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MEI Online: People News: North America: March 5th 2013


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:: Milton Elliot Wadsworth (1922 - 2013)


Professor Milton E. Wadsworth passed away at home January 31, 2013 after a brief sickness. He was a distinguished professor emeritus of metallurgy at the University of Utah. He was born in Salt Lake City where he attended elementary and high school. He served in the US Army during World War II, before joining the University of Utah where he received B.S. in 1948 and Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering in 1951. Since then he was affiliated with the University of Utah.


In 1968, Professor Wadsworth was asked by the Ford Foundation to head up a graduate program in metallurgy at the University of the Philippines. He spent two years there. During his career at the University, Professor Wadsworth served twice as chair of the Department of Metallurgical Engineering, as well as director of the Utah Mining and Minerals Research Institute, and dean of the College of Mines and Earth Sciences. He was Past-president of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers and a Life Member of the American Society of Metals. He won numerous professional and academic accolades including two honorary doctorates. He had many graduate students that now occupy key positions in industry and in academia.

Prof. Wadsworth (right) with Fathi Habashi in 1993


Prof. Wadsworth organized with Franklin T. Davis the First International Conference on Hydrometallurgy in Dallas, Texas in 1963 and published the proceedings volume under the title Unit Processes in Hydrometallurgy by the Society of Mining Engineers of AIME. This was followed by other conferences. He also edited with Hong Yong Sohn Rate Processes of Extractive Metallurgy published in 1979 by Plenum Press. J. Brent Hiskey and Garry Warren edited the Fourth International symposium on Hydrometallurgy entitled Hydrometallurgy: Fundamentals, Technology, and Innovations, published in 1993 by Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and exploration in honor of Professor Wadsworth.

Prof. Wadsworth started in the 1950s his research at the University of Utah on surface chemistry of minerals. When he conducted leaching processes he applied adsorption phenomena and suggested the formation of intermediate surface complexes to explain the mechanism of leaching, for example, in his work on leaching molybdenite and leaching of uranium dioxide. It was only when his graduate student Brent Hiskey studied leaching chalcopyrite in presence of metal powders that the electrochemical nature of leaching processes became acceptable.

Fathi Habashi, Laval University, Canada




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