Materials Processing, from Ideas to Practice

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Dr. Jiann-Yang Hwang served as the Director of the Institute of Materials Processing at Michigan Technological University for more than 20 years. Many technologies have been developed from ideas to commercial practices in his career life. This symposium reflects his contributions in this aspect. The cycle of materials such as metals on the earth involved the steps of ore exploration (geology), mining, mineral processing, metallurgy, manufacturing, and recycling. Each step is achieved by processing materials using energy. Depending on the process and the forms of energy input, products, and by-products with various environmental impacts are generated through air, water, and solid means. To obtain the most efficient process with the minimum environmental impacts at the best economics is the driving force that continuously pushes the advances of technologies. Variables in the materials, process, and energy are common parameters facilitating the development of ideas for technology advancements. Dr. Hwang learned earth sciences, mineralogy, characterization, mineral processing, and metallurgy during his undergraduate and graduate studies. Mining, materials, and processing, and environmental and economics are mostly self-studied at postgraduate time, partly pushed by the research needs from projects he wanted to conduct. Understanding the parameters involved in the materials, energy, environment, and economics is fundamental to a systematic approach. The validity of ideas and their potential to move to practice depend on the soundness of the system. The author reviewed several cases of his research to illustrate their relations.

Publication Title

Minerals, Metals and Materials Series