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Henry (Enrico) Cohen, 1920-2004

Henry (Enrico) Cohen was born in Vienna in 1920, but the political and social conditions of the 1930s forced him to come to England immediately before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Educated at the University of London, where he gained his BSc, MSc and PhD, he subsequently joined the British Iron and Steel Research Association (BISRA) in 1948 as a senior scientific officer. He was in charge of mineral appraisal and processing work on iron ores and associated materials, the design and development of pelletising processes and fundamental studies of sintering.

In 1953 he was appointed lecturer in mineral technology at the Royal School of Mines, London, becoming, successively, senior lecturer, reader and, finally, professor, in succession to Professor Marston Fleming. He retired in 1985 and was appointed an emeritus professor of the University of London.

Professor Cohen acted for many companies worldwide, and was a long-serving consultant and expert adviser on mineral projects for, among others, the United Nations, the Overseas Development Administration, the British Council and the GEC group.

He was a prolific and talented writer, and his papers, reports and patents covered the whole field of minerals processing, particularly iron ores and sinters, hydrocyclones, and tin concentration.

Apart from membership and chairmanship of various Royal School of Mines, Imperial College and University of London committees, he served on several British Standards and International Standards Organisation committees. An external examiner for the University of Leeds and the Camborne School of Mines, he became a Fellow of the former Institution of Mining and Metallurgy in 1965, and was elected to Council in 1975. He was Vice-President from 1985-1988 and was elected honorary fellow in 1991.

He viewed the Institute as the essential link between academia and industry, as both a learned society and a professional guardian concerned with knowledge, development and standards. Many members will regret that he was not invited to serve as its President.

A freeman of the City of London and a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Engineers, he was also a Chartered Engineer, a fellow of the Geological Society of London and a member of the Mineralogical Society. In addition, from its foundation in 1948, he was prominent in the affairs of the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IASTE), a body established to secure summer vacation jobs for students who were preparing for employment in the mining industry.

Judith, his wife of 50 years, pre-deceased him, and he is survived by his son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.

Michael Jones

First published in the March 2004 issue of Materials World, the members' magazine of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.