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Three Governing Board Members of the International Research Centre on Karst under the auspices of UNESCO won Lifetime Achievement Award

Published Time:2022-07-12

Recently, an excellent news from EUROKARST2022 (held in June, Malaga of Spain)Organization Committee just reached the International Research Centre on Karst under the auspices of UNESCO (IRCK) that at its 50th Anniversary of the Karst Commission under the International Association of Hydrogeologists, three Governing Board Members of IRCK were rewarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, they are Academician Yuan Daoxian from China, Prof. Petar Milanovic from Serbia and Prof. Derek Ford from Canada. Only three scientists were be honored to won this award in the world now.

Academician Yuan is a Chinese karst hydrogeologist, karst ecological geologist, and karst geomorphologist.He is now working in the Institute of Karst Geology under the China Geological Survey, also working as a supervisor for postgraduate students from many universities and research institutions. He is not only the giant in karst research of China, but also a pioneer to promote the international cooperation on karst research for China. He established the karst dynamics theory and developed modern karstology. He led or guided six successive IGCP projects, and established long-term stable relationship for cooperation with nearly 50 countries. He wrote the monographs including Theory and Practice of Karst Dynamics, Modern Karstology, Karst of China, and Significant Environmental Geological Problems in Karst Rocky Mountainous Areas of Southwest China and Their Countermeasures, have already been the classical textbooks for karst education in China, especially the Karst of China has become a best representative to introduce karst in China to the world. Under his great efforts, the International Research Centre on Karst under the auspices of UNESCO, the first UNESCO category 2 centre in the field of geosciences, was established in 2008 in Guilin, Guangxi, China. From then on, IRCK had become an important stage for international cooperation on karst worldwide.

Prof. Petar Milanovic is a Serbian karst hydrogeologist and karst engineering geologist. He has ever worked in Mostar University of Bosnia and Herzegovina, he also worked for UNDP as a consultant on karst hydrogeology. He is now the President of IAH National Chapter for Serbia. He has led nearly 150 projects on karst water resources development and protection, reservoir leakage prevention and control, as well as the engineering tunnels leakage prevention and control in 15 countries, especially the outstanding achievements on reservoir leakage prevention and control. He wrote the monographs including Geological Engineering in Karst, Water Resources Engineering in Karst and Engineering Karstology of Dams and Reservoirs have already become classical textbooks for karst engineering education of the world.

Prof. Derek Ford is a Canadian karst hydrogeologist and karst geomorphologist. He is now the Professor Emeritus of McMaster University in Canada, he is also the Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada Academy of Science and former president of International Union of Speleology (UIS). He focused on the research of karst speleology and paleontology, and acquired especially great achievements in the research of ice caves. He created the U-Th dating method for carbonates in caves and proposed the research field of using stalagmites to reconstruct paleoclimate. His monograph Karst Hydrogeology and Geomorphology published in 1989 was considered as one of the most classical textbooks for the education on karst hydrogeology and karst geomorphology in the world, with about 2,000 citations since its publication. And after its republication in 2007, the citations has ever reached 2,407.

As early as 1980s, Academician Yuan had established great cooperation with Prof. Milanovic and Prof. Ford, all of whom endeavored to promote the long-term development of karst science all over the world. Since the interception of IRCK in 2008, the three giant karstologists have taken IRCK as their academic outreach stage and led the international cooperation on karst, facilitate the cultivation of young karst scientists, as well as assist the sustainable development of karst areas in the world jointly.

There’s many a good tune played on an old fiddle. Although the era ship turned fast without any stop, although the time passed without any hesitation, yet the diligent exploring spirit of the three scientists will encourage us to go ahead forever.

Note*All names mentioned are in random order.


                                      Rewarding ceremony: Prof. Nico Goldscheider, the past chair of Karst Commission

                                  under IAH, introduced the three scientists rewarded the Lifetime Achievement Award 


                                                         Prof. Mlianovic (right) received the award on site, while Academician Yuan and

                                                                      Prof. Ford were granted the award virtually