Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Book Review: The Canadian Metallurgical & Materials Landscape 1960 to 2011

The Canadian Metallurgical & Materials Landscape 1960 to 2011 is edited by Joël Kapusta, Phillip Mackey and Nathan Stubina, and published by the Metallurgy and Materials Society of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum,  (ISBN: 978-1-926872-08-7).

The book is subtitled “Golden Anniversary of the Conference of Metallurgists” (see also posting of 7 October 2011), and covers the fifty years organizing the Conference of Metallurgists in Canada and is dedicated to all those who toiled and helped build the Canadian mining, metallurgical, and materials industry into what it is today, and to all those who contributed to the growth of the Conference of Metallurgists over its first fifty years.

MEI has received the following review of the book from Fathi Habashi, Emeritus Professor at Laval University, Canada:

In introducing the book, the editors discuss the importance of mining in Canada and its contribution of $ 32 billion to Gross Domestic Product. They briefly outline in general terms the scope of the book and how the idea of writing it originated. The book is divided into eight sections:

[1] Introductory Topics
This section is in 4 papers. The first covers history of the conferences and the vast number of books and proceedings volumes generated from these conferences and who contributed to this effort. The article concludes that The Society is continuously improving its structure to better serve its members. When celebrating an anniversary one should look back to gain insight into the future. One of the gods honoured by the Romans was Janus for whom the month of January is named. He is represented by a head with two faces, one looking at the past and the other looking to the future.

The second paper discusses Canada’s mining industry and recent social, economic and business trends. This is then followed by a paper discussing metallurgical/materials engineering education in Canada. The last paper in this section discussed the important role of Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology, known by the acronym CANMET, in advancing metallurgical developments in Canada. Originally this was known as the Mines Branch of Canadian Department of Mines and Technical Surveys.

[2] Iron and steel
There is a comprehensive paper on the development of the iron and steel industry in Canada.

[3] The non-ferrous metals
There are 3 papers in this section covering the developments in copper, nickel, and the lead - zinc industries in Canada during this fifty years period.

[4] Light metals
There are 2 papers in this section one on magnesium and one on aluminium.

[5] Gold and uranium processing
Also this section incudes two papers one on gold and the other on uranium.

[6] Metallurgical & material processing
There are five well documented review papers in this section that cover mineral processing, hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, material science, and recycling.

[7] Supporting technology areas
This section contains 4 papers. The first is devoted to the development of the F.A.C.T / FactSage System and its impact in Canadian metallurgy. This is a 25-page review of a computer program for calculating thermodynamic properties, phase equilibria, and chemical reactions in complex metallurgical systems developed in the early 1970s by Arthur D. Pelton and Christopher W. Bale, two professors at École Polytechnique in Montreal and proved to be very useful for academic and industrial research. The second, « The Dynamic Evolution of the Metallurgical Engineering Companies » is written by a senior industry manager who discusses the different engineering companies that evaluate projects, supply machinery, and build metallurgical plants. Discussed also are the merging of different companies and the name change. This is a very useful guide for those involved in the consulting business.

The third paper is about mining, metals and materials research organizations in Canada. This is also a very useful guide covering federal and provincial research organizations as well as industrial and commercial research centres. Finally, the editors asses the situation and discuss the next 50 years of Canadian mining and metallurgy.

[8] Appendices
There are 3 articles in this section. The first entitled, “Canada’s Pioneer Metallurgists”, which traces the work and biographies of the first metallurgists in Canada and those who passed away and contributed to education and research up to the present. The two other papers are testimonies of two European members who are regular participants at the conferences.

Finally, the book ends with Authors Index and short notes on the authors. The book is fully illustrated mostly in color, and printed on high quality paper. The comprehensive references at the end of each chapter are of special importance. The editors have done an excellent job in soliciting the work of these 53 authors and compiling such a huge document that describes the metallurgical industry in Canada. However, not much discussed in the volume are the ferroalloys industry in Canada [ferroniobium, ferrosilicon, and ferromanganese], and ilmenite processing. The book will remain as an essential and brilliant document for Canada’s metallurgical industry for years to come.

Sincere congratulations.
Fathi Habashi

1 comment:

  1. Is there any similar landscape book for Australia?

    Yinghui Liu from the uni of newcastle


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