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    New Tantalum Science Prize from T.I.C.
    ----Interview with Roland Chavasse
    Director
    Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center (T.I.C.)
    The Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center (T.I.C.) was established in 1974 as an international, non-profit association registered in Belgium.

    Asian Metal:Hi Mr Chavasse, thank you for taking part in this interview. Could you please give us some background on the Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center?

    T.I.C.: Hello Asian Metal, thank you for talking with us. The Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center (T.I.C.) is the international trade body that represents the tantalum and niobium industries. We have 90 members around the world, from 25 countries, involved with all aspects of the tantalum and niobium industry supply chain, from mining and trading to smelting and processing, metal fabrication, capacitor manufacturing, recycling, and also other end uses.
    The T.I.C. is managed by an Executive Committee elected from the membership at our General Assembly (conference) each year. Many people know us from visiting our website www.TaNb.org or from the Bulletin, our free quarterly newsletter that carries news and articles about our work and the tantalum and niobium industries.

    Asian Metal:Is there any interesting activity held by T.I.C.? Can you introduce it in brief?

    T.I.C.: Our General Assembly is formed from the annual general meeting of members and our technical conference. We also have a site visit such as a factory tour or mine visit and this year we will be in Rwanda in October.

    Asian Metal:Can you give us some information about the Anders Gustaf Ekeberg Tantalum Prize?

    T.I.C.: The Anders Gustaf Ekeberg Tantalum Prize (the Prize) is a new annual award established by the Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center (T.I.C.) to recognise excellence in published tantalum research. The Prize will increase awareness of the many unique properties of tantalum products and the applications in which they excel. The prize is sponsored by the T.I.C. and is central to its efforts to publicise the many exceptional benefits afforded by this element.

    Asian Metal:What is your intention in setting up such a prize for Tantalum?

    T.I.C.: We believe that the long-term future of the tantalum market will depend on technology-driven innovations and a new prize dedicated to this rare and critical element will encourage research and development. The Prize will be awarded to the lead author(s) of the published paper or patent that is judged by an independent panel of experts to have made the greatest contribution to understanding the processing, properties or applications of tantalum. Winners of the Anders Gustaf Ekeberg Tantalum Prize will be acknowledged as true leaders in this field.

    Asian Metal:How will the Prize be judged? How about the parties who can win the Prize?

    T.I.C.: The Prize will be judged by an independent panel of international experts selected because of their outstanding leadership in their field. They will be asked to provide an impartial assessment of the technical merit of the shortlisted papers. Members of the T.I.C. Executive Committee and staff cannot sit on the Panel.
    The 2018 panel of experts consists of (alphabetical by surname):
    Mr Richard Burt, Kielsinn Inc., Canada
    Professor Elizabeth Dickey, North Carolina State University, USA
    Dr Magnus Ericsson, Lulea University of Technology, Sweden
    Dr He Jilin, China Engineering Academy and former Director at Ningxia Orient Tantalum Industry Co., Ltd., China
    Dr Axel Hoppe, Commerce Resources / consultant, Canada / Germany
    Professor Animesh Jha, University of Leeds, UK
    Dr Nedal Nassar, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), USA
    The Prize is international and we welcome papers from all countries.

    Asian Metal:How to apply for the Prize and what are the conditions of application?

    T.I.C.: The Prize is open to any published paper or patent that is judged to advance knowledge and understanding of tantalum. To be eligible for consideration the publication must be in English and be made between 24 and 6 months before the award ceremony at the T.I.C.'s annual General Assembly. Therefore, to be eligible for the October 2018 Prize a publication must be dated between October 2016 and April 2018.
    Suitable subjects may include, but are not limited to:
    Tantalum used in capacitors or other electronic applications
    Tantalum metallurgy and mill products, including alloys
    The use of tantalum powder in additive manufacturing (3D printing)
    Innovative new applications for tantalum
    Processing of tantalum minerals, synthetic concentrates or other raw materials
    Recycling of tantalum-bearing scrap

    Asian Metal:Who was Anders Gustaf Ekeberg? Why is the Prize named after him?

    T.I.C.: Anders Gustaf Ekeberg was a Swedish scientist, mathematician, and poet who was the first person to identify the element tantalum in 1802.
    Ekeberg discovered the oxide of tantalum by isolating it from samples of two different minerals, specifically, tantalite from Kimito, Finland and yttrotantalite from Ytterby, Sweden. According to Ekeberg's friend, the chemist Jacob Berzelius, Ekeberg chose the name tantalum partly to reflect the difficulties that he had experienced in reacting the new element with common acids and partly out of his passion for ancient Greek literature.
    According to the ancient Greeks Tantalus was a demi-god who killed and cooked his son, but was punished by eternal suffering. He was condemned to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches, with the fruit never quite reachable, and the water always receding before he could take a drink.

    Asian Metal: What will be the schedule for the first Prize this year?

    T.I.C.: To submit a publication (paper or patent) for consideration for the 2018 Award, email info@tanb.org by May 31st 2018. The prize is open to publications from around the world.
    The initial Prize will be awarded at the T.I.C.'s 59th General Assembly (conference) in October 2018. Full details of the Prize are available from www.TaNb.org.
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