In Memoriam - Wijnand Dalmijn

Prof.ir. Wijnand Dalmijn passed away on Sunday, April 12th 2015, after a period of illness. He was born on 28 November, 1941, in Arnhem, The Netherlands, and leaves behind his wife, Ineke, and his three grown-up children, to whom we direct our sincere condolences.

Following his military service as an officer in the Dutch Army, and after a brief period in Electrical Engineering, he completed his engineering degree at the Delft University of Technology, in the field of Mineral Processing in the then Mining Engineering Department.

Following his graduation he continued working in the same department under Prof. Jan Roorda, as an Assistant and later, Associate Professor. In these functions, he gradually developed the field of secondary mineral processing, i.e., the recovery by innovative physical separation techniques of waste materials such as metals, glass, plastics, etc., to yield products suited for reuse. These methods were quite different from those used in traditional separation and concentration of ores, and gained him world-wide renown. In addition, he displayed a keen sense of the economic viability of such methods, which coupled with his overview and management capabilities, led to successfully bringing projects in industrial practice to full completion. As a result, he often became involved as a consultant in major projects, particularly in the United States.

In the meantime, his management capabilities did not go unnoticed at the University, and he became increasingly involved in such activity. Following his appointment to full Professor in the area of Resource Engineering in 1991, he became Dean of the Faculty of Mining and Petroleum Engineering in 1995, and subsequently Dean of the much larger Faculty of Mechanical and Maritime and Materials Engineering in 1999, where he was assigned to carry out a substantial reorganisation.

Meanwhile in 1995, the problem of decreasing student numbers and staff cutbacks, as throughout the whole of Europe, in the field of mining engineering prompted him to rethink the situation and to develop a cooperative system between several European universities supported by the EU and industry, with the objective to maintain the educational basis as well as the quality of MSc graduates. Thus, under his impulse, the Federation of European Mineral Programs (FEMP) was formed to organize programs in mining-, minerals- and geotechnical -engineering, providing an MSc degree to many international students. Coupled with the efforts of staff at the various universities, these three programs have been quite successful, and the graduates have readily found employment worldwide in industry.

Wijnand Dalmijn was also an honorary member of the Mijnbouwkundige Vereeniging, the Delft mining students and alumni association since 2000, in recognition of his most valued support through the times.