one of the most eminent scientist of the 20th century, Professor William S. Fyfe said: “We knew more about the rocks on the Moon than about trace elements in coal” before Dr. Goodarzi’s valuable contributions to fossil fuel science.

top2013 Gilbert H. Cady Award — Response by Fariborz Goodarzi

Ladies and GentlemanCongratulations to the Geological Society of America for their 125th Anniversary. Indeed, it is a great honor to receive the Gilbert Cady Award-Coal Division of such a venerable society. I thank Dr. Thomas Gentzis for nominating me, and Brian Cardot, Clause Diesel, Shimon Feinstein, Frank Huggins, Maria Mastarles, Jingle Ruppert, Hamed Sanei and Eileen Van-der Flier–Keller for their support. I am humbled to be nominated by these eminent scientists from around the world. I also share this award with and thank my wife Margaret for her patience and understanding. Even though I am the recipient of this medal, in reality it is also awarded collectively to my friends and colleagues and to those research teams I have been a part of. I decided to become coal scientist and organic petrologist because it is fascinating subject, touching upon the exploration, exploitation and utilization of energy (fossil fuels), by using coal fragments as a measure of environmental and human health and much more. Organic petrology includes relating the nature of char in fly ash to captured mercury and the extent of ancient forest fires by analyzing the char content in peat. The subject is so enticing that one does not feel the passing of time!Coal science going to stay with us for a long time, given the vast reserves of coal in both Canada and United States that are used in both steel and energy industries. Indeed, new sources for coking coal are required for Asian markets. The production of energy from coal will continue and most likely is not going diminish by 2050 as predicted, assisted by new technologies such as underground gasification and generation of gas using bacteria. I thank the Geological Society of America for this prestigious award, which is truly a great honour.