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MEI Online: People News: Europe: April 3rd 2008


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:: Professor Richard Burkin - 1924-2008

Richard Burkin, a leading academic hydrometallurgist, joined the staff of the Royal School of Mines in 1952 to teach chemistry in the then new degree in Mineral Technology. He was responsible for introducing hydrometallurgy as an academic subject in the UK and he led a vigorous research group in the subject that became world famous.

He wrote the first academic textbook on hydrometallurgy, The Chemistry of Hydrometallurgical Processes, which was published in 1966. Although he was basically an academic scientist, Richardís work was very industrially focused and his expertise was sought by metallurgical and chemical companies in Europe and North America and he was the inventor of many patents.

He retired from Imperial in 1988, but continued writing and published an updated and much expanded second textbook on hydrometallurgy in 2001. He died in February, aged 84, a few weeks after an operation to repair his leg that he had broken in a fall. Richard Burkin will be remembered with great affection and respect by RSM students all round the world.

Professor Richard Burkin




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