U of T welcomes mineral processing expert

Professor Erin Bobicki is the newest professor to join the Department of Materials Science & Engineering

Faculty member (MSE / ChemE) Erin Bobicki

January 13, 2017

We have all been taught never to put metal into a microwave. So how does the combination of metallurgy and a microwave make for sustainable engineering?

New MSE faculty member, Professor Erin Bobicki, is researching how microwaves can be used to reduce water and energy consumption for mineral processing.

In her joint-appointment with the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, Professor Bobicki’s goal is to increase the overall sustainability of the mining and metals extraction sector. Her research interests include the processing of low-grade ores and the fundamental study of the surface chemistry of mineral particles in solution.

Professor Bobicki spent several years working for Vale including a stint as mill metallurgist at Voisey’s Bay, before returning to school. She completed her PhD at the University of Alberta, where she studied mineral processing and carbon sequestration, before spending two years working at Intel in Hillsboro, Oregon. She is excited to join U of T for its excellent facilities, surface analysis tools, proximity to outstanding mining research and potential for industry collaborations. “In particular,” says Professor Bobicki, “I am excited to get back to teaching and interacting with students. There is a certain energy that surrounds university life.”

“We are very excited to welcome Erin to our department,” says Professor Jun Nogami, Chair of the Department of Materials Science & Engineering. “Her area of mineral processing is a key piece to complete the faculty’s goal of providing the Canadian resource extraction industry with research all the way from raw ore to finished metals and alloys. Our students will also benefit from her industrial experience in two very different process engineering areas.”

Professor Bobicki plans to build a mineral processing program to train the next generations of mineral processors. “I want to get students as excited about mineral processing as I am and to develop novel technologies to improve the sustainability of mining and mineral processing operations.”