Friday, 8 June 2018

Prof. Dee Bradshaw 1958-2018: a great ambassador for women in mining

It is with great sadness that I report that Dee Bradshaw, Emeritus Professor at the University of Cape Town (UCT), passed away last night after her long and very brave battle with cancer.
Dee was a great friend of the family for many years, and it was only in April that she called in at Comminution '18, where she wished it be known to everyone that her cancer had returned and that she was terminally ill. Dee bore her illness with amazing fortitude and spirit and she was a wonderful ambassador for the role of women in modern mining. I could write a great deal about Dee, but would not be able to better the appreciation of her by Anita Parbhakar-Fox, which was published only 3 months ago.
Dee was a great fan and supporter of the MEI blog, so I can think of a no more suitable way to show our appreciation of her than by this collection of photos which have appeared on the blog over many years. She was always smiling, and in many cases advising, and enjoying the company of, young people, many of who she personally mentored.
Dee will be greatly missed. She was passionate about the development of students and believed in giving them an opportunity to travel and learn. Shortly before her death, she set up the Dee Bradshaw and Friends International Travel Scholarship for students who display academic merit and are registered for a postgraduate qualification in the field of the minerals sector at UCT. The purpose of the proposed travel to an approved international institution is to enhance research and education capacity, skills and experience. The successful student will receive support for travel and subsistence for one trip during their studies. Full details can be obtained from: Mary Hilton (
Our thoughts are with Dee's husband Mike, and family, at this very difficult time.
At Comminution '18 with me, Barbara, Amanda and Jon
With UCT's Prof. J-P Franzidis, at Comminution '18
At Flotation '17
With Norman Lotter at Process Mineralogy '17
With South African delegates at Sustainable Minerals '16 in Falmouth
Dinner with Dee and Mike at their Cape Town home, April 2016
With young people at Flotation '11
With Jenny Wiese and Kari Heiskanen at the IMPC in Chile, 2014
In Denver with Sara Schwarz and Mark Richardson for SME '11
With Jan Cilliers in Brisbane for IMPC 2010
At Process Mineralogy '10 with me, Norman Lotter and Megan Becker

At Flotation '09 with delegates who had attended all the century's major flotation conferences:
Graeme Jameson, Dan Alexander, Jim Finch, Antonio Peres and Stephen Neethling
Reagents '04 in Falmouth, with Kathryn Hadler, Jenny Wiese, Barbara, Jon and Amanda

And our first meeting with Dee in 1991 in Cornwall for the first Reagents conference

Update of 26th July 2018: Many thanks to Prof. Janusz Laskowski for sending these photos of him and Dee, taken in 1999:


  1. I will miss You Dee!
    We know each other so long already and we had so many plans for the future.
    It was always just beautiful to meet with you, wherever we met each other around the globe. So great always to discuss and just chat about things.
    Take care where you are now in peace and tranquility.

  2. Fly with the angels wonderful lady. It has been a privilege and an honour to be a part of your life, both as a friend and a colleague. I will miss you forever, even as I continue to work on the projects and thrusts that we have initiated and schemed over, and supervise the students we have shared. Love, admiration and respect always. Your "partner in crime" (as Mike would say) for the past two to three years, Jenny Broadhurst

  3. Such a sad news. Dee was a great scientist and friend. We will all miss her.
    Rest in peace Dee!

  4. We are deeply sorry to hear the sad news, great professor, great person, great mentor, we love you and rest in peace. Our thoughts are with my mike and the family.
    Baris Gazanfer YILDIRIM

  5. Heartbroken- my thoughts are with Dee's family, friends and colleagues. I'm going to make sure I put into practice all the wonderful things Dee taught me. Such an inspiring woman, I'm thankful to have known her.

  6. Deeply saddened to hear this news. As a scientist, she was always looking to drive innovation, particularly in process mineralogy and in this aspect the discipline has lost one of its strongest and most passionate advocates. But she was also a huge personal influence on me and I cherish the time and energy she shared with me and with the Masters she encouraged me to do. Rest in peace - my thoughts and prayers are with your family, friends and colleagues.
    Christopher Brough

  7. Virginia Lawson8 June 2018 at 10:38

    My condolences to Dee’s family and the many people influenced by her teachings. You will be missed and you will be remembered.


  8. Dee - you have been such an inspiration to us all, loving and caring for so many of us. Everyone was special to you. We know that your legacy lives on far and wide with the many lives you have influenced - the Living Gold. You will be sorely missed. You remain as one of the special people I have every had the opportunity to know for which I am eternally grateful. Megan Becker, UCT.

    Dee's family have also asked that if you wish to send personal memories and tributes, please do so

  9. Very sad news. A great loss for the mineral processing family, especially for the many many students she taught and supervised in JKMRC and UCT. Rest in peace, Dee. We will miss you.
    Xumeng Chen

    1. Shocked and saddened, R.I.P.

  10. Many of you will know that I have known Dee since she was an undergraduate in Chemical Engineering in the late 70s and early 80s at which time I lectured her. Dee graduated in 1981 and I can recall so well her coming to see me in about mid-1983 when she asked if I had something intellectually stimulating for her to do since she was tired of kiddies parties. My small flotation group was just starting to grow nicely and I needed a competent research assistant and so I employed Dee in that capacity. She worked mornings only and took off the school holidays so that she could look after her growing family. The rest is history and a wonderful one at that. In Dee I struck gold! She went on to do a PhD with me, Professor at UCT and UQ, Research Leader, etc etc. I don’t think there is anybody I know who had such a broad network of friends around the world and the many messages I have received in recent weeks from many of those testify the huge respect and affection everyone had for Dee. To say that she will be greatly missed is a massive understatement. People like Dee are one in a million. On behalf of her many colleagues at UCT and also on behalf of the International Mineral Processing Council I extend deepest sympathies to her husband Mike, her dear mother, her wonderful sons John, Steven and Charles (who like their mother have all been hugely successful) and her grandchildren. We share with you in your loss of a husband, a daughter, a mother and a grandmother. May she rest in peace and may she long be remembered. Cyril O’Connor

  11. Dee was a true inspiration to us all. She will remain in our hearts and minds. I will always remember Dee's smiles, her loving nature, her passion for students and education and interactions with colleagues, friends, and research collaborators. I have immense respect for Dee as person and as professional. I got to know Dee through the management and activities of the Western Cape branch of the SAIMM, when Dee was at UCT and I at Stellenbosch University. I followed Dee's career with interest and it was fantastic to see Dee achieve success after success in the global mineral processing field. She was always greatly respected by all who have known her.
    I can only echo's Cyril O'Connor's words and state that she will be greatly missed. My sincere sympathies to Mike and her sons. May she rest in peace.

  12. My sincere condolences to Mike and family. Dee was a rare person truly gifted with social and technical skills, and carried her own sunshine wherever she went. I was very fortunate to meet her in the postgrad school at UCT whilst studying with Cyril. From that year on we started researching together in flotation projects, and became travelling companions in the pathway of life. Together we did some really interesting work. Fly with the angels my friend. You will be sorely missed by many, many people.

  13. Rest in peace Dee. So glad I had the chance to chat to you in April in Cape Town and say what I want to say to you personally. We met each other inthe 1980’s and attended the Reagents Conference together in 1991, the first of many. Thanks for being an incredibable person in all aspects of your life. You were really an inspiration to many, especially hundreds of students. You will be surely missed.

  14. Dear Dee,
    I am very sad but I am forever grateful for your supervision work when I did my PhD studies at JKMRC. I am also forever grateful for being my friend.
    God bless you and your family.
    Boris Albijanic

  15. I had the great pleasure of interacting with Dee for two decades. My wife Ann and I had lunch with Dee last November at the Rhodes Memorial Restaurant in Cape Town. We were so impressed , indeed overwhelmed, by her courage and happiness in the face of real adversity. Dee was: vivacious; kind to a fault; full of enthusiasm and ideas; enormously helpful to many people, facilitating their careers; always asking questions; pushing the boundaries of minerals research, probing for links and connections. She lived life to the full and we are so happy and proud to have spent precious time with her.
    John Ralston

  16. Our very heartfelt and deepest condolences to Mike and the family. The mining industry has indeed lost one of the greats. Dee’s infectious spirit will be with us always.
    Donna Starkey, Canada

  17. Deeply saddened by the news. Dee was not only an outstanding minerals engineer, but also a genuine and lovely human being. My sincere condolences to Dee's family.

  18. Saeed Chehreh Chelgani9 June 2018 at 16:59

    Deeply saddened.RIP. :( :(

  19. Dee was an inspiration to me and my family, and I think we have all lost a little something with her passing. My heart and thoughts go out to her family. I'm sad.

  20. My deepest condolences to Dee's family, friends and colleagues. Dee has been an inspiration to many young and emerging researchers (like myself) in flotation reagents chemistry at UCT's Centre for Minerals Research. She was the Chief of Panel during my PhD proposal and I am greatly thankful for the advice and suggestions that she and other panel members put together which helped in shaping my PhD journey. God be with you until we meet again!

    Malibongwe Manono

  21. It is impossible to say enough about Dee. She has been, and no doubt will continue to be in memory, an inspiration to those she met, worked-with or taught. Her positive attitude to research, teaching, engagement (etc.) was always able to inspire. She will be sorely missed.

  22. I am so very sad to hear about Dee's passing away. I really wish she's with the angels right now as I have experienced her as a very kind and special person. My first encounter was at Flotation'13 when I was just new to the Mineral Processing and Flotation community and she was really the first who made me feel so welcome and let me enjoy the community every since. I got to know her as a truly inspiring women and enjoyed so much the many times we met at various meetings across the world. I will never forget her stay with us in Freiberg and Dresden two years ago, when visiting our facilities, discussing various topics and enjoying the night at the Schillergarten in Dresden. She realy cared about all aspects of Mineral Processing science. What will also forever last is the memory of our last encounter at Flotation'17 when she showed me the importance of positivity in life. My thoughts are with all the people she leaves behind, especially her family and as well her international mineral processing family. Rest in Peace, Dee, I will miss you.

  23. So sad to hear this news. Dee was an inspiration to me. She provided me with great help when she worked at The University of Queensland. I will miss her wisdom and her smile.

  24. This is very sad news indeed. Our prayers are with her family at this time. I met Dee when she did a short secondment at Rio Tinto T&I in Melbourne Australia. She made such an impact on me and was such an encourager. It seemed that overtime when I saw her again at a conference she again was encouraging me to publish the work we do. She was such a great ambassador for process mineralogy and someone who saw potential and believed in everyone she met. She will be greatly missed and our community will not be the same without her.

  25. Dee Bradshaw memories Album
    I compiled a memories album for Dee, which we gave to her in April. She greatly enjoyed the photographs and notes from about 70 colleagues, close friends, and past students around the world. With her passing on, we are opening up the album again for anyone who wishes to contribute. We will compile it into an eBook form for open access to her extensive web of friends and connections worldwide.
    If you wish to contribute memories and photographs please send to me by the 30th June.
    Malcolm Powell

  26. My heartfelt thoughts are with Mike and the family. I am saddened that our physical paths no longer cross somewhere on this planet. I will keep Dee and all her amazing attributes in my heart. She continues to be a shining light for young and old and remains an inspiration to soldier on, regardless. I am forever grateful for her smiles, encouragements, and support. I miss you, Dee.

  27. Thanks to Prof. Janusz Laskowski, who has sent me two photos of him and Dee, taken in 1999, which I have added to the posting

  28. It is with great sadness that I happened upon this obituary today. Dee was an amazing person and academic who was always enthusiastic, always seemed to have a smile on her face and was always willing to assist or provide guidance.
    RIP Dee!


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