Kalev Pugi Award

Established 2002

The Kalev Pugi Award acknowledges exceptional achievements in research and development by an individual or team, which is of benefit to Canada. The technical excellence can be developed in a university, industrial setting or a research institution in Canada.

The Award's focus covers not only products and processes in traditional chemical companies focusing on chemical manufacture and distribution, but also products and processes for industries such as biotechnology, coatings, crop protection, environmental services, fertilizer, food, mining/metal extraction, oil /gas, pharmaceuticals, plastics, pulp & paper and synthetic fibres.

Award Information

2024 Recipient - Prof Hanadi Sleiman, McGill University

Prof Sleiman’s research has revolutionized the development of DNA biotechnology by simplifying engineering functional DNA-based nanostructures, which are opening new opportunities for next-generation precision medicine. Such DNA nanostructures with unparalleled structural control from a minimum number of components, are promising candidates for drug delivery that can accelerate bench-to-bedside translation.

Dr. Sleiman’s visionary approach has defined a new research area in biotechnology, in which synthetic molecules are combined with DNA base-pairing. The game changing concept of integrating supramolecular chemistry with DNA science represents a fundamental shift in the field.

Lecture Details

The Kalev Pugi Award is normally presented at the annual SCI Canada Awards Dinner, typically held in early April, where the winner will be expected to attend and deliver a short acceptance speech. The winner may be invited to present a lecture at this event and will also receive a plaque.

2023 Recipient - Professor Francesca Kerton

Professor Francesca Kerton, of Memorial University, was awarded the Kalev Pugi Award in 2023, which recognises exceptional achievements in research and development. Francesca Kerton is a professor of Chemistry at Memorial University of Newfoundland and has a global reputation for her innovative research on sustainable chemistry related to the oceans. She received the Canadian Green Chemistry and Engineering Award in 2019. Her current research group is focused on developing environmentally friendly ways to process bio-sourced molecules and materials, catalysis and sustainable polymers.

2022 Recipient - Professor Karim Zaghib

Professor Karim Zaghib, of Investissement Québec, was awarded the Kalev Pugi Award in 2022, which recognises exceptional achievements in research and development. Karim specialises in rechargeable batteries, energy transition and the electrification of transportation. As director of research into the development of materials for lithium-ion batteries at Hydro-Québec, he helped make it the world’s first company to use lithium iron phosphate in cathodes and to develop natural graphite and nanotitanate anodes.

Eligibility Criteria

    • Individual or team for specific research and development projects that have been performed during the previous 10-15 years
    • Embody Pugi's own qualities of creativity and determination, good experimental design and project management
    • Significant beneficial impact on the sponsoring company or institution, or on society as a whole
    • SCI membership is not a prerequisite for receiving this award
    Career Stage
    • Mid - late career
    • Research and Development
    • Canada


Frequency Annual
Nominations deadline 6 November

Additional Information

Code of Ethics for Members

Other SCI Awards

LeSueur Memorial Award

The LeSueur Memorial Award is presented to an individual for the development of technical excellence, in either a university/research institute or industrial setting in Canada.

Julia Levy Award

The Julia Levy Award is presented to an individual to recognize successful commercialization of innovation in Canada, specifically in the field of Bio-medical Science and Engineering.

Awards News