Professor Galvin crowned outstanding Australian innovator

Thursday, 22 May 2014

The creator of the Reflux Classifier, University of Newcastle Professor Kevin Galvin, has been crowned one of Australia's top innovators for his advanced research in chemical engineering and contribution to the mining and minerals industries.

Professor Kevin Galvin 2Professor Galvin last night received the 2014 Clunies Ross Award from the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).

The ATSE Clunies Ross Award is given in recognition of the outstanding application of science and technology that provides economic, social and/or environmental benefit to Australia. The Award has become one of the pre-eminent awards for scientists, technologists and innovators across Australia, recognising the achievements of many special people.

The award-winning Reflux Classifier technology, developed in collaboration with commercial partner Ludowici, is an industrial machine that separates fine particles from water using a system of inclined channels to recover valuable material, generating both environmental and cost benefits.

"Professor Galvin is undoubtedly one of the leading chemical engineers in Australia and indeed, the world," Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Kevin Hall said.

"The Clunies Ross Award recognises Professor Galvin's impeccable standing amongst his peers and is a deserved recognition of the valuable contribution his research has made to the minerals and mining industries."

Previous winners of the Clunies Ross Awards include Professor Ian Frazer, who invented the cervical cancer vaccine, Nobel laureate Dr Barry Marshall, who discovered the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers, and spray-on skin creator Dr Fiona Wood.

Professor Galvin's revolutionary Reflux Classifier is currently used in eight countries and achieves the highest volume of minerals recovery of any comparable system worldwide.

"The technology has succeeded in solving an existing processing problem by achieving the sharp separations essential in the recovery of premium, high grade metallurgical coal," Professor Galvin said.

Professor Galvin, Director of the University of Newcastle's Centre for Advanced Particle Processing and Transport, which forms part of the University's Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER), will oversee work on a platform of technologies around the Reflux Classifier this year.

"We are exploring the potential benefits of what we call 'enhanced gravity separation', which deals with very, very fine particles," Professor Galvin said.

Professor Galvin will also receive a prestigious Mineral Industry Technique Award (MITA) from The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy later this month in recognition of his development of innovative, cost-saving and effective mineral industry technology.

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