Wednesday, 6 December 2017

89th birthday greetings to Prof. Douglas Fuerstenau

Two years ago I had the enormous privilege of interviewing Prof. Doug Fuerstenau,  P. Malozemoff Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, for the MEI blog (posting of 20 July 2015). One of the all-time greats of mineral processing, Doug is 89 years old today, and we all wish him the very best as he enters his 90th year.
I am sure, however, that he and his wife of 64 years, Peggy, will want to put 2017 well behind them, as they were very much affected by the devastating fires that struck Napa and Sonoma Counties in Northern California in early October. Doug and Peggy live in a retirement village in Sonoma County and some 2000 homes were burned in Santa Rosa, but those in the Spring Lake Village where they live were spared.
The remains of Sarah and Scott's home
Doug and Peggy's daughter, Sarah, and son-in-law Scott, were not so fortunate, however, as their house in Glen Ellen, about 10 miles away, was completely incinerated, with everything in it. Doug and Peggy lost the storage building that had been constructed on Scott’s one-acre lot to store the many things that Doug had kept, related more or less to professional work.
Doug says that despite all this, they are thankful to be alive, as 44 people died in the fires. He said "one reads about disasters, but almost always the effects do not impinge on one personally.   Peg had two or three boxes with two complete sets of her very good china tableware plus antique goblets, etc. None survived.  Reprints of all my publications are ashes, including all of the original drawings of figures for theses and papers, reports, correspondence, some data files, very old books, Kodachrome slides, cameras, antique mining lamps, etc.  Whenever I think about looking  for something, I realize that it now has been burned to ashes or melted".
We wish Doug, Peggy and their family all the good fortune for 2018, and I am sure that if any of you have copies of Doug's publications and memorabilia, he would be very pleased to hear from you.


  1. Barry,
    Let me join you in wishing Prof.Dough and his Family all the best in the years to come. I have great regard for Dough and enjoyed his hospitality and affection when I visited him at Berkley.
    I do not think there would be any mineral engn anywhere who have not read his articles and pioneering work of many facets of our profession.

  2. Prof. Douglas Fuerstenau,
    Sir--Accept my hearty Birthday greetings to you. And best wishes to all your family members. The contribution you made in the society is wast and knowledgable which benefited many industries in Mining business.

  3. Dear Douglas, while I wish you the best for your anniversary I am so sorry to hear what happened to your archives. It is a great loss not only to you but to our profession. I hope you will forget this with time although I know that this is unforgettable. Fathi
    Fathi Habashi, Laval University, Canada

    1. Congratulations to you also Fathi, on celebrating your 89th birthday in October


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