Newcastle trailblazer wins prestigious global award

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Laureate Professor Graeme Jameson AO, the inventor of the acclaimed Jameson Cell, has won another prestigious global award to add to his already impressive list of awards and medals gathered during an illustrious career as a scientist and researcher.

Laureate Professor Graeme Jameson AO

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration will present Professor Jameson with the Antoine M Gaudin award for outstanding contributions to both engineering science and industrial technology next Monday at the Society's Annual Meeting in Colorado, USA. This annual award is among the world's most prestigious in the field.

Professor Jameson is well known for his invention of the Jameson Cell, a radically different flotation device that changed the face of mineral processing and now contributes in the region of $4 billion a year in minerals exports to the Australian economy.

"I was with some students at a mine in Mount Isa and I looked at the equipment they were using and thought, 'I could build something better than that'," Professor Jameson recalls.

The result is a Cell with no motor, air compressor or moving parts, that is energy efficient and cheap to operate and maintain. A higher percentage of mineral is recovered, and because less mineral is left in the tailings, this reduces the chance of heavy metal leaching into the soil and posing a hazard.

The Cell is now in use in more than 300 locations in 20 countries and has been hailed the most financially successful Australian invention in three decades.

"The Jameson Cell is one of the great achievement stories of modern industrial research," the University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mike Calford, said.

"Professor Jameson has made an immense contribution to the science of mineral processing and we are fortunate and proud to have him at the University of Newcastle to share his breadth of knowledge, expertise and experience with his colleagues and our students."

Professor Jameson has more than 200 publications to his credit and is named as the inventor on 54 patents.

He has received a myriad of awards in recognition of his achievements, including in 2005 an Officer of the Order of Australia award and the prestigious Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal from the Institution of Engineers Australia for outstanding service to his profession. Since 1996 Professor Jameson has been inducted as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

Professor Jameson has now turned his mind to the development of a Fluidised Bed Flotation Cell to extend the upper size of particles that can be recovered by flotation. This new process is ideal for the recovery of copper, gold, silver, nickel, lead and zinc. As part of the development process, he has recognised that it is essential that savings in greenhouse gas emissions must be a part of any new technology, and he has been able to achieve this by designing a cell that significantly reduces the energy required for the previously energy-intensive grinding process.

Images of Professor Jameson are available on request.

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