Laureate Professor Graeme Jameson joins global list of most outstanding scientists

Thursday, 10 May 2018

University of Newcastle chemical engineer Laureate Professor Graeme Jameson AO has been honoured by one of the most prestigious organisations in the world – the Royal Society, which boasts a fellowship of 1,600 of the world’s most eminent scientists.

L Prof Graeme Jameson

Laureate Professor Jameson AO was last night named a Fellow of the Royal Society, a rare and distinguished honour decided by a peer-review process based on excellence in science.

The oldest scientific academy in continuous existence has recognised Laureate Professor Jameson for his work on fluid and particle mechanics, and especially the flotation process for recovering valuable minerals.

The Director of the University’s Centre for Multiphase Processes is renowned for his invention of the Jameson Cell, a revolutionary mineral processing technology installed around the world. Well over 300 Jameson Cells are now in operation across 25 countries, with the invention estimated to have earned nearly $40 billion for the Australian export industry.

The technology has been widely used to remove fine coal from waste streams, and is also used to recover metals such as copper, gold and lithium; to remove suspended solids from dairy in ice cream factories, at breweries, chicken factories and wineries; as well as to treat industrial effluents and remove hydraulic oil from cooling water streams.

Laureate Professor Jameson, who joined the University of Newcastle 40 years ago as the Professor of Chemical Engineering, said election as a Fellow to the Royal Society was a very prestigious accolade for working scientists.

“This is a great honour for me, the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, and the University of Newcastle. I never imagined that I would become a Fellow, and I’m still rather dazed about it,” he said.

“I am very grateful to be included among a list of distinguished scientists and engineers who have been recognised by the Royal Society,” he said.

Each year up to 52 Fellows and up to 10 Foreign Members are elected from a group of around 700 candidates who are proposed by the existing Fellowship for having made a substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge.

University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, congratulated Laureate Professor Jameson on the international honour, stating it was a highly deserved acknowledgement of the global impact of his research.

“Professor Jameson’s life work has achieved far-reaching effects across the globe in multiple industries, offering solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges,” Professor McMillen said.

“Not only does the Jameson Cell recover billions of dollars of fine coal and minerals each year, it has also been used for industrial and environmental applications, including extracting oil from tar sands in Canada, cleaning up industrial wastewaters in Newcastle and other Australian locations, and removing blue-green algae from Australian inland waterways.

“The Royal Society’s recognition of Professor Jameson, represents recognition by the best minds in the world of the global impact of his remarkable research.

“The University of Newcastle community joins the Royal Society in congratulating Laureate Professor Jameson on this significant accolade and the recognition of his outstanding contribution to science.”

Laureate Professor Jameson joins two other University of Newcastle researchers recognised by the Royal Society - Emeritus Professor Graham Goodwin and Laureate Professor Scott Sloan.

The Royal Society, a self-governing Fellowship made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth, elects its Fellows and Foreign Members for life. The esteemed Fellowship includes around 80 Nobel Laureates.

The Fellowship includes people of the calibre of cosmologist, the late Stephen Hawking, and a galaxy of renowned scientists such as Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Tim Burners-Lee - the inventor of the internet.

There have been a number of Australian Fellows including Sir Gustav Nossel (physics), Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnett (immunologist), Sir John Eccles (physiologist), Sir Howard Florey (penicillin), and more recently Peter Doherty (influenza), Elizabeth Blackburn (telomeres), Ian Frazer (herpes vaccine) and Barry Marshall (stomach ulcers).

Laureate Professor Jameson’s accomplishments are extensive. In 2014, he was admitted to the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame and was awarded the NSW Scientist of the Year at the 2013 NSW Science and Engineering Awards.

In 2015, he was awarded the Prime Minister’s Science Prize for Innovation and elected to the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE), one of the highest professional distinctions offered to an engineer.