Frank Hawthorne

Frank Christopher Hawthorne FRSC (born 1946) is a Canadian mineralogist and crystallographer.

Born in Bristol, England, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Imperial College London in 1968 and an Associateship of the Royal School of Mines (ARSM). In 1973, he received a Ph.D. from McMaster University.

From 1973 to 1975, he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Geological Science at the University of Manitoba. He was a research associate from 1975 to 1980 and University Research Fellow from 1980 to 1985.

In 1985, he was appointed an Associate Professor and in 1986 he was appointed a Professor of Crystallography and Mineralogy. He currently holds the Canada Research Chair in Crystallography and Mineralogy.

Hawthorne’s early work focused on structural and crystal-chemical problems of amphiboles. He had utilized several experimental techniques, including X-ray and neutron diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, and Mössbauer spectroscopy. He summarized his results in a 300-page paper on amphiboles, for which he was awarded the Hawley Medal of the Mineralogical Association of Canada in 1983.

Hawthorne then turned his attention to a series of complex crystal-chemistry problems involving rock-forming minerals, such as staurolite, vesuvianite, pyroxenes, beryl, and tourmaline. He utilized a multi-technique approach and applied novel analytical and spectroscopic methods to solve these mineralogical problems. These results have been used to provide indication of the conditions prevailing during the progressive crystallization of magmas.

Hawthorne’s work on the energetic content of the chemical bonds in mineral structures has advanced solid-state chemistry and crystallography.


* Frankhawthorneite is named after him
* He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
* 1983, awarded the Mineralogical Association of Canada’s Hawley Medal
* 1991, awarded the Geological Association of Canada's W.W. Hutchison Medal
* 1993, awarded the Royal Society of Canada’s Willet G. Miller Medal
* 1996, awarded the Geological Association of Canada's highest honour, the Logan Medal
* 1999, awarded the Mineralogical Association of Canada’s Past Presidents’ Medal
* 2006, made an Officer of the Order of Canada



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