Michel Aubertin, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering at Polytechnique Montréal, received a prestigious award at the recent GeoEdmonton 2018 conference in Edmonton.
Professor Aubertin was awarded the Canadian Geotechnical Society’s highest honour for his outstanding contribution throughout his career in geotechnical engineering in Canada. He received this award at a ceremony held at the 71st Canadian Geotechnical Conference, as part of the GeoEdmonton 2018 conference, which ran from September 23 to 26.
The Canadian Geotechnical Society highlighted Professor Aubertin’s many contributions, particularly in the areas of cover systems to prevent acid mine drainage, the original design of waste rock piles to control their geotechnical and geochemical stability and minimize the impact on the environment, the analysis of underground openings in rock masses with or without mine fill, as well as for his projects aimed at improving the stability of tailings management facilities using, for example, waste rock inclusions in tailings impoundments.
The R.F. Legget Medal has been awarded annually since 1970 by the Canadian Geotechnical Society in memory of Robert Ferguson Legget (1904–1994), a civil engineer recognized nationally and internationally for his contributions to engineering, geotechnical engineering and geology, construction research, and the standardization of Canadian national codes for buildings and their foundations. This is the highest distinction awarded by the Canadian Geotechnical Society.
Holder of a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Université de Sherbrooke as well as a master’s in geotechnical engineering and a PhD in geomechanics from Polytechnique Montréal, Professor Aubertin has taught for more than 25 years in the Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering at Polytechnique. He is the author of more than 300 peer-reviewed journal and conference articles and over 100 scientific papers and technical reports. Professor Aubertin held an NSERC Industrial Chair from 2001 to 2012, and was the first Scientific Director to represent Polytechnique in the history of the Institut de recherche en mines et environnement (Research Institute on Mines and Environment, IRME UQAT-Polytechnique).
Professor Aubertin has received several honours throughout his career, among others the 1999 A.G. Stermac Award for his outstanding involvement in the Canadian Geotechnical Society. The same year, he was awarded the John A. Franklin Award for his contributions in rock mechanics. In 2013, the quality of his work was recognized with an invitation to present the R.M. Hardy Keynote Address at the 2013 GéoMontréal annual conference in Montréal. The following year, he was awarded the CGS Geoenvironmental Award for his outstanding contribution to the field of geoenvironmental engineering.
Among the other prestigious distinctions Professor Aubertin has received in his career is the title of Fellow, awarded in 2003, the John B. Sterling Medal, received in 2005, and the Julian C. Smith Medal, obtained in 2017, all from the Canadian Institute of Engineers.
Professor Aubertin is the second member of the Polytechnique Montréal community to receive the Canadian Geotechnical Society’s most prestigious award. Branko Ladanyi, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering, was awarded the R.F. Legget Medal in 1981.