17 Montrealers have been awarded the Ordre de Montréal insignia for 2024. Discover them!

Ashok Vijh


Nicknamed the “father of electrochemical physics”, Ashok Vijh is a distinguished scientist and a founding member of the Hydro-Québec Institute of Research (IREQ). He is behind dozens of scientific breakthroughs, which have resulted in innovations across many different sectors, including energy, electric industry and certain areas of cancer research.

Ashok Vijh actively contributed to the development of the electrochemical laboratories of the IREQ. He has earned international recognition through the publication of over 380 articles and seven books on interfacial electrochemistry, energy conversion and storage, and the electrochemical treatment of cancerous tumours, among many others. His contributions also extend to other areas, such as the interaction of science and society, including ethics, professional conduct, creativity, science as culture, science policy and  philosophy of science.

Ashok Vijh is a guest professor and thesis adviser at the INRS (Institut national de la recherche scientifique). In addition, he has mentored many students and professors, who have gone on to contribute to the advancement of science. Driven by humanistic and ethical considerations, he promotes the role of science and research in society.

Born in India, Ashok Vijh was the first Canadian of non-European extraction to be elected President of the Academy of Science of the Royal Society of Canada, a position he held from 2005 to 2007. He also chaired the NATO Committee on Peace and Science and the NATO Committee on Physics, Chemistry and Biology. He is a fellow of several learned societies and academies around the world, including the World Academy of Sciences in Italy, the European Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters in France as well as the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Physics in the United Kingdom. In addition, he was elected as Visiting Fellow of the St. Edmund’s College at Cambridge University.

Ashok Vijh has received over 60 major distinctions, such as the Thomas W. Eadie  Medal of the Royal Society of Canada in 1989, the Chemical Institute of Canada Medal in 1990 and the Prix du Québec Marie-Victorin for Pure and Applied Sciences in 1998. He was the youngest winner of the Killam Memorial Prize of the Canada Council in 1987. He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1989, a Knight of l’Ordre national du Québec in 1986 and subsequently promoted to Officer of that Order in 2008. He has also received the Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee Medal and Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Ashok Vijh holds a doctorate in electrochemistry from the University of Ottawa and honorary doctorates from Concordia University, the University of Waterloo, Punjab University and the INRS (Institut national de la recherche scientifique).

The picture and biographical information appearing on this page were current at the time this person was admitted to the Ordre de Montréal.