Arthur A. Brant
1992 Medal of Merit Recipient
Arthur Brant was born in Toronto in 1910 and first showed signs of a distinguished academic career upon graduation from the University of Toronto in 1932 by winning the gold medal in mathematics and physics. His post-graduate training included an MA at Toronto in 1933, a scholarship to Princeton, and a German Exchange Fellowship at the University of Berlin, where he earned a Ph.D. in 1936. There, he applied his considerable skills as a two-time intercollegiate championship hockey player when he coached the hockey aspirants during the winter of 1934-35 Olympic Games in Germany.
His geophysical credentials carne to public attention in 1938, when as an Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Toronto, he and a crew of his students using electrical methods traced a newly discovered high-grade hematite deposit through the ice of Steep Rock Lake. From these beginnings, he built up a wide consulting practice. In 1947, Brant joined Newmont Mining Corporation in a program whereby Newmont sought to convert wartime marine near shore mine detection technology into a tool for detection of mineral deposits. Brant designed and implemented a program of experimentation that eventually resulted in the successful development of the induced polarization geophysical technique. The use of the IP technique culminated in the discovery of significant mineralization at Cuajone, Peru. Under Brant's leadership at Newmont, his group's extensive theoretical and experimental work established useful applications and instrumentation for ground and aerial electromagnetic surveys and in-hole operational techniques.
In 1976, Brant was again associated with developing technology when he served as chairman of the newly formed GeoSat Committee. This committee provided the link between private enterprise, NASA and the government in the use and application of LandSat. He subsequently served on NASA's Space Applications Board. Throughout his professional career, Brant has continued to share his interest through 22 published professional papers, participation in 14 patents, and lectures at leading educational institutions throughout the world. The greatest tributes to Brant are those established by former students and associates in the form of the Arthur Brant lecture series at Columbia University initiated in 1985, and the Brant Chair of Geophysics established in 1989 at the Mackay School of Mines at the University of Nevada Reno.