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Staff Awards

Dr Clement K. Owusu has won two prestigious awards from the University of South Australia namely the 2014 Ian Wark Medal and 2015 Norton Jackson Material Science and Engineering Medal.

The Ian Wark Medal is awarded to postgraduate students undertaking doctoral programmes in Ian Wark Research Institute. The award is in recognition of Dr Clement K Owusu’s academic achievement for his PhD thesis titled “Improving chalcopyrite mineral flotation selectivity against pyrite through pulp aeration/Eh control after regrinding in IsaMill”.

The motivation for Clement’s research was to solve the problem of directly correlating feed ore composition with the optimum electro-chemical conditions for selective flotation of copper sulphide minerals from pyrite.  This issue is becoming increasingly vital for the industry, as operators began to look at low grade, complex, copper ores, for which much higher tonnages of pyrite need to be rejected in flotation plants. The research presents original flotation-specific experimental design, advanced surface analysis techniques and creative oxygen demand studies. This required both fundamental science on single mineral behaviour and applied studies on real, industrial process streams.

The medal received by Dr Owusu is awarded annually to the most outstanding PhD thesis from the Ian Wark Research Institute (The Wark), University of South Australia based on the following criteria; creativity and originality of the research, student’s comprehension of the field, significance and utility of the research as a contribution to, or as an application of, knowledge; and impact of the thesis through the number and level of international publications and presentations.

Dr Owusu also won the 2015 Norton Jackson Material Science and Engineering Medal which recognises the best PhD thesis with the most potential and significant impact in industry.
This medal is also awarded annually to graduates of the Ian Wark Research Institute.

These two awards make him an outstanding individual. He is noted to have set a new UniSA/Ian Wark Research Institute record by winning, for the first time, both the prestigious Norton Jackson Material Science and Engineering Medal and Sir Ian Wark Medal in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Following the successful completion of his PhD in August, 2014, Dr Clement K. Owusu took up an appointment as a Lecturer at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa , Ghana in September 2014. He is with the Minerals Engineering Department under the Faculty of Mineral Resources Technology. Dr Owusu has plans to build on the foundation of his PhD research to further the knowledge on gold mineralogy and surface characterisation for improved gold flotation and leaching in the minerals industry. Gold is one of the most relevant mineral resources for Ghana, and Clement’s knowledge and understanding acquired during his PhD will definitely contribute to the country’s development.

The Chancellor of University of South Australia (extreme left) followed by Dr Clement K. Owusu, the award winner.

Standing with Dr Clement K. Owusu (right) is Mis Pat Jackson (left), the daughter of the late Dr Norton Jackson who donated over a quarter of million dollars to UniSA for the establishment and award of the Norton Jackson Material Science and Engineering Medal, one of the 2 medals won by Dr Clement K. Owusu.


Dr Norton Jackson AM

An alumnus of one of UniSA’s founding institutions, the School of Mines and Industries, Dr Norton Jackson AM has had a remarkable and varied life and career, both internationally and locally.

Norton Jackson holds Diplomas in Applied Science and Mining and a Bachelor of Engineering in Metallurgy and was awarded the Klug Medal for the ‘top metallurgist of the year’ in his final year of undergraduate engineering. He also has a Master of Engineering from the University of Melbourne. Norton was made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 1981, a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to the mining industry in 1987 and was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2001.

The Royal Australian Chemical Institute awarded Norton the prestigious RK Murphy Medal in 2010 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to industrial chemistry, mining and metallurgy in Australia, and for inspirational mentorship bestowed upon young chemists and chemical engineers.

Following his tertiary studies and a stint in an Adelaide munitions factory at the beginning of World War II, Norton enlisted in Australia’s Citizen Military Forces in November 1942. He was commissioned Lieutenant in April 1943 and was seconded to the Second Australian Imperial Force. He served in Australia, New Guinea and New Britain from 1943 until February 1946.

In 1946, media magnate Sir Frank Packer arranged for Norton’s discharge from the army to work at the Emperor Mining Co in Fiji, at which he was a Director. Norton worked as the Plant Research Chemist until 1948. While still in Fiji, at just 30 years of age, he was offered the role of Chief Metallurgist at the South Australian Department of Mines. He served the State with great distinction in this position for almost a decade before being recruited by the American Cyanamid Company [now Cytec] in 1958.

At American Cyanamid, Norton rose from Field Engineer, based in Melbourne, to the position of Regional Director Hong Kong, then “Eastern Region” and “Europe Africa” in the USA office.

In 1978, after business assignments all around the world, Norton returned to Adelaide as Managing Director of the Australian Mineral Development Laboratories (AMDEL). At the age of 58, he was hired to turn the struggling company around and during his five year contract, increased productivity three-fold.

Following his ‘retirement’ in 1983, Norton accepted positions as Director of Aberfoyle Ltd, Poseidon Ltd (later Normandy Mining), Commercial Minerals, Adelaide Wallaroo Fertilizers and Luminis Ltd. He held these responsibilities until 1991 when he turned 70 (many of these companies had by-laws in their corporate charters about the age limit of Directors). During his time with Poseidon, the company increased in value from $80 million to $800 million.

From 1991, Norton became a strong supporter of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and held Directorships with companies less concerned about age. He was a Director of SX Holdings for five years, Chairman of Norminco Ltd for three years, Executive Director of Muswellbrook Coal and Energy for two years, Director of Centrex Metals Limited for two years and Director of Australasia Gold Ltd for 3 years. He was a Member of Council of UniSA from 1995 until 1998 and a Member of the University’s Development Board for several years. He also served as a Member of the Australian Mineral Foundation Council and Executive Committee from 1978 until 1999.

Now 91, Norton remains a Director of Energy Exploration and until recently he was a specialist Member of the Major Development Panel of the Department of Transport and Urban Planning for the SA State Government.

For his services to the mining industry, to South Australia and to the University, he was made a Fellow of UniSA in 1999 and awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2006.


The Norton Jackson Material Science and Engineering Medal

The Norton Jackson Material Science and Engineering Medal is a fitting tribute to a man who has made a distinguished contribution to the knowledge and understanding of the mining industry.

This medal, reflecting Norton’s passion and achievements, will recognise the achievements of graduates and graduands of the Ian Wark Research Institute (The Wark™), and will be awarded annually to the PhD graduate or graduand who has demonstrated the most potential or real application of research in industry. Examples include versatility in application of science to the materials industry and diagnosis and solution of diversified materials.

Nomination for the medal is by the principal supervisor or associate supervisor(s), with the submission of a 1–2 page summary of the student’s research in relation to the criteria.

The Norton Jackson Material Science and Engineering Medal will be awarded with a minimum cash prize of $5,000.

Ian Wark Research Institute (The Wark™)

The Ian Wark Research Institute is the Australian Research Council Special Research Centre for Particle and Material Interfaces at the University of South Australia. Named in recognition of eminent Australian scientist, Sir Ian William Wark, The Wark™ has a prized international reputation for solving complex industrial problems through the application of excellent science and technology.

The Wark™ has extensive state-of-the-art research facilities, internationally renowned researchers and an international client base of major companies.

The Wark™ is unusual in its creative and flexible approach to research and development, where a mixture of fundamental and applied research is conducted across a wide range of project areas. Research in The Wark™ embraces bio and polymer interfaces, colloids and nanostructures, materials and environmental surface science and minerals processing. Some of the Institute’s research work is aimed at improving existing processes in industry, whilst other efforts lead to new technologies.


Mr. Peter Simon Kwofie
Assiatant Registrar (University Relations)