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University of Toronto

Professor James R. Drummond Recipient of the 2020 J.H. Chapman Award of Excellence

For his remarkable contribution to the advancement of the Canadian Space Program and a lifetime of achievement in space science and technology.
James Drummond


Professor Drummond has made many invaluable contributions to Canada's space program over the course of his career as a leading national and international space scientist. In 1979, he joined the Physics Department at the University of Toronto, where he was a faculty member for 27 years. He then took on the role of Canada Research Chair in Remote Sounding of Atmospheres in the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science at Dalhousie University. His lifelong work has allowed Canada to play an important role in understanding the causes of climate change, particularly in the Arctic.

Dr. Drummond is best known in the space community for his successful leadership as the Principal Investigator of the Canadian Measurement of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT) instrument from conception to launch to more than 20 years in orbit. MOPITT launched on NASA's Terra satellite in 1999. Its measurements of carbon monoxide enabled the first long-term global maps of carbon monoxide concentrations in the troposphere, led to over 500 publications, and helped advance our understanding of global pollution.

In addition to his extraordinary work with MOPITT, Dr. Drummond is Co-Investigator of the instruments on the Canadian SCISAT satellite; Principal Investigator of the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory in Eureka, Nunavut; the founding president of the Canadian Network of Northern Research Operators; the Chair of the Forum of Arctic Research Operators; and the Canadian representative to several international organizations.

Nominated by Kimberly Strong, Chair, Department of Physics, University of Toronto

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