Biography - Yvon Le Page  

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Yvon Le Page 

By Robert F. Martin

Yvon Le Page hails from Morlaix, Brittany, one of the westernmost points in France. He was born in 1943. He took his first degree in Engineering Physics at the Université de Lyon (1964). There followed quite an upheaval, as he and his wife Colette decided to emigrate to Canada. At École Polytechnique, which is associated with the Université de Montréal, he undertook an investigation of the crystal structure of diopside from the Oka intrusive complex under the guidance of Guy Perrault. Yvon had to become thoroughly familiar with the software needed to refine a structure; he even modified it to facilitate the daunting job.

From his M.Sc.A. (1968), he progressed to a more challenging structure, one with tunnels. In his doctoral thesis, entitled Détermination de la structure atomique de la lemoynite, (Na,K)2CaZr2Si10O26•5.6H2O (D.Sc.A., 1973), Yvon proposed a new method for the solution of superstructures by direct methods. He was a lecturer at École Polytechnique (1967–1973), then moved across town to McGill University as a post-doctoral fellow (1974–1977), where he worked closely with both José Donnay and Gabrielle Donnay.

He then undertook a second post-doctoral appointment at the National Research Council in Ottawa in 1977. He has spent his career there, and published widely in the fields of geometrical crystallography, X-ray diffraction physics, structure analysis and the crystal chemistry of inorganic compounds, including superconductors. He is best known for his development of the program MISSYM, meant to identify the symmetry of a structure model within a given distance tolerance. This program has played a major role in the correct solution of complex mineral structures. He and his team of crystallographers received a much-coveted NRC award for Research Excellence in 2008. Yvon Le Page retired from NRC’s Institute of Environmental Chemistry as Principal Research Officer in 2013. He currently resides in Gatineau, Quebec.

The mineral lepageite was named in recognition of Le Page’s career-long contributions to crystallography and mineralogy. For the mineralogy description, see Pieczka, A., Cooper, M.A. & Hawthorne, F.C. (2019): Lepageite, Mn2+3(Fe3+7Fe2+4)O3[Sb3+5As3+8O34], a new arsenite–antimonite mineral from the Szklary pegmatite, Lower Silesia, Poland. American Mineralogist 104, 1043-1050.