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Professor Jack McConnell

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Professor John C. “Jack” McConnell.

Everyone at the Lassonde School of Engineering and throughout the York University community past and present mourns the loss of a friend, a colleague and a truly outstanding academic.

The funeral will take place on Friday, August 2. Full details are available here.

An event to celebrate Jack’s life and scientific contributions will take place in the Fall.

The following obituary was prepared by Jack’s friend Professor Tom McElroy, a faculty member in the Department of Earth & Space Science & Engineering.

John C. (Jack) McConnell  1945 – 2013

Mathematician, physicist, stratospheric chemist, Mars explorer, father, boater, squash player, dancer, teacher, mentor, leader — and friend.

Jack McConnell has been an outstanding chemical dynamical modeller internationally since the mid-1970s. He began his research career at Harvard, working with Michael McElroy, and came to York University in 1972.

He cooperated extensively with Environment Canada during the period when the Stratoprobe balloon flights were being flown in the 70s and 80s, aimed at understanding the potential impacts of supersonic aircraft and chlorofluorocarbons (‘Freon’) on the upper atmosphere.  During his career, he made leading contributions to understanding stratospheric chemistry, tropospheric chemistry and the atmospheric chemistry on Mars.

His publication list stretches to over 150 publications.  He has graduated more than 50 Ph.D. students during his career.  He has provided leadership to the Earth and space science program at York University since joining it in the 1970s.

He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in 2007.  He will be sorely missed.


1969: Ph.D. Queen’s University, Belfast

1966: B.Sc. Queen’s University, Belfast

1969-1970:  Research Assistant, Kitt Peak National Observatory

1970-1972:  Research Fellow, Division of Engineering and Applied Physics, Harvard University

1972-2013: Professor, York University

2008  Patterson Medal awarded for contributions to meteorology by Environment Canada.

2007   IPCC award for contributions to the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 to the IPCC.

2004   Distinguished Research Professor, York University

2001   Elected to Royal Society of Canada

1990   Group Achievement Award for Voyager Science Investigator‚ from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration


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