Ronald Glen Lang McCready


Dr. Ron McCready, past Secretary of BIOMINET (1985-1991), passed away on June 3rd, 1995. Ron was a biohydrometallurgist respected world-wide. He has contributed to both basic and applied microbiology. His major achievements include an important contribution in the development of the uranium bioleach operations at Denison Mines, Ontario. Ron also spearheaded the establishment of the BIOMINET Network. As section head he led the biotechnology effort at CANMET from an activity focussed on uranium bioleaching to a group active in effluent treatment, metal recovery and other activities of interest to the mining community, earning the Biotechnology group an Energy, Mines and Resources Canada departmental merit award in 1989.

Ron McCready started his career after graduating from the University of Alberta (B.Sc. Pharmacy, M.Sc. Microbiology) as Lecturer in Microbiology at the University of Alberta. He moved to California in 1966 to work as a research assistant in the Department of Geology, University of California (Los Angeles). In 1973, after completing a Ph.D. in Microbial Metabolism at the University of Calgary, Dr. McCready worked as a research associate at UNISUL (University of Calgary) before joining CANMET as a staff microbiologist in 1975. In 1978, he left CANMET for the Lethbridge Research Station, Agriculture Canada, in Alberta. Dr. McCready moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1982 to join Dalhousie University as Associate Professor with the Department of Biology. In 1985 he joined CANMET a second time as section head of the biotechnology group, helping it gain international recognition through activities such as Biohydrometallurgy '89 which CANMET co-hosted and prepared and distributed the Proceedings. Ron McCready moved to Calgary in 1991 where he worked as Director of Scientific and Technical Services for Industrial Biotechnology Services (1991-1994) and in Technology Development with Applied Technologies Corp. Environmental Group (1994-1995). Throughout his career as a microbiologist, Ron maintained his expertise in Pharmacy and remained a member of the Alberta Pharmaceutical Association. Dr. Ron McCready was author and co-author of numerous publications/reports, and was the main writer for the BIOMINET Newsletter during his years as Secretary. He is also inventor of patents relating to biosorption, selenium recovery, oxalate degradation and biodegradation of ethylene glycol.

Ron will be remembered for his gruff manner and his contagious enthusiasm for "garbage-can microbiology", as he referred to the R&D work he carried out. He was able to bridge the worlds of microbiology and mining by believing and demonstrating that biotechnological processes could be successfully applied to the mining sector. Ron mixed a large dose of common sense with a keen understanding of biohydrometallurgy to recognize and deliver successful projects. Ever the teacher, Ron had an excellent ability to explain his science in plain and simple terms to those in other disciplines. Co-workers and fellow scientists from outside organizations who earned his respect received his full support and benefited from his advice and knowledge. Ron McCready will be missed. He is survived by his wife Wendy and son Glen.

[This text was blatantly stolen from]