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Maurice C. Fuerstenau (1933-2012)

Newmont Endowed Professorship in Minerals Engineering

Professor Emeritus of Metallurgical Engineering

2016 Inductee from Mining's Past

Maurice C. Fuerstenau earned his B.S. in Geological Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and received his M.A. and Sc.D. in Metallurgy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  

Known internationally in the areas of froth flotation, hydro- metallurgical processing and environmental remediation, Fuerstenau’s storied teaching career began at the Colorado School of Mines in 1963 followed by a brief appointment at the University of Utah.  For the ensuing 18 years spent at the SDSM&T, he was Head of the Department of Metallurgical Engineering and serving as Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs in his last year.  He was honored by SDSM&T with the Presidential Award in 1979, the Guy March Silver Medal in 1998, and the Distinguished Alumni Award in2004.

Fuerstenau joined the Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno in 1988 as Echo Bay Mines Distinguished Professor and was named Foundation Professor in 1996, Professor Emeritus in 2005 and was the Senior Mentor Award recipient in 2002.  Fuerstenau was further granted the Newmont Endowed Professorship in Minerals Engineering in 2010, the highest honor UNR can bestow on its faculty. 

A prolific writer, Fuerstenau published 125 technical papers and edited numerous books. Principles of Mineral Processing, published in 2003, remains an industry standard.  He was awarded three patents, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1991 and the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 2006. Fuerstenau was President of SME in 1982 and received the SME Distinguished Member Award as well as countless other recognition.

Fuerstenau was the consummate educator and mentor throughout his career.  He not only challenged the engineers he trained to succeed in their careers but he also made a difference in many people’s lives.  His legacy will live on through the technical contributions he made to the mining industry as well as the people who had the privilege to learn under him.


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