Born: 8 September 1922, Aberdeen, Scotland
Died: 12 March 1988, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Masson earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees in chemistry from the University of Aberdeen, graduating with his PhD in 1948; he came to Canada shortly thereafter. His entire professional employment was with the National Research Council of Canada at the Atlantic Research Laboratory in Halifax, where he established a reputation as a world leader in chemical metallurgy. Masson organized the High Temperature Chemistry Section at ARL, specializing in chemical reactions important in the manufacture of iron and steel. These processes, taking place at about 1600 degrees centigrade, involve two main reactants, molten iron and molten silicate slags. Masson’s life work centred around an investigation of the chemistry of such slags. Beginning in the mid nineteen sixties Masson, together with colleagues, presented an important series of theoretical papers which dealt with the calculation of the metallurgically important oxygen-ion concentration for a wide range of experimental compositions. This research had significant implications for industrial metallurgy.
His research resulted in more than one hundred scientific publications and numerous recognitions and awards, including the Alcan Award of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and election as a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Masson was a past president (1964-66) of the Nova Scotian Institute of Science, the oldest scientific society in Canada.
“Obituary of C.R. Masson 1922–1988”. Proceedings of the Nova Scotian Institute of Science, Vol. 38, pp. 189–197, 1988.
J.L. McLachlan, “Charles Robb Masson, 1922–1988”. Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, Vol. IV, pp. 391–394, 1989.