Frank Richard Arthur Jorgensen

By March 11th, 2011


Frank Richard Arthur Jorgensen was born on 5 May 1937 in Perth, Western Australia, the eldest son of Marie, a nursing sister and Richard an engineer. He received his primary education at Burnie and Charleville state schools while his secondary education was undertaken as a boarder at Brisbane Boys Grammar School. He obtained his BE (Hons) degree in 1960 and his PhD in 1965, both from the University of Adelaide. His PhD project (1960-64) was on the high temperature oxidation of iron in carbon dioxide and his main interests throughout his career have been flash smelting, bath smelting and roasting. Dr Jorgensen passed away on Wednesday 3 February 2016 after a very long illness.


He joined the CSIRO Division of Mineral Chemistry in 1964 and in the period 1964-70 worked as a Research Scientist/Senior Research Scientist on the following: the production of thallous chloride and electrolytic MnO2; a new chloride route to aluminium production; and the condensation of aluminium chloride.

From 1970 to 1974, he was employed as Technical Manager at United Packages and UPL Silicates working on: silicate glasses, crystalline silicates and silicate liquors; reinforced paper and foil laminates; fire-retarding hot melts; tar asbestos pipe wraps; corrugated and solid paper board converting.

He rejoined CSIRO Division of Mineral Chemistry as a Principal Research Scientist in 1974 and for the next 12 years (1974-86) carried out research into flash smelting, roasting, particle temperature measurement, reactions of small particles while suspended in a gas stream, volatilisation of impurities. During this period he was promoted to Senior Principal Research Scientist.

In the period 1986-96, he was Research Manager and promoted to Chief Research Scientist at CSIRO Mineral Chemistry engaged in the following projects: modelling flash smelting furnaces; heat transfer and pressure drop in the SiroSmelt lance; coal combustion, roasting and carbochlorination research; production of anhydrous magnesium chloride and the safe disposal of toxic elements.

From 1996 to 2003, he held several positions. These were: Sub Program and Project Leader; Senior Scientist Metallurgy and Chemistry of High Temperature Systems; Manager Non-Ferrous Smelting; and Program Leader GKW CRC.

His research activities during this period included; carbothermic reduction; condensation of volatile metal vapours; electric arc smelting of ilmenite; flash smelting and flash smelting modelling; SiroSmelt applications; desulphurising nickel powder; slow cooling matte (a mixture of sulphides, usually FeS and Cu2S); electric arc melting and smelting; and zinc condensation.

He was semi-retired over the period 2004-08 serving as a Chief Research Scientist and Project Leader and retired in 2008.

Honours and awards


He was awarded the Clunies Ross Medal by the Australian Academy of Technical Sciences and Engineering in 1999 for his contributions to new smelting technologies, flash smelting and SiroSmelt which collectively have helped the Australian minerals industry stay competitive. The Clunies Ross Medal citation reads:

Dr Jorgensen has pioneered research into new smelting technologies as a Chief Research Scientist at CSIRO Minerals in Melbourne. Over the last 35 years Dr Jorgensen has guided the development of two modern intensive smelting methods: flash smelting and bath smelting. He single-handedly established the scientific framework for flash smelting and applied this theoretical work to improve the performance of industrial smelters in Australia and overseas. From the mid-1980s he also contributed to the development of the SiroSmelt bath-smelter to an industrial-scale with Mount Isa Mines and other companies. Dr Jorgensen is recognised by industry and his peers for ‘establishing south-east Australia as a mecca of flash smelting fundamentals’.

2004 CSIRO Minerals Lifetime Achievement Award
2000 The Minerals Metals & Materials Society Extraction and Processing Science Award
1999 Clunies Ross National Science & Technology Award


2006 Invited paper and session chair Sohn International Symposium on Advanced Processing of Metals and Materials, San Diego, 27-31 August
2005 Invited paper and session chair TMS 2005, San Francisco, 13-17 February
2002 Invited paper and session chair Sulfide Smelting 2002, Seattle, Washington, 17-21 February
2000 Invited paper The Brimacombe Memorial Symposium, Vancouver, British Columbia, 1-4 October
1997 Committee member Task Group 2, Large Stationary Sources, Supporting Report No. 4, Chair Dr John Sligar, Urban Air Pollution in Australia, An Enquiry by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, AF Reid Inquiry Director.
1994 Key Speaker Environmental Problems and Control in Extractive Metallurgy, Antofagasta, Chile, 8-12 August
1994 Key Speaker Nato Advanced Research Workshop on Flash Reaction Processes, Istanbul, Turkey, 6-9 May
1989 Invited paper International Symposium on Applied Mineralogy, Montreal, Canada
1988 Key Speaker Flash Reaction Processes Conference organised by USBM Center for Pyrometallurgy and held at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, 15-17 June
1983 One week in Beijing as a guest of The Institute of Chemical Metallurgy, Academia Sinica
1983 Japanese Government Science and Technology Agency Award for visiting foreign specialist ‘ 6 months at National Research Institute for Metals, Nakameguro, Tokyo


  • Jorgensen FRA, 2010, Personal communication.
  • Sally Melbourne, 2016, Personal communication.