Thursday, 26 November 2020

IMPC Lifetime Achievement Award to Prof. James Finch

I was delighted to hear that my old friend Prof. Jim Finch, Emeritus Professor of McGill University, Canada is the 2020 recipient of the highest award of the International Mineral Processing Council, the Lifetime Achievement Award.

I interviewed Jim for MEI in 2015, and his long list of achievements up to the end of 2015 are documented there. Over a career of 50 years he has supervised 106 post-graduate students, of whom 50 were PhD students, and has published 375 papers in archival journals. Unlike many academic researchers his work has not just been laboratory based but has had a major impact on industrial practice through his very close association with industry throughout his career.

When I suggested to Elsevier that Jim would be the only person that I would like to have in charge of the 8th edition of Mineral Processing Technology, I never expected him to agree. But he accepted with enthusiasm, and maybe a little trepidation, and put together a strong team which has delivered what I consider to be a superb update of the text.

Book signing with Jim in Phoenix in 2016
Jim has had a long involvement with MEI, being our consultant to the flotation series of conferences, and at next year's Flotation '21 he will present a keynote lecture on the appreciation of the life and work of Prof. Graeme Jameson, of the University of Newcastle, Australia, also a holder of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Jim at Flotation '15 with fellow recipients of the SME's Antoine Gaudin Award,
Janusz Laskowski, Nag Nagaraj and Graeme Jameson
Janusz and Graeme are also Lifetime Achievement Award winners

Jim at Flotation '19 with Frank Cappuccitti and Jan Nesset

Prof. Finch has been a long-standing member of the IMPC Council (since 2000), a regular attendee at Congresses since the 1980s and was the Chair of the Organizing Committee for the XVIII IMPC in Quebec City in 2016, where he presented Prof. Graeme Jameson with his Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jim welcoming delegates to the Quebec IMPC in 2016
With Jim and Glen Dobby, his co-author for the seminal book Column Flotation
This year's award has gone to the most modest of men, who young students find very approachable and helpful, and it is a great pity that, due to the pandemic, we will have to wait until the XXXI IMPC Congress in Melbourne in August 2022 before the award will be presented in person and we will be able to share the evening with Jim and his wife Lois.
Barbara with Jim and Lois at Flotation '11 in Cape Town


  1. Barry, it is so heartening and satisfying to read that Prof. James Finch got the award. I am one of his many admirers and hold him in very high regard. As you rightly put it Jim has been "the most modest man,"
    To be honest to myself I must add that "this honour " should have been bestowed on him" long-time back--
    (my feeling and no reflection on any--)

  2. Congratulations Jim and thank you for your service and promotion of Canada! I was speaking with an American colleague the other day who reckoned that most of the post-grad flotation experts in South America were trained by you at McGill, which I can vouch for as well from my experience. Amazing legacy!

  3. Well deserved!
    Ian Orford, Amec Foster Wheeler, Canada

  4. Well deserved Professor Finch!
    Greg Rasmussen, RPM Global. Canada

  5. Congratulations Jim. A well-deserved award. And Barry is correct in that your revision of the Mineral Processing Technology book was a first-class job, an example of great teamwork at McGill. I have a personal copy on my bookshelf. All the best

  6. Well deserved Prof. Jim Finch!
    Daniel Amariei, COREM, Canada

  7. Jim Finch, one of industry's finest
    Simon Michaux, Australia

  8. Congratulations Jim, such fantastic news!


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