Cyril o’Connor University Of Cape Town

Cyril o’Connor University Of Cape Town

Cyril o’Connor University Of Cape Town, Cyril O’Connor is a chemical engineer with a Ph.D. from the University of Cape Town and a D.Eng. in Metallurgical Engineering from Stellenbosch University. He is the Director of the Centre for Minerals Research at UCT and his main area of research is flotation. He is presently Chairman of the International Mineral Processing Council, holds the AngloPlatinum Chair in Minerals Processing, is a former Vice-President of the International Zeolite Association and was Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the XXII IMPC and the 14th International Zeolite Conference. He is also Vice-Chairman of the IZA Catalysis Commission. He has published over 150 papers in international journals and conferences and has supervised or co-supervised more than 30 PhD and 25 MSc graduates. He was Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering for 8 years, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment for 10 years and served as Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor from April 2008-May 2009. He is an Hon. Fellow of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa, of the University of Cape Town, of the South African Academy of Engineering, of the South African Institution of Chemical Engineering and of IUPAC. He is a founder member of the Academy of Science of South Africa.

Qualifications

BSc UNISA (1974), Pr.Eng., BSc (Hons) (1975), PhD (UCT) (1978), D.Eng. (Stellenbosch) (2005), FSAIMM, FSAIChE, FSAAE, MRSSAf

Background

Cyril O’Connor is a registered chemical engineer with a Ph.D. from the University of Cape Town and a Senior Doctorate (D.Eng.) in Metallurgical Engineering from Stellenbosch University. He is the immediate past Director of the Centre for Minerals Research and was the founder Director of the Centre for Catalysis Research, both of which are located in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town. He is presently President of the International Mineral Processing Council, held the AngloAmerican Platinum Chair in Minerals Processing from 2008-2012, was Vice-President of the International Zeolite Association, is a member of the Executive of the Academy of Engineering of South Africa and is CEO of the South African Minerals to Metals Research Institute. He chaired a government appointed Panel to investigate South Africa’s preparedness for hydraulic fracturing. He has served from time to time on various international scientific committees and review panels and has chaired the Organizing Committees of a number of major international conferences. He has published over 200 papers in international journals and international refereed conferences, has supervised more than 60 PhD and MSc graduates and at his retirement was a National Research Foundation A rated researcher. Prior to his retirement at the end of 2009 he was Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering (8 years), Dean of the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment (10 years) and served as an Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor in 2008/9. He is a Hon. Fellow and Fellow of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, a Fellow of, respectively, the Royal Society of South Africa, the University of Cape Town, the South African Academy of Engineering, the South African Institution of Chemical Engineering, IUPAC and is a founder member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. In 2017 he was elected as a Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering.

Employment

2013 – present Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Scholar, UCT
2007 – 2013 AngloPlatinum Professor of Minerals Processing, UCT
2008 – 2009 Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor, UCT
1998 – 2008 Dean, Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment, UCT
1988-1994;1997-98 Head of Department of Chemical Engineering, UCT
1990 Professor (ad hominem), Department of Chemical Engineering, UCT
1985 Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, UCT
1979 Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemical Engineering, UCT

Research Interests

Flotation chemistry, integrating comminution and flotation processes

 

Selected Publications

Harris, MC and O’Connor, CT, 2017. Characterization of frothers and their behaviour using partial molar Excess Gibbs energy, International Journal of Minerals Processing 158, 63-67

Taguta, J, O’Connor, CT and McFadzean, B, 2017. The effect of alkyl chain length and ligand type of thiol collectors on the heat of adsorption and floatability of sulphide minerals. Minerals Engineering, 110, 145-152.

Tadie, M, Corin, KC, Wiese, JG and O’Connor, CT, 2017. Electrochemical interactions of platinum group minerals with copper sulphate. Minerals Engineering, 112, 43-49.

Wiese, JG and O’Connor, CT, 2016. An investigation into the relative role of particle size, particle shape and froth behaviour on the entrainment of chromite. International Journal of Mineral Processing, 156,127-133.

Corin, KC and O’Connor, CT, 2014. A proposal to use excess Gibbs energy rather than HLB number as an indicator of the hydrophilic-liphophilic behavior of surfactants, Minerals Engineering, 58, 17-21

Research interests

My research interests are focused on catalysis and flotation. The Centre for Catalysis Research of which I am a member focuses on the synthesis, characterisation and testing of catalysts. The catalyst classes on which most emphasis is currently placed are zeolites, supported metal catalysts and metal oxide catalysts. The reactions currently enjoying my interest are alkylation reactions especially of phenol. In many cases modifying zeolites by silanisation of the external surface can lead to higher yields of specific products. Much research has been invested in the Centre into optimising the method whereby the external surface is coated and currently exciting results are coming out of this work. Modification of zeolites by acid washing and steaming are also important post-synthesis modifications which are being studied. I am a former Vice-President of the International Zeolite Association and Chairman of the Organising Committee for the 14th International Zeolite Conference which was held in Cape Town in 2004.

The Centre for Minerals Research of which I am the Director focuses on research in Flotation and Comminution. My own personal interests are in the area of flotation and particularly in flotation reagent evaluation. In this I collaborate with Associate Professor Dee Bradshaw. I am also collaborating with Mr Martin Harris in the study of froth phase behaviour. The research is carried out in collaboration with many mining, reagent, manufacturing and flotation research groups and companies both in South Africa and overseas and in particular with the JK Mineral Research Centre at the University of Queensland. I was Chair of the Organising Committee of the XXII IMPC which was held in Cape Town in 2003.