Obituary: Dr Roger John Enright (1937-2017)

  • By AusIMM


Roger John Enright was born in Sydney in 1937 and studied Mechanical then Mining Engineering at the University of NSW, graduating in 1959. During university vacations, he worked as an underground contract miner at the Zinc Corporation in Broken Hill and at Mt Isa Mines. Following graduation he worked as Assistant Mine Manager at the Mt Lyell Mining and Railway Co, Queenstown.

In 1963 Roger went to the USA where he completed a Master of Science (Mining) at the University of West Virginia. He then worked from 1963 to 1966 as the Chief Mining Engineer of the Richfield Oil Corp in California.

Roger returned to Australia in 1966 and accepted a position as a Teaching Fellow at the School of Mining Engineering, University of NSW. In 1967 Roger became a Lecturer, and in 1975 he obtained his PhD from the University of New South Wales.

In 1975, Roger accepted a position as Senior Lecturer in Mining Engineering with the University of Sydney in the Department of Materials and Mining, he was also the university’s representative on the Standards Association of Australia’s Committee on Electrical Equipment in coal mines.

Of particular interest to Roger was the area of dust explosions, and his wide ranging experience and research made him an acknowledged expert in this field.

His extensive research included the development in 1977 of a dust explosion research programme at the University of Sydney, and research programmes for the Australian Wheat Industries Research Council, the NSW Department of Mineral Resources and various mining and processing companies.  In investigating dust explosions Roger visited mines in Australia and in many parts of the world including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Canada, Poland, China, Japan, West Germany and France.

In 1981 Roger was appointed Special Consultant to the NSW Department of Mineral Resources for investigation into gas and coal dust suppression techniques, participating in a study tour in 1981 in co-operation with the Londonderry Research Centre regarding research projects into coal dust explosibility, with visits to research and testing facilities in Europe and the USA to investigate the means of inhibiting or preventing dust explosions, with an emphasis on sulphide, coal, industrial and agricultural dusts. In 1986, at the invitation of the Canadian Department of Energy, he participated in an investigation of current knowledge on sulphide ore dust explosion phenomena.

Roger was an AusIMM member for 34 years, elected as a student member in 1958. He was also a member of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgy & Petroleum Engineers; the International Briquetting Association and the Mine Ventilation Society of South Africa.

Roger enjoyed university life and his teaching role, particularly the challenge of field trips. He retired in June 1993, but continued consulting in the field of dust explosions for some years.

Roger had a warm sense of humour and a great appreciation of life, he maintained strong friendships with his former colleagues and enjoyed catching up for a drink. He was a keen supporter of his local sports clubs, an avid fisherman, a loving dog owner and world traveller. He came from a close family of 5 brothers, was a loyal and devoted friend to many and an entertaining host and raconteur. He passed away in December 2017 and will be sorely missed.




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