About Professor Andy Mular
Andy was born in Beulah North Dakota. He had humble beginnings, growing up in Butte, Montana, the second oldest in a family of four boys and two girls. His father worked when he could in Butte as an underground miner, struggling to bring in enough to feed his growing family during the Depression. His mother ruled the roost and managed to keep them fed and under control. She imbued a strong work ethic and the drive to continuously improve in all of her children; in fact, two of his brothers and a sister also became educators.
At the age of 17 Andy joined the US Marine Corps serving in the Korean War as a Sergeant in the 1st Marine Division Reconnaissance Company. Upon his honorable discharge in 1952 he used the GI Bill of Rights to attend the Montana School of Mines. He received his Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in 1957, married Ruby Eggebrecht in the same year, and in 1958 they had their first child and Andy completed his Masters Degree. Andy was passionate about high academic achievement in Engineering, but also appreciated the Arts and understood the importance of social activities. During his six years at the Montana School of Mines he was recognized in the Students Who’s Who, was the editor of the school paper, a member of the Glee Club, and played the underdog hero J.J. Sefton in the play Stalag 17. Following his Masters, he was employed as a Research Engineer while pursuing a PhD at MIT under A.M. Gaudin. Many people don’t know this, but he regretted not being able to finish his PhD, because he and Ruby had their second child in 1959 and he simply could not afford to continue his studies. Following MIT, Andy was a Mineral Research Engineer at Michigan Tech under M.E. Volin where he and Ruby had their third child. He then worked with D.W. Fuerstenau at UC Berkely. In 1963, Andy joined Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario as an Assistant Professor, where he and Ruby had their fourth child. A vivid family recollection is the day the family crossed into Canada as it was the same day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Andy left Queen’s as Associate Professor in 1972 to join UBC as Full Professor. He was Mining and Mineral Processing Department (MMP) Head from 1986 to 1993 and retired as Professor Emeritus in 1996.
Andy was well known worldwide in academia and industry. While an Associate Professor at Queen’s, he was one of the first in Mineral Engineering to use time-share access to main frame computers which he used to pioneer direct search methods to fit mathematical models and solve mass balance problems. He was also one of the first to introduce the Design of Experiments to our industry. He taught a number of summer schools to industry worldwide; perhaps the best known was entitled Mineral Processes: Analysis, Optimization and Control. He and his fellow UBC Mining and Mineral Processing Department colleagues designed and built the Coal and Minerals Lab, a world class facility where he studied AG/SAG milling with a Dominion Engineering pilot mill.
Andy had strong connections with industry, favoring research into real world problems and many of his papers were coauthored with graduates working in industry. These collaborative projects were varied, some of which included summer projects at the Frood-Stobie mill, optimizing control at Chibougamau, and comminution simulation at Brenda Mines, Afton, Lornex (HVC), and Island Copper. Although best known for his work in comminution and classification, he was also accomplished in flotation and flotation modeling. Few will remember this, but he did some of his earliest work on the flotation of microorganisms.
Andy’s many and lasting contributions in both education and in industry have been well recognized. Andy was deeply honoured to receive the Walter Gage Award in 1984 and the Robert H. Richards Award in 1990. He was also an SME Publications Board Award winner, both a CIM and an SME Distinguished Lecturer, an SME Henry Krumb Lecturer, winner of the first Art McPherson Award, a CMP-CIM Life Member, a CIM Fellow, and a CANMET Technology Transfer Award winner.
The UBC MMP Department fostered strong relationships with their students who were on a first name basis with their professors. For such a small department, the UBC Miners are well known within in the UBC Engineering Fraternity. Andy was a strong supporter of his students, the industry and its professional associations. He acted in various roles in the CIM and SME including Chairman of the CIM Mineral Dressing Committee, a founding member of the CIM-CMP, and Examiner for both the Ontario and British Columbia Professional Engineering Associations. One of his Queens students and longtime friend Doug Bartlett recalled how dedicated Andy was as an educator and the relationships he fostered with his students and colleagues. Doug has fond memories of being invited to Andy’s home In the early 70’s with his graduating undergrad class and graduate students for a little social gathering and recalls a conversation about Andy’s experience in the Korean war, something he rarely discussed. From the many testimonials his family received with notes of condolence, it is clear that Andy had profoundly influenced the interests and careers of many mineral processing professionals.Read More
The impact of your support
Andy was a strong proponent of conferences and was involved in many. He is probably best known for the SAG Conference series working tirelessly on organization, reading and editing every paper, and publishing those famous little paperback symposium volumes that got bigger every conference. He even conscripted Ruby into service on more than one SAG conference. He and the SAG Committee supported a number of scholarships using conference proceeds, and the current SAG Committee has graciously pledged $25,000 to Andy’s Memorial Fund. Andy was also a key organizer for the Plant Design Conferences. He authored or co-authored more than 90 technical papers, and authored, co-authored, or edited numerous texts including “Capcosts”, “A Practical Guide to Process Controls in the Minerals Industry”, “Design and Installation of Concentration and Dewatering Circuits”, “Design and Installation of Comminution Circuits”, “Mineral Processing Plant Design”, and “Mineral Processes: Their Analysis, Optimization and Control”.
The Professor Andy Mular Memorial Fund will provide support to mining engineering students in UBC’s Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering. Andy’s family hopes that enough funds will be raised from family, friends and others that UBC will be able to create an endowed scholarship, further cementing Andy’s legacy of support for mining students in perpetuity.
We thank you for your support!
Final decisions on award distribution will be made in consultation with the familyRead More
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Jeffrey B. Austin