A Farewell to Dr. John Meech

Dr. John MeechIt is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Dr. John Meech, who passed away February 09, 2015. As a member of the UBC Mining faculty for 26 years, he had the pleasure of ushering multiple generations of students into their engineering careers.

While he made multiple contributions to the global mining industry, his influence can be seen every single day in the halls of our mining department. Dr. Meech’s sheer dedication to UBC Mining will never be forgotten. His teaching and professional activities included process control, unit processes and flotation, environmental protection and expert systems. With over 100 technical publications on processing and expert systems, we were so lucky to have him as both a professor and a well loved member of our faculty.

The only way to fully understand his dedication is to have a chat with his students. When Dr. Meech fell ill, students took the initiative to send cards thanking him for the impact he’d made. A couple stated “the passionate presentations you gave us in first year convinced me to enter mining engineering,” and more than one confessed “it is because of you that I’ve chosen to pursue mineral processing.” Every single one of Dr. Meech’s students can attest to his passion and dedication both inside and out of the classroom. He was known for going the extra mile to ensure that we understood mining concepts. He would take the time out of his busy schedule to walk us through difficult problems. When students were away on their work terms, he was more than happy to maintain correspondence, helping us to develop ideas on how to solve engineering problems at work; often to a great degree of success.

Outside of UBC Mining, Dr. Meech dedicated his life to his beautiful family. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife and sons. Dr. John Meech will be sorely missed. But greater than the sorrow from his death is the joy and passion he spread in his life. Just as he guided each of his students through their educations, his wisdom and attitude towards life will continue to guide us throughout our careers and personal lives.


There will be a memorial event for John at Cecil Green Park House (6251 Cecil Green Park Road) at 5.30 PM on Friday, 13th.

4 responses to “A Farewell to Dr. John Meech”

  1. Johnny Ho

    I am personally very saddened by the news as Dr.Meech was literally my first boss ever that hired me for a summer job back in the days. It was a great honor and pleasure to be able to work under his supervision. Dr.Meech is a true visionary who has the open mindedness and genuine passion to appreciate technologies and sciences across all disciplines. He was the driving force behind the UBC Thunderbird Robotics team that entered the DARPA Grand Challenge, which I still consider one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. I am forever grateful and in debt to his guidance and opportunity.

  2. Shahram Tafazoli

    John was my very good friend and colleague. Over the last several years, he invited me to his MINE 432 classes held at UBC to give a one-hour talk to the mining students discussing technologies that can improve safety and efficiency of mining. In every occasion, he took the time to take me for a nice lunch.

    I remember seeing him with his dog at the Starbucks located on Agronomy Road every now and then and joining him for coffee break. He was a very good man and had all the good intentions followed by heartfelt actions to help students and the university move forward. May god give his family patience in these difficult times. Rest in peace John.

    Shahram Tafazoli

  3. Jacques Nantel (former Prof at Queen's U)

    Gone too soon!
    My condolences to Elaine and the children and to Chris, my former student at Queen’s University.
    John was a man of principle and immense talent. He will be missed by his students and former colleagues.
    Jacques Nantel, Kingston Ontario

  4. Victor Babarovich

    I am very sad by the news as I met Professor Meech in 2012 when he was the cochair of our Automining 2012 Conference in Chile. It was a great honour to share some time with him. From the distance I want to express my condolences to his family.

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