DAVID MURRAY McCONCHIE (1949-2008)
Professor Dr McConchie completed a diploma of education (Secondary) in 1974 from Christchurch Teachers College N.Z., a BSc (1975) in Geology and Masters Thesis (1978) from University of Canterbury N.Z., and a PhD (1986) in geology from the University of Western Australia. He was first appointed to the Northern Rivers School of Advanced Education, the precursor to Southern Cross University, Australia in 1987. In 1997 he was, awarded a personal chair and became Professor of Engineering and Environmental Geochemistry where he lead the Applied Geochemistry Research Group and co-founded the Centre for Research on Acid Sulfate Soils. He also established the Environmental Analysis Laboratory (EAL) as a commercial analysis laboratory so that it could provide analytical services back to staff and students of SCU at a reduced cost, and for the community; this now forms the foundation of a major research facility.
Prof. McConchie was also a Director and Chief Scientist for Virotec Global Solutions Ltd. and a Director of ReMine Gold Pty. Ltd., RISATEC Pty. Ltd. and Mt Aspiring Geochemistry Consultants Pty. Ltd. He has received numerous research grants, published over 100 research papers and 5 books, made over 80 conference presentations, prepared over 300 consultancy reports, and is an author of 7 patents; his books, Practical Sedimentology and Analytical Sedimentology (Chapman & Hall, N.Y.), were described in a review in the December 1995 issue of The Australian Geologist as "contemporary classics in sedimentology". In recognition of the quality of his research and consultancy work, he was a finalist in the Australian Eureka Prize for environmental research in both 1995 and 1996; he also received a Vice-chancellor's award for teaching excellence at Southern Cross University in 1995. He is a member of the Association of Applied Geochemists, the Society for Sedimentary Research, the American Geological Institute, the Geological Society of Australia, the Geological Society of New Zealand, the Clay Minerals Society, and the New York Academy of Sciences.
Over the last 20 years, his research and consultancy work has focused on the geochemistry of trace metals in sediment, water and biota; acid sulfate soils and acid rock drainage; early diagenetic mineral transformations; trace element speciation in sediments; the influence of biota on trace element distributions in sediment and water; applications of geochemical engineering and the use of bauxite refinery residues in environmental remediation. He has carried out geochemical and sedimentological consultancy work, for many industry and government organisations, in Australia and overseas and specialises in the development of innovative solutions for environmental problems. His recent work on treating bauxite refinery residues and using the modified materials to treat acid rock drainage, tailings dam and pit lake water, acid sulfate soils, sulfidic mine tailings and waste rock, and some industrial effluents is proving to be highly effective and the technology is now being marketed worldwide by Virotec Global Solutions.
Dave is survived by his wife Fiona, daughter Keetah, son Jade, and four grand children.
Dr. Malcolm Clark
Senior Research Fellow
Southern Cross University