ACCLAIMED University of Newcastle chemical engineer Graeme Jameson has added another prestigious gong to his long list of awards by being named as a fellow of the Royal Society.
Regarded as the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, the Royal Society was established in London in the 1660s.
Laureate Professor Jameson, who invented a particle-recovery process known globally as the Jameson cell, was one of 50 fellows elected to the society on Tuesday night for their “exceptional contributions to science”.
Jameson cells were first trialled in the 1980s in tin, lead and zinc mines but have had their greatest impact in coal, recovering tiny particles of coal known as “fines” that would be otherwise left as reject material.
With a number of versions introduced over the years to combat problems in practical operation, Jameson cells are used in various configurations to recover all sorts of solids from liquids, ranging from various minerals through to solids in dairy products, beer and wine.
Professor Jameson, born in 1936, received his Bachelor of Science (Chemical Engineering) from the University of NSW and his PhD in the same subject from Cambridge. He arrived at Newcastle in 1978 and has spent the rest of his career at the university, where he is presently director of the Centre for Multiphase Processes, which researches the “science and technology of fine particles and bubbles”.
University of Newcastle Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, congratulated Professor Jameson on his Royal Society fellowship, saying it was a highly deserved acknowledgement of the global impact of his research. She said Professor Jameson joined two other Newcastle academics – Emeritus Professor Graham Goodwin and Laureate Professor Scott Sloan – who had been recognised by the Royal Society.
Professor Jameson’s previous awards include an Order of Australia in 2005, the 2015 Prime Minister’s prize for innovation and the prestigious Antoine M. Gaudin Medal for metal processing, in 2013. Already a fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences, Professor Jameson said the Royal Society recognition was unexpected.
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“This is a great honour . . . and I’m still rather dazed about it,” he said.
Professor Jameson has had some battles along the way, including a 2014 US patent challenge to one of his inventions, a “hydrofloat separator”, which he won. A 2015 report funded by the Australian Coal Association Research Program questioned the value of the Jameson cell.
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