Ronald L. Wiegel (SME)
AIME Robert H. Richards Award* in 1998
Ronald L. Wiegel is assistant director in charge of the Coleraine Minerals Research Laboratory at the Natural Resources Research Institute of the University of Minnesota- Duluth. His industrial career started with DuPont and then with what is now LTV Steel Corporation where he worked on the design of iron ore mines and processing plants.
He has a BS from the University of Dayton and an MS from Carnegie Mellon University in chemical engineering. While teaching and carrying out industrial oriented research at the University of Minnesota, he became an external graduate student of Alban Lynch of the University of Queensland, Australia, and received a PhD for his thesis on the modeling and simulation of the magnetic taconite beneficiation process.
Dr. Wiegel then joined IMC Global in their phosphate mining and processing operation and soon became manager in charge of process development, plant metallurgists and assay laboratories. In this capacity he was involved with developments that improved flotation chemicals testing techniques, leading to control of reagent costs and improved flotation selectivity. He was also associated with early attempts at computer control of phosphate flotation and the application of heavy media separation to dolomite/francolite separation.
He served for approximately ten years on the board of directors of the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research deciding on research funding priorities. He was chairman of the Florida Section of SME and a founder of their annual Phosphate Conference.