Willard C. Lacy
1993 Medal of Merit Recipient
Bill Lacy, the son of missionary parents, grew up in China. He first gained prominence as Chief Geologist of Cerro de Pasco Corporation's operations in Peru, where he participated in the discovery of some of the most famous and productive copper mines in the world. In 1955, he began an academic career at the University of Arizona, and, as Head of the Department of Mining and Geological Engineering, he brought an approach to teaching premised upon a grasp of the overall picture. In 1971, he took a new position as Foundation Professor of Geology at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland, where he taught mineral economics, economic geology and geotechnical engineering, as well as establishing and supervising an innovative work-study master's degree program. Dr. Lacy retired from full-time teaching in 1981, but continues an active practice of mineral consulting and lecturing for private clients, governments and educational institutions throughout the world.
Dr. Lacy was selected as the “Essington Lewis Lecturer” by the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy in 1971 and the “Henry Krumb Lecturer” by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, & Exploration/American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, & Petroleum Engineers (SME/AIME) in 1985. He was elected a Distinguished Member of the SME/AIME in 1987. In addition to more than 60 papers, monographs and books, Dr. Lacy did the background research, outline and site selection for the television series Out of the Fiery Furnace for Australian television, which has since been broadcast throughout the world.