Monday, 14 May 2012

A welcome invasion from China

In MEI's early days, delegates from China were few. Those that did venture west tended to be mature, male and of professorial status. Their English was poor, and many did not make the effort to interact with other delegates - to be honest, they were hard work.

How times have changed. The number of Chinese delegates attending MEI Conferences has been steadily increasing. There were nine at Comminution '12 and already we have 13 registered for Biohydromet '12 next month in Falmouth.

What is encouraging, however, is how young and vibrant these people are, and the number of females who are attending. They are a pleasure to work with and they are keen to network with western delegates. They have fresh ideas and both east and west can benefit from this interaction.

Chinese delegates at Comminution '12
 The Chinese are making great efforts to master the English language and this is apparent not only at conferences, but also in papers submitted to Minerals Engineering, where only a few years ago virtually all papers had to be returned for English improvement.

Long may this invasion continue. It is great to forge these links between east and west, and let's not forget the young metallurgists from the Republic of Korea, who are also attending international conferences in increasing numbers.

With Korean delegates at Nickel Processing '10


  1. This is a good start. Hope the invasion is not too overwhelming. Sure it will be a great conference and we'll all benefit in terms of knowledge transfer and networking. May these links continue and one never knows China might be an alternative venue for MEI conference in a not so distant future.
    Brenda Chan, Environmental research, China, via Minerals Engineers Group

    1. We are having thoughts on Hong Kong. What do you think Brenda?

    2. Are you serious Barry, or just joking? Conference facilities wise - no
      problem, it is also more accessible to those international travellers, but
      there will be no field trip to mining sites, etc.

    3. Yes, very serious about it Brenda. I am not too worried about trips to mine sites. We abandoned these many years ago due to all the endless health and safety requirements. Last year I was on a SAIMM conference trip to Palabora mine, and we spent almost all our time on inductions, and hardly any time to look at the facilities.
      As you say, Hong Kong would pose very few visa problems for most international delegates


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