Obituary, Dr Michael John Graham FICorr, 1940-2022

The Institute of Corrosion is very sad to announce the passing of Dr Michael John Graham FICorr, on August 2nd 2022, at the age of 82.

Over Michael’s long research career, he published more than 250 papers on his work in corrosion science and engineering, including thin oxide film formation on metals and semiconductors, surface passivation, high temperature oxidation, and the application of surface analytical techniques to degradation of materials. The outstanding nature of his work was recognised by the Institute through the receipt of both the U. R. Evans Award (1994) and the T. P. Hoar Award (1983). He was made a Fellow of the Institute in 1984.

Michael had a distinguished 36 year career at the National Research Council of Canada, starting as a Post-Doctoral Fellow and retiring in 2005 as a Researcher Emeritus. In addition to his ICorr awards, he received the W. R. Whitney Award (2003) and the H. H. Uhlig Award (1997) from NACE, and was Chair of the International Corrosion Council (1996), Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Corrosion (1985), Co-chair of the 9th International Congress on Metallic Corrosion (1984), and Fellow of NACE (1994).

His leadership responsibilities at the National Research Council of Canada included, Head of Metallic Corrosion and Oxidation, Head of Chemical Characterisation, Head of Surfaces and Interfaces, and Chemistry Division representative to NRC-wide planning and management committees.

He will be particularly remembered for his love of the Gordon Research Conferences on corrosion where he was an active participant in the science and recreational aspects of all but one conference over 47 years. He will be remembered for his sharp mind, determination, fairmindedness, soft-spoken nature, and genuine kindness.

In addition to his love for research in surface science, he was an avid golfer, captained his cricket club in Ottawa,
and played bridge nearly weekly with close friends for over 40 years. Michael was educated at the Creighton School, Carlisle, and the University of Liverpool (B.Sc. with Distinction, 1961; Honours Chemistry, 1962, Ph.D., Surface Chemistry, 1965). In 1998, he was awarded the Honorary Degree of D.Sc. for his contributions to science. He was also a proud recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal (2002).

Michael is survived by his wife and best friend of many years, Lynda Pilkington, his daughter, Karen Lavallee, his sons, John and Andrew, and the mother of his children, Marion Payne.

Adapted from: The Electrochemical Society Interface
31 45 – Winter 2022,

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