David Robertson Smelting Symposium
'Celebrating the Mega-scale'
In conjunction with the TMS 2014 Annual Meeting
San Diego, California, USA, 16-20 February 2014
David Gordon Campbell Robertson was born on 29 December 1941.
David graduated from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, London, in 1963, with 1st Class Honors in Metallurgy, BSc(Eng). He then attended the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, where he obtained his PhD in 1968. His research thesis was on 'Heterogeneous Reactions between Liquid Metals and Gases'. He joined the faculty at Imperial College on completion of his PhD, and remained there until 1985, when he accepted the position of Professor of Metallurgical Engineering and Director of the Center for Pyrometallurgy at the University of Missouri-Rolla.
David Robertson has had a wide variety of teaching, research, and administrative experience since receiving his doctorate in 1968. His teaching duties have covered a range of courses from 'Introductory Materials for Engineers' to 'Transport Phenomena in Extractive Metallurgy'. His major emphasis has been in teaching the application of engineering principles to metallurgical processes for smelting, refining, and solidification. His research work has been concentrated in the same area, including research into the fluid mechanics of processes such as gas injection into melts, gas jet atomization of liquid metals, and the behavior of bubbles rising through melts. Dr Robertson has also worked on thermodynamic measurements in melts, gas-solid reactions, and mathematical modelling.
At the University of Missouri-Rolla, Dr Robertson was responsible for all aspects of running the Generic Mineral Technology Center for Pyrometallurgy. Until October 1996 this was a national center for university-based research, funded through the United States Bureau of Mines, with a budget of about $1,000,000 per annum. A small Center of the same name is still based at the university.
A feature of the work of the Center for Pyrometallurgy has been the maintenance
of close contact with industry, and a number of small contracts have been
carried out for companies in the areas of both metal powder production and
smelting and refining. Since 1991 the companies involved have included:
Dr Robertson has organized two successful international conferences sponsored by the Center - in 1986 at Purdue University on 'Gas-Solid Reactions in Pyrometallurgy' (52 participants), and in 1988 at the University of Utah on 'Flash Reaction Processes' (70 participants).
In recent years, David has travelled frequently to Mexico, South Africa, Canada, Norway, China, Australia, Japan, and England to give lectures, take part in conferences, and visit companies. In 1995, Dr Robertson spent a period of 6 months on a development leave at Mintek in South Africa, working on a major project on fuming zinc from lead blast furnace slags. In June 1996 and May 2001, Dr Robertson visited the National Technical University of Norway in Trondheim as an external PhD examiner.
Consulting work in the United States and Canada has been undertaken for a number of other companies and government agencies. Work during 2005 has been carried out for the Doe Run Company, Falconbridge, and Multimetco.
In 1990 and 1991, Dr Robertson was chairman of the Process Fundamentals Committee of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society of AIME (TMS), and a member of the executive board of the Extractive and Processing Division (EPD).
Prizes and Honours: