Newcastle engineer recognised with respected prize for global breakthrough in mineral processing

21 May 2014

Photo: Professor Kevin Galvin with the Reflux Classifier (right, from University of Newcastle). 

A Hunter engineer has been honoured with a prestigious prize for his revolutionary mineral-processing technology, which is used in eight countries and has added hundreds of millions of dollars to the Australian economy.

Professor Kevin Galvin from the University of Newcastle was presented a 2014 Australian Academy of Technological of Sciences & Engineering (ATSE) Clunies Ross Award in Perth last night (Wednesday 21 May 2014).

His Reflux Classifier – which uses gravity to separate valuable particles from waste ore, based on differences in particle density or size – has transformed mineral processing in eight countries, generating significant cost and environmental benefits.

NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, Mary O'Kane, has commended Professor Galvin on his award, saying it is fitting acknowledgment of his considerable scientific achievements.

"Since Kevin conceived his innovative approach to gravity separations 16 years ago, the impact on mineral processing has been very significant," Professor O'Kane said.

"Mining companies have benefited from the Reflux Classifier through increased efficiency and profits, and, in turn, countries have benefited through increased exports."

The revolutionary technology is now being used in eight countries, and has generated additional export revenue for Australia.

"This award recognises Kevin's imagination, insight and leadership in the development of his ground-breaking Reflux Classifier, and his consistent effort in the improvement of the technology over the years. I congratulate him on this great honour," she said.

The ATSE Clunies Ross Awards recognise leading Australian scientists and technologists whose innovation has provided broad economic, social or environmental benefits.