Gray, Dr. Murray R.

1997 Winner: Innovation In Oil Sands Research Sponsored By Syncrude Canada Ltd.

Researcher And Educator Makes Impact In Oil Sands

Dr. Murray Gray has been very active in the oil sands industry, both as a researcher and as an educator, since he joined the faculty of University of Alberta in 1983. As one of the world’s leading experts in oil sands upgrading processes, he has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of the key reactions that occur during bitumen processing and has laid the basis for predictive models for the upgrading of bitumen to high-valued products.

Shaping the Future Generation

Since 1985, he has taught a class that provides students with a solid understanding of the chemistry and properties of bitumen and heavy oils. A significant number of the over 300 students who have taken this course are now employed by the oil sands industry.

In 1994, he published the only available textbook about the subject, entitled Upgrading Petroleum Residues and Heavy Oils. His leadership in the University has been recognized first as Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department and then as the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. He has achieved over 120 journal publications and has been recognized with the prestigious McCalla Research Professorship by the University of Alberta. In 1994, he was elected a fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada and has participated in a number of committees and boards including NSERC, The Canadian Oil Sands Network for Research and Development (CONRAD), and The Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering.