Precious mettle

23 August 2010

Emeritus Professor Cyril O'ConnorEmeritus Professor Cyril O'Connor of the Centre for Mineral Research at UCT has won the prestigious Brigadier Stokes Memorial Award for his distinctive work in minerals processing.

The platinum medal, awarded by the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, is made to an individual for the highest achievement in the field.

Professor Francis Petersen, dean of the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment, notes that O'Connor is more than worthy of the accolade.

"Purely by viewing the list of previous recipients (among others, J Ogilvie Thompson, Pieter Cox, Brian Gilbertson, Leslie Boyd, Con Fauconnier and Pactrice Motsepe), you are surely in high-level company," Petersen said.

O'Connor says that the honour is a wonderful tribute in many ways, and dedicated it to the colleagues and students he has worked with in mineral processing over the past 30 years, especially those who were helpful at the start of his research in the early 1980s.

"Thanks to their efforts, today the Centre for Minerals Research can claim - with some degree of confidence - to be one of the leading research centres globally in minerals processing, and this award is a tremendous recognition of their combined efforts. I just happened to be the lucky one to be around while it was all happening."

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