LeSueur Memorial Award

Established 1955

The LeSueur Memorial Award is presented to an individual for the development of technical excellence, in either a university/research institute or an industrial setting in Canada. The contribution to the Canadian industry, should be provided through chemical creativity and innovation.

Award Information

2024 Recipient - Dr Zhongxin Zhou, formerly Gilead

Throughout the 27 years working in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr Zhou and his teams have contributed to the commercial launches of 20 novel drug substances all over the world that are used in many drug products for the treatment of diseases that have saved millions of peoples’ lives around the world.

He has led and directed the R&D efforts of more than 200 drug substances for clinical development and commercial supplies. He led the planning, design, and construction of two laboratory buildings that have won Big Project Sustainability awards.

Award presentation and prize

The LeSueur Memorial 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 - Mr Rupert Spence

Rupert Spence, Senior Scientific Laureate at DuPont, came to Canada in 1987 from the UK to complete his PhD in Chemistry at Dalhousie University. He held post-doctoral fellowships at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Guelph. Rupert began his industrial career in 1995 at Nova Chemicals where he developed a new catalyst technology. In 2002, he joined DuPont Canada where he leads global teams in technology development for many DuPont businesses. Chemical processes developed under Rupert's leadership operate commercially in Canada, the US, and Asia in Biomaterials, Crop Protection, Protective Fibers and Electronics Materials.

2022 Recipient - Dr Emily Cranston

Dr Emily Cranston, of the University of British Columbia, received the LeSueur Memorial Award in 2022.

Emily has adopted an innovative approach to address complex technical challenges. She has also been relentless in bridging pure technical concepts and industrial applications of cellulose based products including cellulose nanocrystals, cellulose micro- and macro-fibrils, and hydrogels.

Eligibility Criteria

    • Benefit to the Canadian chemical industry
    • For the purposes of this award, 'industry' includes not only traditional chemical companies that focus on chemical manufacture and distribution, but also companies involved in biotechnology, coatings, crop protection, environmental services, fertilizer, food, mining/metal extraction, oil/gas, pharmaceuticals, plastics, pulp /paper and synthetic fibres
    • Some of the work can have been completed outside of Canada, but the recipient must have a strong Canadian connection
    • SCI membership is not a prerequisite for receiving this award
    Career Stage
    • Senior - Mid to late career
    • Chemical-based industry
    • Canadian connection


Frequency Annual
Nominations close 6 November 2023

Additional Information

Code of Ethics for Members

LeSueur Memorial Award - Image credit: Ernest Arthur LeSueur; Library and Archives Canada; archival reference number R11325-3, PA-215518 Le Sueur Matthews family collection; Gift of Dr. David Le Sueur and Barbara Fleet Matthews

Other SCI Awards

Kalev Pugi Award

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.

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