We are sad to announce that Professor Robbie Robinson passed away on the 21st of January 2016, after a battle with cancer.
Robbie Robinson had a distinguished involvement with minerals beneficiation in South Africa for about 65 years. He was an innovative chemical engineer and a visionary leader and research commentator.
Robbie was a previous Chief Executive Officer of what is now Mintek, serving as Director of the Government Metallurgical Laboratory from 1961-1966, and Director General of the National Institute for Metallurgy from 1966-1976. It was under his direction in 1966 that the current Mintek logo was designed, and he also oversaw the move of NIM from Yale Road, Milner Park to the current Mintek campus in Randburg in 1976. He was appointed as an Honorary Professor of Chemical Metallurgy at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1969.
In 1974, Robbie was the Chairperson of the Organizing Committee of the First International Congress on Ferro-alloys (INFACON), and also established what is now the International Committee on Ferro-Alloys (ICFA) in partnership between Mintek, SAIMM, and FAPA (Ferro-Alloy Producers' Association). The Infacon series of conferences continues to thrive, and fourteen congresses have been held in twelve different countries. The next event, Infacon XV, is due to be held in South Africa (for the fourth time) in 2018.
Robbie joined the SAIMM in 1960, becoming a member of the 50-year club in 2010. He was President of SAIMM in 1975-1976, and was awarded an Honorary Life Fellowship in 1980, and the Brigadier Stokes Memorial Award (SAIMM's highest award) in 1985. He served as Editorial Consultant to the Journal of the SAIMM from 1997-2000, and continued to provide insightful "Journal Comments" for many years after that.
Robbie's enthusiasm, dedication, and insight have been an inspiration to many, and he will be sorely missed.