Thursday, 2 May 2019

It's good to talk- even on social media

Prof. T.C. Rao is one of Asia's most respected mineral processors, and generally acknowledged as the Father of Indian Mineral Processing. A former Director of the Regional Research Laboratory (CSIR), Bhopal, he was for many years the Head of the Dept. of Fuel and Mineral Engineering at the Indian School of Mines. He is passionate about educating and developing the careers of young mineral processors, so the email that he sent to me a few days ago is very worthy of note:
"It bothers me why the academicians and researchers in Research Laboratories across the world, and above all the research scholars in our discipline, do not respond to the many developments and issues you bring out in the MEI Blog. At this stage and age all your blog postings are of direct relevance and throw many challenging issues for future work.
I would hope that some industries might also report developments/changes they are making in their operations. Why do equipment manufacturers not give some details of the benefits derived by plants by using their units? They need not name the organisations.
How do we make people communicate - is it complex/indifference/got into a comfort zone and so why bother approach? For me you are the only person to think on getting all, particularly future mineral engineers, to express freely.
I am not a pessimist but get disappointed by why many academicians whose contributions you make known to others do not do the same for the youngsters.
This is not a negative note but an expression and concern for the future".
I thank Prof. Rao for this as it highlights my own concern that we do not get the degree of interaction on the blog that I would like. When I talk to people around the world I am always surprised, and pleased, to hear how many people follow the blog, which consistently has over 20,000 page views per month and currently over 500 subscribers to blog alerts by email. But what I really would like to see is more interaction, leading to healthy debate and discussion. There are almost 2000 posts on the blog, and although they stretch back 10 years, none of them are 'dead'; they are always open to new comments, which won't be hidden away in the archives, as every month or so I publish a list of posts which have had recent comments.
Whenever I talk to young people in our industry I stress that the most important thing that they can do to further their careers is to make themselves known, by talking to people at every opportunity, not necessarily about mineral processing but about any subject under the sun- the aim is to get to know people and to develop relationships with others- networking.
The same applies to social media platforms such as the MEI Blog. Contributors to blog postings tend to be from the older members of our profession, but my message here is to all you young people out there who are just starting your careers- please do get involved- submit comments to the posts either directly, or via me by email ( Please make sure that when submitting directly you leave your name and affiliation, as I rarely accept comments from those who don't.
Let's have your views, criticisms, suggestions etc. Get involved- you will not regret it!
Twitter @barrywills


  1. With respect to your posting on the 2nd May in your Blog I could not agree more.

    I have given comments on the various issues you raised in the Blog from time to time if relevant to me but feel sad that no one, rather extremely few, write back if they agree or disagree.

    While commenting by itself is quite exhilarating it would certainly be better if it could generate a debate.

    Leave alone youngsters even practitioners of our profession, whether from industry or academia , do not participate. Mostly consultants seem to be interested possibly because they are always working on new projects/prospects.

    Quite disappointing that such an open school/ forum for learning is not being used.

    But surely people read them as whenever I have commented in a few discussions I found people wanted to connect in LinkedIn. Do not know if it is just coincidence.

    Dr. Arabinda Bandyopadhyay, Chief Technologist, CDE Asia Limited

    1. Many thanks for this Arabinda. I hope that your comments will encourage others to correspond. I do not think that it is a coincidence that people contact you via LinkedIn when you correspond. This is the essence of networking.

  2. Prof. Rao's comment:

    "Why do equipment manufacturers not give some details of the benefits derived by plants by using their units? They need not name the organisations."

    I find oftentimes that work we do with mining companies is under NDA. It's a very small industry, and everyone knows everyone. You cannot give information about the economics of a client. It's rare that a miner will divulge the benefits of a new technology immediately to their competitors.

    One company that expressed an interest in our product wanted us to sign a non-compete clause that blocked us from working with any other mining company in the same region for half a decade - this was the pre-requisite from them for a small amount of test work in the scale of $thousands.

    Dan Parvaz, SELFRAG AG.

    1. Hi Dan. Thanks for this, and I quite understand what you say. However NDA does not always apply and many equipment manufacturers are not shy about talking about the benefits of their products at conferences.

  3. I agree with Dan's point but as Barry put it, please give whatever you can--say when we talk of screens replacing cyclones--some comments from equipment manufacturers, even if they are in that area, on any aspect would be highly informative and would ignite young brains.
    Many times during conferences,we go around the exhibitions and here how better their equipment is for a given application;
    your comment itself broughtout the poit on "communication and discussion.
    Thanks a lot Dan


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