Monday, 23 June 2014

Young Persons' Awards

It is always good to hear of young people in our industry being awarded for their endeavours, so I was pleased to receive an email recently from Prof. Dee Bradshaw of JKMRC, Australia, who is currently on sabbatical at Hacettepe University, Turkey. Dee is also one of MEI's two consultants for Flotation '15. She sent me news of two recent alumni from the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland (UQ) who have both published in Minerals Engineering and who have been rewarded with recognition from their University for outstanding theses. She "thoroughly expects both of them to be leaders in the field in the future".
The two young researchers each won a prestigious Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence 2013. The award, given by the Dean of the UQ Graduate School, gives formal recognition to outstanding PhD and MPhil graduates who have demonstrated excellence in a research higher degree and who have been commended by advisers and independent examiners for substantial contribution to their field of research.
Dr. Wenying Lui's PhD thesis was "A quantitative risk-based approach for improving water quality management in the minerals industry: flotation as an example" Her advisers were Prof. Chris Moran and Dr. Sue Vink.
Wenying has published 5 papers in high-ranking international journals and has also published several conference papers, having presented her work at Procemin 2011 in Chile and the SME Annual Meeting in USA in 2012. She is currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of British Columbia in Canada.
Wenying (left) with fellow PhD students and staff, 2011
Gerson Sandoval-Zambrano‘s PhD project was entitled "Development of a novel strategy to estimate flotation recovery as a function of particle size and mineral liberation." Gerson was supervised by Dr. Elaine Wightman, Prof. Dee Bradshaw and Dr. Gonzalo Montes-Atenas.
After finishing his undergraduate degree at the University of Concepcion, Chile and gaining some relevant industrial experience in Chile, Gerson joined the JKMRC, Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) in 2009 as a PhD candidate. The aim of his research was to develop a novel methodology to predict the efficiency of separating valuable minerals from waste based on the characteristics of individual particles. The outcomes from his work have the potential to reduce the cost and time typically associated with conducting the detailed analysis required to develop a particle property based model of a mineral processing circuit. 
During his candidature Gerson wrote four papers, one of which was published in Minerals Engineering. Two of his papers were published in the peer-reviewed conference proceedings from Procemin 2011 in Chile, which he attended and presented his work. Gerson also presented his work at Flotation '11 and Flotation '13 in Cape Town. This led him to win the SMI Student Publishing award in 2011. In 2012 Gerson was the 23rd winner of the Ian Morley Prize which acknowledges the best overall performance and achievements as a postgraduate student at the JKMRC. He is currently working as a senior engineer at Aminpro, Santiago, Chile.
Gerson´s farewell from Brisbane (front: Gerson, Jocelyn Quinteros, Dr. Cathy Evans,
Prof. Dee Bradshaw. Back: Dr. Elaine Wightman, Prof. N.W. Johnson, Mrs Johnson)
Congratulations Wenying and Gerson, I am sure we will hear much more of you both in the future.


  1. Thank you Barry! You of all people, with your MEI Young Person Award, recognises that the hope of our future depends on young people of calibre to address the sustainable provision of minerals and metal to our world - through either primary and secondary sources. The necessary skills and knowledge as well as the novel methods and processes are developed through post graduate research at Universities around the world.
    So we at UQ are proud of Wenying and Gerson. Thank you for publicising their success and I look forward to hearing about the others’ sucesses.
    With best wishes

  2. Thank you for putting this together, Dee! I feel privileged and honoured at being nominated for this award.


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