Frank Hawthorne

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Frank Christopher Hawthorne
Born (1946-01-08) 8 January 1946 (age 71)
Bristol, England
Fields Mineralogy and Crystallography
Institutions University of Manitoba
Alma mater Imperial College London
McMaster University
Notable awards Order of Canada
Roebling Medal (2013)

Frank Christopher Hawthorne, OC FRSC (born 8 January 1946 in Bristol, England) is a Canadian mineralogist and crystallographer.


Hawthorne 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 PhD 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 used several experimental techniques, including X-ray and neutron diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, and Mössbauer spectroscopy. He summarised 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 used 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 crystallisation of magmas.

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