2020: Quiming Cheng

Quiming Cheng, AAG 2020 Gold Medal

The Association of Applied Geochemists is pleased to announce that the 2020 Gold Medal for outstanding contributions to exploration geochemistry is awarded to Professor Qiuming Cheng, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai City, and China University of Geosciences, Beijing, China.

Professor Cheng completed his Ph.D. in Earth Sciences at the University of Ottawa in 1994 following undergraduate and M.Sc. degrees at Changchun University of Earth Sciences, China. After a decade-long professorship at York University, Toronto, Canada, in 2004 he became a founding Director of a State Key Lab of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources at the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan and Beijing, China. Presently he is Professor, School of Earth Science and Engineering, at Sun Yat-sen University in Zhuhai City, and Faculty of Earth Science and Resources, at the China University of Geosciences, Beijing.

Professor Cheng is truly one of the top internationally leading scientists in quantitative geology and applied geochemistry. He has made fundamental contributions that have significantly advanced the theory of non-linear processes in geosciences and methods for modelling geochemical anomalies for mineral resources and environmental assessments. Professor Cheng’s research contributions to exploration geochemistry have been exceptional in both the development of mathematical theory and the application of unique methods for recognizing mineralized environments across a range of geochemical landscapes, sample media and analytical methods. He has an exceptionally strong mathematical background and his research has resulted in a new paradigm for evaluating geochemical data through the use of non-linear mathematical methods combined with a deep understanding of geochemical processes.

Professor Cheng’s methodology of fractal analysis of geochemical responses has resulted in the discovery of several mineral deposits in China, and his name is synonymous with the application of fractal analysis to geochemical data. More recent innovations are the local singularity analysis method for enhancing weak spatial signals in geochemical data, and a new multifractal inverse distance model. These new methods improve on the recognition of geochemical responses, and his research has influenced the way mineral exploration companies conduct their exploration programs. Professor Cheng has worked closely with both the academic and mineral exploration and mining communities to share and implement his research methodologies. His seminal 1994 paper on The separation of geochemical anomalies from background by fractal methods (Journal of Geochemical Exploration) has alone attracted over 860 citations. His productivity is reflected in his impressive publication record of some 280 journal papers, books and book chapters, generally as lead or as corresponding author, of which more than 44 have been published in AAG-associated journals. Professor Cheng received the Andrei Borisovich Vistelius Research Award from the International Association for Mathematical Geosciences (IAMG) as a promising young scientist and, more recently, the William Christian Krumbein Medal, the highest honour bestowed by the IAMG. He is also the first Fellow of the AAG to ascend to the Presidency of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). Significantly, he has been a mentor and supervisor to 55 graduate students at both York University and the China University of Geosciences.

Professor Cheng is a most worthy recipient of the Association’s Gold Medal. His world-class accomplishments, his record of innovation, the international education of young scientists, and his service to the international scientific community have been remarkable. Presentation of the medal will take place at the upcoming IAGS in Chile this coming October 2021.

Stephen Cook
Chair, AAG Awards Committee