Medals and Awards

Beginning in 2020, SEG shifted the date for all awards listed below to the year in which they were presented rather than the year in which awardees were nominated. Lectureships already satisfied this condition.

Presentation of awards for excellence is an important Society activity. SEG Members and Fellows are invited to submit nominations for these prestigious honors. Candidates representing each of the three components of SEG membership—industry, government, and academia—are solicited.


The 2020 Awards Ceremony was presented virtually and recorded.

Watch the Awards Ceremony

2021 R.A.F. Penrose Gold Medal

Awarded in recognition of a full career in the performance of outstanding work in the earth sciences.
Qualifications and past recipients.


Lawrence M. Cathles III

SEG Senior Fellow

After completing doctoral research on the viscosity of the earth's mantle at Princeton, Cathles spent seven years at Kennecott Copper Corporation's Ledgemont Laboratory investigating the genesis of porphyry copper deposits and industrial leaching. In 1978 he joined the faculty of The Pennsylvania State University to research the dewatering of basins and the formation of massive sulfide deposits at mid-ocean ridges and in failed rifts in Japan. Joining the Chevron Oil Field Research Laboratory in 1982 he developed genetic and exploration models for gold and sulfide deposits, and investigated the CO2 generation that often attends steam injection for enhanced oil recovery. At Cornell University since 1987 he investigated oil and gas generation and migration in the Gulf of Mexico Basin, co-directed an industrial associates program, developed models that simulate the chemical alteration caused by the movements of water in the subsurface, developed models of CO2 migration and filling of reservoirs in the South China Sea, developed vein halo models that suggest very fast and nearly explosive formation of porphyry coper systems, investigated pressure seals, and investigated the use of inert nanoparticles to define the pathways of actual flow in the subsurface. He was the 24th Hugh Exton McKinstry Memorial Lecturer (1989) at Harvard, the 2008 Adrian Smith Lecturer at the University of Waterloo, the 2011 Distinguished Lecturer for the Society of Economic Geologists, a Plenary speaker at the 2012 Goldschmidt Conference in Montreal, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has published over 140 peer-reviewed publications and a book: "The Viscosity of the Earth's Mantle". He is a past director of the Cornell Institute for the Study of the Continents.

2021 SEG Silver Medal

Awarded to recipients in mid-career for excellence in original work in the geology of mineral deposits.
Qualifications and past recipients.


Andy Tomkins

SEG Member

Andrew (Andy) Tomkins worked with Rio Tinto as an exploration geologist for three years before completing a PhD in 2002 at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. After an Alberta Ingenuity Fellowship at the University of Calgary in Canada, he moved to Monash University, initially holding a 5-year Monash Research Fellowship position and then gaining a tenured position in 2011. Andy’s primary research focus is on investigating the role of upper mantle and deep crustal processes on formation of mineral deposits, and also likes to apply the principles of economic geology and metamorphic petrology to solving problems in planetary science.

2021 Waldemar Lindgren Award

Awarded to an individual under the age of 37 in recognition of published research that represents an outstanding contribution to economic geology.
Qualifications and past recipients.


Margaux Le Vaillant

SEG Member

Since 2017, Margaux has been working as a research scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia. Her research focuses on the understanding of magmatic ore systems and the development of tools and techniques to help the mineral exploration industry. She specialised in magmatic sulfide systems (Ni, Cu, Co, PGE) and currently leads the Ore Deposit Petrology Team focused on targeting, detection and characterisation of these systems using geochemistry, petrology and mineralogy. Before this, she carried out a 3 year Post-doc with CSIRO, investigating some important physical processes related to the genesis of magmatic nickel sulfide deposits, and her PhD, received in 2015 from the University of Western Australia in 2015, focused on hydrothermal footprints around these same systems. Her previous qualifications include a Master's of science from Lulea University of Technology (Sweden) specialised in mineral exploration, an Engineer degree from the ENSG (Ecole Nationale Superieure de Geologie) in Nancy, France, and a Bachelor in Science from the National Polytechnic Institute of Lorraine (France).

CSIRO Profile | ORCID ID | Google Scholar Profile | LinkedIn


2021 Ralph W. Marsden Award

Awarded for exceptional stewardship and contributions to Society affairs.
Qualifications and past recipients.


Erich U. Petersen

SEG Fellow

Coming soon...

2021 Brian J. Skinner Award

Awarded to the author(s) of an outstanding paper published in Economic Geology.
Qualifications and past recipients.


David R. Burrows

SEG Fellow

David is currently Chief Geologist for Vale Global Exploration, and prior to that for Inco, and has worked on a wide variety of exploration projects worldwide including porphyry copper, IOCG, magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE and gold deposits. Before this, he completed a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Economic Geology at the University of Toronto and received a bachelor's degree in Natural Sciences / Geology from Trinity College Dublin.

Read David's Paper

Nominating Instructions

SEG Members and Fellows are urged to participate in this important process by nominating outstanding candidates for this prestigious honor. Candidates representing each of the three components of SEG membership—industry, government, and academia—are solicited.

A nomination must be supported by signed letters of support from three SEG Fellows or Members to be considered by the SEG Awards Committee and SEG Council. Nominees must not be currently serving on SEG Council.

Submit letters and award nomination form to Frances Kotze at

Application Deadline: July 15 of the current year.

SEG 2020 Virtual Awards Ceremony

Presented on December 15, 2020