The history of science and technology has always also been a history of personalities. Helmut Flachberger and other editors made it their business to pay tribute to such a personality with the festschrift “Aufbereitung in Österreich II - 75 Jahre Prof. Hans Jörg Steiner” (Mineral Processing in Austria II - 75th birthday of Prof. Hans Jörg Steiner). The volume summarizes in a compendium almost 50 years of scientific work of the predecessor of Flachberger at the chair of mineral processing and refining of the Mining University Leoben. In addition to the most important scientific papers of Steiner, it also includes many pictures of a successful and busy life as researcher and teacher. The following curriculum vitae of Prof. Steiner is typical for the field of mining, i.e. the family tradition was continued as the son of a senior pit foreman at the Styrian Erzberg, whose family had already worked in mining for various generations.
It may be assumed that the awareness of Prof. Steiner was very pronounced to be one in a long row receiving the mining knowledge of the ancestors, expanding and getting on with it by own experience and work as well as passing it on to the next generation. Not least this is proved by the fact that he over and over again dealt with historical topics of mining in his publications, in particular as regards the history of mineral processing, in addition to current scientific and engineering problems.
This expansion and passing on of knowledge, which is the central task of a university lecturer, can best be elucidated by one of his students and present successor, Prof. Helmut Flachberger. In the following chapters he describes the work of Steiner as lecturer and head of the institute of mineral processing and refining during a period of 37 years, which is extraordinarily long for university professors. Steiner imparted the fundamentals of mineral processing and their use for the preparation and refining of mineral raw materials to generations of students. His high demands on his students had an effect. This can be seen, amongst other things, that Austrian processing specialists trained by Steiner and met by the author of this review have exclusively proved to be excellent experts.
The following central part of the festschrift includes in chronological order a complete reprint of the publications of Hans Jörg Steiner taken from the original scientific journals and conference volumes. They are all distinguished by a very high quality. It can clearly be seen that his early focus, more or less until the middle of 1970ies, was on flotation. However, also first papers dealing with comminution were already published. The latter became more and more his central scientific field of activities over the years. In many articles Steiner dealt with the comminution processes of collective grains and prepared fundamentals for energy-optimized crushing. This is of topical interest more than ever. Further publications dealing with density separation and the processing of specific raw materials as well as various papers on the mining history show that Steiner was not satisfied with one field of research only. However, Steiner’s field of activity was not limited to pure science. As it should be expected from a miner, he attached great importance to the conversion of the scientific findings into practice. In more than 350 research reports for companies home and abroad he dealt with application-oriented problems and prepared solutions for concrete mineral processing problems in the industry. This commissioned work is mentioned. However, it cannot be commented in such a volume - not only for reasons of space, but also for reasons of confidentiality.
With this festschrift of a very nice design and printing excellence, the publishers have expressed their connection with the lecturer and researcher Hans Jörg Steiner and thanked him this way.
Aufbereitung mineralischer Rohstoffe/Mineral Processing, RWTH Aachen/Deutschland/Germany