Walter E. Heinrichs, Jr.
1993 Medal of Merit Recipient
Walt Heinrichs was born in Superior, Arizona, and was raised in the mining camps of the western United States and in the Philippines. He graduated from the Colorado School of Mines in 1940 as a geological engineer with a geophysics major. After service in the U.S. Navy's early Gulf Coast off-shore aerial magnetometer experiments, he worked as a geophysicist with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and then with Newmont Mining Corporation.
Heinrichs is one of the pioneers of modem mining geophysical exploration and is credited with being a key member of the United Geophysical Company team under Herbert Hoover, Jr., that discovered the Pima mine using geophysics in an area long considered to be "non-mineral".
In 1955, he was the co-recipient of the AIME's "Robert Peele Memorial Award" for his part in a paper related to the discovery of the Pima Mine. In that same year, he received the Colorado School of Mines first "Van Diest Award" for outstanding work during the first 15 years following graduation.
In 1958, he co-founded Heinrichs GEOEXploration Company, which he still owns and manages. GEOEX continues to provide geophysical consulting services in water, energy, minerals and environmental matters.