Monday, December 22, 2008

Douglas Fuerstenau, continued, Parts 2, 3, and 4

As mentioned in my last blog posting, Douglas W. Fuerstenau was recently honored on his 80th birthday. On the right he is shown in a photo taken several years ago with 3 of his former students, all professors at Penn State (me on the left, Prof. Fuerstenau, Prof. Richard Hogg, and the late Prof. Subhash Chander.)

My written tribute to DWF recalled how in graduate school I knew that he was very, very busy, but whenever I went to his office I always felt he was 100% there for me. Later, as I got older and went to conferences I was always struck by how attentive he was in listening to people’s presentations. . . Prof. Fuerstenau was a mentor long before the word became a cliché. It has been my good fortune to learn firsthand from him how a research group can become a genuine academic family.

In Part 1, DWF talked about the mentors in his professional life.
Below are the remaining video clips taken from his remarks at the symposium held in California in December, 2008.

Part 2: Approach to Research

Part 3: Evolution of Research Topics

Part 4: The Future of Minerals/Materials Processing

Monday, December 15, 2008

Douglas Fuerstenau: Giant of Minerals/Materials Processing

In December, 2008, about 70 of his former PhD students, friends, and family gathered near the University of California, Berkeley, to celebrate Professor Douglas W. Fuerstenau's (DWF) 80th birthday.

I don't believe I knew of DWF's existence when I was an undergraduate at Berkeley in the late 1960s. He was on leave and his course "Particulate Materials Processing" was taught by Prof. Klaus Schonert of Germany. When considering graduate school I talked with my instructors about possible options. I wanted to specialize in an area relevant to Africa. High voltage electron microscopy, an area where Berkeley was then a world leader excited me, but I could not see how to pursue this research area once I was back in Africa. My professors suggested I consider the University of British Columbia (Prof. Peters' hydrometallurgy school), and the Henry Krumb School at Columbia University. Eventually one of the professors asked "Have you talked to Prof. Fuerstenau?" I replied "Who is he?"

I was extremely fortunate that I became his graduate student and it was an honor to be a part of this DWF@80 celebration. My wife Fran accompanied me and spontaneously captured the words of wisdom from this giant of the broad field of minerals and materials processing and engineering on her digital camera. With permission from DWF, I am honored and pleased to share his reflections. Below is the first of 4 parts that I will be posting.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More on Proverbs and Materials Science and Engineering

In September I posted some of the results of my efforts to teach materials science and engineering at the University of Ghana using African proverbs as a starting point. In November (2008) in Abuja, Nigeria there was another opportunity, with students from the African University of Science and Technology (AUST). Here are some of the proverbs they shared, though there is not enough space to include the fascinating interpretations and applications to materials science and engineering:

Uwikoreye ibumba ntaterana amabuye "When you carry a clay pot don't fight by throwing stones" (Kinyarwanda, Rwanda)

Nwanya maramma ejihe akpa garri akwara ya akwa "We do not use a garri sack to sew cloth for a beautiful woman"(Igbo, Nigeria)

Ankwerɛ hunu na ɛyɛ dede
"Empty barrels make the most noise" (Twi, Ghana)

Iti ogede ko to nkan a nlo ada ge "No sane person sharpens his/her machete to cut a banana tree" (Yoruba, Nigeria)

Igiti kigororwa kikiri gito "The tree is dressed when it is still young" (Kinyarwanda, Rwanda)

Zewuze torkornu wokpoe le “The bigger of two pots can only be determined at the riverside” (Ewe, Ghana)

Iya ni wura baba ni jigi,ojo iya ba ku ni jigi eni baje, ojo baba ba ku ni jigi eni womi "Mother is like gold and father is like a mirror/glass. The day your mother dies is the day you lose your gold and the day your father dies your mirror is broken." (Yoruba, Nigeria)

Wankin hula ya kai ka dare "If you wash a cap in the evening you don’t have sunlight to dry it" (Hausa, Nigeria)

Nkpume pee elu egwu atuwa ite "When the stone goes up the earthen pot becomes afraid" (Igbo, Nigeria)

Ahweneɛ papa ɛnkasa "Good/excellent beads do not speak." (Twi, Ghana)

Igube ebejiri Orji "The locust has broken the mighty Iroko tree." (Igbo, Nigeria)

Ejihe ihe eji agba ba nti agba na anya "We do not use the same material to clean our ears as well as our eyes." (Igbo, Nigeria)

Vivivi hafi ebge zuna nyinoti "It is through a gradual process that the grass is transformed into cow's milk." (Ewe, Ghana)

Eha ti deka mete kplo anyigba O, ke bon ne wo so gbo hafi "A single broom straw can never be used to sweep. Many must be kept together before sweeping can be done." (Ewe, Ghana)

Nwaanyi muta ite ofe mmiri mmiri, di ya amuta ipi utara aka were suru ofe " If a woman decides to make the soup watery, the husband will learn to dent the foofoo before dipping it into the soup." (Igbo, Nigeria)

E lelia nwa ite, o gbonyua oku "If you neglect the pot, it boils over and extinguishes the fire. (Igbo, Nigeria)

I would like to express my appreciation to my students who contributed the proverbs: Emmanuel Amankwah, Clement Atiso Domefafa, Nelson Yaw Dzade, Emmanuel Femi Olu, Hakeem Bello, Josephine Udeigwe, Kingsley Obodo Onyebuchi, Anthony Ogbuu Okechukwu, and Bizimana Stany Nzabarinda.
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