Thursday, 13 August 2020

Alban Lynch is 90 years old on Saturday

On behalf of MEI and all of us in the mineral processing community, I would like to wish Prof. Alban Lynch a very happy 90th birthday, which he will be celebrating with family on Saturday.

Alban was one of the great 20th century mineral processors, particularly in the field of comminution and his name probably appears more than any other throughout the MEI Blog. The first Director of Australia's JKMRC, he was one of the first persons that I interviewed for MEI, six years ago (MEI Blog 11 August 2014) and then a year later he reciprocated by interviewing me (MEI Blog 2 November 2015).

I last saw Alban 10 years ago at the 2010 IMPC in Brisbane, where he and his co-authors Mike Nelson and Greg Harbort signed copies of the newly launched book History of Flotation.

Alban, Mike and Greg in Brisbane

The most recent photo of Alban on the blog was with one of his most famous students Prof. T.C. Rao (MEI Blog 5th November 2016) his co-worker in the late 1960s on the pioneering development of mathematical models of mineral processing systems.

Alban with T.C. Rao in Brisbane in October 2016

Alban is living in a nursing home in suburban Brisbane, and has been in lockdown. Fortunately the lockdown lifted earlier in the week so a few family members will be able to take him for lunch on Saturday and then celebrate via videolink with the rest of the family in the afternoon with cake and speeches. If you would like to leave birthday wishes, his daughter Suzy Lynch-Watson will show Alban the blog and any comments during his birthday celebration.


  1. I had the pleasure of attending a lecture by Prof Lynch a number of years ago. I still remember him taking issue with term "semi-autogenous grinding", comparing it to a woman being described as "half pregnant".

    Jason Maguire, UQ



    It is indeed a special day to me personally--from whichever angle I
    look at our association and my professional career.

    J.K.- you built it - staring in a small tin shed with hardly four people including me,; no assured funding from industry or the University--did anyone imagine it would evolve into an International level to bring glory to U.Q.
    You took Mineral Engineering into a new Orbit.

    With your personal , affectionate and gentle guidance, we as students, got good grinding not
    only in profession but imbibed many of your unique qualities= how to guide students to bring the best in them--above all the "human qualities.."
    I will always be proud to have been your first International student.

    The most memorable part of my stay in those formative years is my
    association with your FAMILY; which is still very binding and happy;
    ever smiling Barbara and those young children--now grownup and giving
    you so much affection and attention-

    Barry, thank you for the BLOG--shows the relation between SISHYA(Student) and GURU(Teacher).
    Your Blog and references therein will inspire young mineral engineers.

  3. I feel highly privileged to be able to offer my best regards to Dr. Lynch on his 90th Birthday. I am his second generation disciple through Dr. T.C. Rao who had the good fortune to learn directly from him, at his feet as we say in India. I have never met or seen Dr. Lynch in person but have heard so much about him from my guru that I can feel his influence percolate into me through him. I have greatly benefitted from the methods Dr. Lynch adopted in analysing complicated plant situations and solving them satisfactorily. I feel in my heart that I owe so much to him professionally.

    I wish him a Long, Healthy and Happy life amongst family and friends.

    Regards, Dr. Arabinda Bandyopadhyay, Chief Technologist, CDE Asia Limited, India

  4. Professor Alban J Lynch introduced a systemic approach towards understanding the unit operations in Mineral Engineering in the 1970s. This approach led to the development of mathematical models which could be transferred in Industrial Scale Operations for their improvement in efficiency.

    The Lynch and Rao model in Hydro-cyclone was a trendsetter which was followed by many of his students and others in Mineral Processing. Prof. Lynch, a person who not only taught mineral processing but also the values in life, positive attitude, respectfulness to all, etc. endears him to all his peers, co-workers, students across the globe.

    Just like Dr Rao was with DR A J Lynch in the formative years and we as the faculties nurtured by Dr Rao, we indirectly vow him for bringing Mineral Engg into lime light. Because Prof Lynch and Prof Rao, the tree in India has grown-up and emerged as one of the biggest in the world.

    On his 90th birthday, we on behalf of the Mineral Engineering fraternity wish him a very happy birthday and a good health for years to come, for him to keep inspiring the present generation of mineral engineers.


    Prof R. Venugopal & Prof Nikkam Suresh
    Dept. of Fuel, Minerals & Metallurgical Engineering
    Indian institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad,

  5. Suzanne Lynch-Watson17 August 2020 at 04:53

    Thanks so much, Barry and all, for your kind thoughts and wishes. Dad enjoyed the scaled down celebration very much, and I am collating a book of the messages sent to him so that he can look at it in the days to come and enjoy all of the kindness all over again!
    Kind regards.


If you have difficulty posting a comment, please email the comment to and I will submit on your behalf