Virginia Tech mining and minerals engineering professor Roe-Hoan Yoon received the 2003 Antoine M. Gaudin Award from the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration Inc. (SME). The award honors Yoon for his contributions to the field of flotation kinetics.
Since joining the Virginia Tech faculty in 1979, Yoon has established an internationally recognized research program in mineral processing and coal preparation and has become a leader in the development of clean-coal technologies. He has produced 25 patents, including 8 pending U.S. patents, and several of his patented technologies are used by the coal and minerals processing industry.
For 13 years, Yoon directed the Center for Coal and Mineral Processing at Virginia Tech. In 2001, the center received a $7.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to enhance the commercial potential of clean-coal technologies developed by Yoon and his colleagues.
A few months later, the DOE awarded a $3 million grant to Virginia Tech and West Virginia University to establish the Center for Advanced Separation Technologies (CAST). Under Yoon's direction, CAST is now a consortium representing seven universities and conducting research in coal preparation, mineral processing, hydrometallurgy and environmental control.
Currently, Yoon is serving as co-chair of the organizing committee for the international Centenary Flotation Symposium, to be held in 2005 in Brisbane, Australia.