Tribute to Dr. Eric L. Hoffman – Past President and Founder of Actlabs

Dr. Eric Laurence Hoffman, Ph.D, P.Geo, President and founder of Activation Laboratories Ltd. (Actlabs) passed away on July 10, 2015.

He was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada to parents Jenny and Kelly and had 3 siblings, Barbara, Gordon, and Stanley. In 1974, he received his Bachelor of Science (Hons.) in Geology and his Masters of Science in Geology in 1975, both from McGill University. In 1974, Eric was awarded the Logan Gold Medal for Highest Standing and graduated with First Class Honours with Great Distinction. He received his Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Toronto in 1978 and became a registered Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo) in Ontario in 2002.

Eric Hoffman was an economic geologist with over 30 years of experience in minerals exploration, analysis, and management. In 1978, at the young age of 35, he established Nuclear Activation Services Ltd. where he established the first commercial neutron activation laboratory as a partnership with McMaster University and a commercial laboratory.

In 1987, Dr. Hoffman established Activation Laboratories Ltd. (Actlabs) Group of Companies with a focus on commercializing innovative technologies with the highest quality standards to the Minerals, Metallurgy, Petroleum, Life Sciences, Environmental, Forensics, Materials Testing, and Agriculture Industries. He achieved global success by building and running a company with 27 laboratories in 12 countries. He brought an extraordinary leadership to Actlabs, his peers, and to all of his family.

Eric had a lot of pride in Actlabs and what the company could achieve for the mining industry and the other industries the company serviced. No matter what question or problem a customer had, Eric and Actlabs always tried to solve it. He had a real passion for advancing the geochemical field, but especially the Actlabs Group. He was a very humble man, with incredible drive, intelligence, and strength. He was a true inspiration to many.

Eric was greatly admired and deeply respected by all who knew him. He was an excellent businessman, a great innovator, a valuable contributor to the geochemistry community, a champion of geochemical research, and an icon of the Canadian mineral exploration scene. Eric published consistently throughout his career, was always in attendance at scientific meetings to present and promote the latest in techniques and instrumentation in geochemical exploration. In addition to his close work with industry, hundreds of research papers in the peer-reviewed literature bear the mark of Actlabs’ contributions and Eric’s direct input. He was a strong supporter and sponsor of collaborative industry-university research projects in Canada and abroad. He will be missed by all who interacted with him for his drive and energy.

In 2009, Eric was recognized as a Canadian Innovation Leader by the Government of Canada and was awarded the Association of Applied Geochemists’ Gold Medal for outstanding scientific achievement in applied geochemistry in 2013. The AAG Gold Medal was awarded in recognition of Eric’s career as an industry leader in bringing novel analytical techniques to commercial fruition. He anticipated the evolving needs of the applied geochemist through technique design and instrument modification for a wide variety of sample media – key to longer term success as exploration has moved into progressively more difficult concealed terranes.

In 2014, Actlabs new 200,000 sq ft. global head quarters was officially opened. This new facility marked a milestone for Actlabs growth and a symbol of how much he accomplished. Eric was a very caring husband and father who loved to laugh and travel. He was a brilliant man who provided guidance and advice and was always there for his family. He leaves behind his wife of 38 years, Felyce, and his 3 children, Michael, Rob, and Ariella. Eric’s wife and three children all work at Actlabs and will continue to keep the company strong and thriving along with the rest of the Actlabs team.

Eric’s memory will never be forgotten and his legacy will live forever. In doing so, plans have been put in place to ensure Actlabs’ continues to provide industry leading high quality analyses and innovative technologies with a rapid turnaround time.
You will be sadly missed by all.

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In loving memory of Dr. Eric Hoffman, a Memorial Scholarship at the University of Toronto has been established. This Earth Sciences graduate scholarship will be able to help future students advance a field that Eric was so passionate about. If you’d like to make a contribution, please click on the link: the Eric L. Hoffman Memorial Scholarship